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Fisching for a scandal September 20, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.

…were this not Germany.

To all of those fed up with the thought police bollocking you for every misplaced utterance – I’ve been called a homophobe on more than one occasion for using the wrong nomenclature and I’m a screamer myself! – come to Germany, the land of the free (in a bureaucratic kind of way). Just take a peek at (current Foreign Minsiter) Joschka Fischer’s comments on Jamaica – Jamaica is all the rage these days because of the potential black/green/yellow coalition – here.

Can you imagine what the scandal would be like if he said such words in England? OK, I know it’s a bit naughty what he said, but I don’t think he deserves to have the Commission for Institutional Racism getting on to him. (I hope this won’t now actually mysteriously turn into some scandal. You never know how it might be picked up on.) And it’s nice to see that the Jamaican ambassador only sees this as an opportunity to attract German tourists to the country. (It’s a bit of a hoot in some of the post-election serious programmes to have the presenter talking to two or three suits with No Woman No Cry playing in the background.)

Anyway, this anti-right-on-ness is very German. French friends of mine almost puked with laughter at an IKEA poster they saw on display here (can’t find the image online, will keep looking), which shows a Turkish family in Berlin a bit swedened up (blond wigs and the like). France would also not see the funny side, they explained. I’m not sure why Germany is so relaxed on this issue. Germans are incapable of saying anything positive about themselves or their country, but my view of race relations here is that they are actually rather good. OK, so it’s not all happy families and oodles of intermarriage between Germans and Turks (or Germans of Turkish origin, I should say; the old German nationality laws whereby you could only be a German if you had German blood, which led to anomalies like ‘Russian Germans’ being able to move here and be Germans because great-great-grandpapa came from the Schwarzwald whereas ‘a Turk’ born and bred here would still be a Turk, a foreigner at home, have been repealed) and, yes, there are certain areas where there are more Turks than non-Turks, but there is none of the racial tension that one sees, in my view, in Paris, say, and no area one could call a ghetto.



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