Hofer loses narrowly in Austria

Although I was relieved to hear the final result in Austria’s closely fought presidential election, it’s hard to be too delighted given that the far right contender, Norbert Hofer, gained 49.7% of the vote.  Reasonable people hold a range of views on both immigration and Islam, but Hofer’s stark judgement that ‘Islam has no place in Austria’ doesn’t fall within reasonable parameters.  What makes the close result more worrying is the fact that the victor, Alexander Van der Bellen, seems to be a moderate figure – the kind of candidate one might have expected, in these circumstances, to win votes from the centre and centre right.

Aware of the need to appeal to voters a long way outside the party’s normal base, Van der Bellen, who lists 19th-century Russian literature and Donald Duck cartoons among his interests, has not shied away from espousing a few traditionalist traits.

His campaign videos have featured some unabashed yodelling, his speeches have often referred to the attachment he feels to his Tyrolean Heimat (homeland), and he has repeatedly stressed the social duties and obligation to integrate of Austria’s 90,000 newly arrived refugees.

Katie Hopkins has been busily cheering Hofer on.

The Swiss even use controversial black-sheep posters to make their point about immigration.

Liberals call them racist but, frankly, when do they ever stop using that term, so overused to have lost all meaning? If I’m not being called racist, I barely recognise myself.

I’m not sure how that advert can be seen as anything but racist.

Hopkins includes a handy infographic so that we can compare levels of support for her preferred parties.  There are significant differences between these groups.  In fact Jobbik, Hungary’s far right party, has come out in favour of Islam in the past.

The leader of Hungary’s Jobbik movement has said that “Islam is the last hope for humanity in the darkness of globalism and liberalism.”

Gábor Vona also affirmed that his party had no relationship with the Islamophobic, far-right European parties, as some commentators have claimed. Jobbik’s president also stated that Turkish society, grounded in love of the family, respect for tradition and a strong sense of patriotism, was a great example for Hungary.

Golden Dawn is certainly anti-Islam – it is also unashamedly antisemitic.

It’s good to see that this was the best rated comment under Hopkins’ piece.

You know, I think the Nazis thought they were ‘putting their country first’. Just be very careful what you wish for, Katie, because I’d hate to see you branded a Nazi sympathiser. We do not EVER want such a party in power ever again.

But this article – not for the first time – makes me wonder just what she would have to write in order for the Mail to decide they should no longer provide her with a platform.