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Photo by xtranews.de (Flickr CC)
The Linke, Germany's top socialists, are in crisis. Well, they're in two crises – a big one and a small one.
The big one is that they should be wiping the floor with everyone at the moment – but they're not. Blatantly the German population, like the populations of Greece and France, is getting sick of this austerity-euro-debt shit, and want to see what happens if the socialist, or at least the slightly more socialist, lot have a go.
"Obviously there is no such thing as a 'trillion-euro bailout fund',” the people of Europe are thinking. "You wankers are clearly making this bollocks up as you go along so we won't mind having social services cut. The economy is fake, so how about giving us some of our money back?"
Logically then, Germany's socialist alternative should be doing it like their Greek buddies – i.e. boogying their way to the ballots. But the Linke tanked at the last two state elections (Schleswig-Holstein and North Rhine-Westphalia) failing even to get the five percent they needed to enter parliament. In fact, they got around 2.5 percent in both states – a long way short of even that chaotic, semi-Nazi bunch of chancers the Pirate Party. Well, frankly Linkes, it's just not good enough. Get mad, damn you, get mad!
So what should they do? First they need a new leader. But at the moment they can't find one, because of Oskar Lafontaine pulling out, Gregor Gysi not fancying it, and Dietmar Bartsch being, in the immortal words of William Faulkner, "the kind of fellow you wouldn’t see the first glance if he was alone by himself in the bottom of an empty concrete swimming pool."
That leaves only one good choice – Sahra Wagenknecht, possibly the sauciest minx the entire German political spectrum has to offer at the moment. She's brainy, a cool raconteur, a late-night talk show regular, and more importantly, not one of these boring 'moderate' Linkes who want to go all SPD on us. No, she's a proper pinko: she wants the works – five year plans, de-privatized banks, strong healthy women operating farm machinery. And the Linke itself seems to have cottoned onto Wagenknecht's potential, and there are rumours that she'll launch a surprise leadership challenge at the crucial party conference next week.
People used to moan that the Linke/PDS was nothing but a populist machine, cashing in on the anti-Hartz IV disgruntlement of work-shy Germans. Well, right now the reds need to get back to those roots, repeat that trick with the euro, and start embarrassing the SPD a bit more – if they don't, they'll let Germany sleepwalk into another Merkel/Steinbrück chancellorship of steady euro debt misery. Maybe Wagenknecht is the kind of woman who can turn her party upside down and realign German politics, like her current lover Lafontaine (lucky bastard) did in the good old days.