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Frauka Petry leaves the AFD
A question of hard right, moderate right and Merkle
The AFD and all that
When Germany's Alternative for Deutschland sprang up as a party against Germany bailing out the Greek economy little did the founders realise that they would become the third largest political party in Germany I suspect. The party has morphed into an anti-immigration party and has an anti-Islamic agenda.
What saw the party grow was when Angela Merkle opened the doors to Germany for 1.5 million migrants fleeing wars in the Middle East and other places. Angela Merkle seemed to be saying as the US did "Give us you're downtrodden, your rejects, your refugees and we will make them German". Germany still has a guilt complex about WWII and was trying to show the world that Germany today is a tolerant multicultural society where all are welcome. That is largely true like many western European countries Germany has a huge immigrant population from all corners of the earth and their descendants. Their national football team reflects this where you have ethnic Germans playing alongside Germans of African descent, Turkish, and other groups all proud to call themselves German.
That is not to say there is not racism just like any other country in Europe where migrants and immigrants have come to make countries like the UK, Germany, France and others their home.
Anger against immigrants comes from Native Europeans when they see immigrants seemingly taking over an area and making it a ghetto. These places are usually where crime and unemployment are rife and can be a breeding for extremism. People see the native population either dying off in areas where there were once many or moving away. Mosques and other non-Christian places of worship are built and community centres for the immigrant or migrant population become commonplace. Though I do not agree with Nazism or Fascism it is understandable why Native Europeans turn to extreme parties like the AFD, UKIP, Front National etc. The reason for this is because they feel the main political parties are not listening to them. Hence in the UK, for example, people voted for leave cheered on by UKIP and some right-wing Tories because they felt European immigrants from the EU were swamping their communities. However, as Tony Blair rightly pointed out on BBC1's 'The Andrew Marr Show' many of the immigrants coming to the UK are non-European and account for more people coming into the country than the EU migrants as a percentage.
The German general election has produced a fourth term in office for Angela Merkle and it will probably be her last term in office possibly. However, like Theresa May she did not get the overall majority she needed and will have to cobble together (like May) a coalition government with other parties but has ruled out any coalition with the AFD.
The AFD are now Germany's third largest party and will have about 94 MP's in the German Parliament known as the Bundestag. It is the first time since the 40's that a far-right party has sat in the Bundestag and rightly alarm bells are ringing. Frauka Petry is not the only one to have left the party as the party have already started falling out and because of this, some other members of the AFD have departed.
It is possible the party is arguing over what direction to go in now it has power in the Bundestag as an opposition party. Frauka Petry as opposed to Alexander Gauland is from the moderate wing of the party and tried to hold the two sides together. Obviously, this has been a strain for her and chose to upstage the party and leave with a smile on her face at a press conference on Monday. Petry will now be an independent MP for Saxony her constituency where she narrowly beat Merkle's CDU.
UKIP and AFD
The United Kingdom Independent Party and the Alternative for Germany Party are cut from the same cloth it would appear. Both feature hard right and moderate right members, are against the EU, anti-immigrant and anti-Islam, believing in the sovereignty of their country.
Nigel Farage who may come back and be the leader of UKIP again recently addressed an AFD conference. Steve Crowther the acting leader of UKIP has invited an unknown AFD speaker to UKIP's party conference.
Steve Crowther has said he will stand for no racist talk in the person addressing the UKIP conference on behalf the AFD. Steve Crowther has congratulated the AFD at their remarkable showing at the German general election as has Nigel Farage. Crowther said people have demonised the AFD as they have UKIP but the people of Germany have spoken at the ballot box and will not be beaten into submission by the liberal left.
Both the AFD and UKIP are symptoms of a popularism across Europe and the world. No doubt Donald Trump will be singing their praises on Twitter and perhaps Vladimir Putin and Duarte of The Philippines.