Monday, October 03, 2005

That Pesky Public Opinion

 
The elite opinion makers in Europe’s governing class (the same folks who gave you the 485-page EU constitution and all the regulations concerning the opacity of cheese) are not happy with the citizenry of what used to be the nations of Europe. The masses are apprehensive at the possibility of Turkey joining the EU, and the propaganda arms public information services of the EU member countries have failed to persuade the lumpenproletariat to go along with the program (see my earlier post on this topic).

Austrian public opinion is being particularly intransigent. The positive response of the Austrian people has yet to exceed 10%, making them the most serious obstacle so far to Turkey’s acceptance into the EU.

After all, the Austrians had a nasty little encounter with the Turks in 1683 (among others) at the Gates of Vienna, and they have long memories.

But the elite governing class of the EU is having trouble coming to terms with the recalcitrance of the people who should be accepting the guidance of their betters. According to a BBC article, Why Austria is the sticking point,
     Professor Anton Pelinka of Innsbruck University told the BBC News website that both the Austrian government and Austrian public opinion had been hardening against the idea of Turkish membership in recent months.
“It’s a lot to do with xenophobia,” he said.
“As in other EU states, discussion of EU matters has been very much confined to the political elite. Now this has suddenly become a broader debate and people who are not interested in European affairs fear that it will mean foreigners coming to Austria, and not even Christians — of course there is a bit of Islamophobia in it.”
Of course — now I understand! I should have known that Islamophobia would be the problem. Nobody need ever fear any Muslims! Just ask Theo Van Gogh. Oh, wait a minute… He’s not available for comment. How about Salman Rushdie?

The article goes on:
     Public opinion had been influenced by a campaign in the mass-market tabloid Neue Kronenzeitung, he said, while the governing People’s Party was feeling vulnerable after doing badly in regional elections.
Note the code words the BBC uses here: “mass-market” and “tabloid”. Mass-market tabloids are what those lower-class unwashed proles read whilst they swill their beer and watch soccer on large-screen TV. These tabloids are somehow “influencing” people to be intolerant racists, despite the fact that the State controls the television stations, the schools, and much of the enlightened press across the whole of Europe.

But never mind that for now. There’s more:
     The opposition Socialists and far-right party of Joerg Haider are both against the idea of membership talks with Turkey.
Well, “far-right” is definitely a modifier to set knees a-jerking among the politically correct. But Socialists!? How’d they get in there?

Not everyone agrees that historical memory plays a part in public disaffection:
    Mr Pelinka rejected the idea that the two sieges of Vienna by the Ottoman army in 1529 and 1683 played a significant role.
He pointed out that Napoleon had conquered the country far more recently.
And so he did. How do the Austrians feel about the French? And how do they feel about all those videos of French Catholic terrorists cutting off the heads of their Protestant and atheist hostages while yelling Dieu est très magnifique? Oh, wait a minute… That didn’t happen.
     Michael Emerson, a senior research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels, said… “Austria is really a front for France and Germany… Both are in a complicated political situation and public opinion in both countries is 70% to 30% against Turkish membership.”
Translated, this simply means that the majority of Europeans don’t want Turkey to have membership in the European Union. Think about it: When you say, “Turkey,” do you think, “Europe?” Well, Europeans don’t, either.


Fjordman is also posting on this topic with good information and more links.

20 comments:

gandalf said...

Austria has caved in, an agreement has been reached, it would appear.

Jack Straw predictably said that the EU needed Turkey and it is to the greater benefit of the EU if Turkey Joins.

Do we really need millions of unskilled people flooding into Europe-no- but it will happen

nouille said...

Great Blog, I linked here from Fjordman.

Kledo said...

Where are you Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy? What have you done againts this madness? Why haven't you supported the Austrian governement's stance in your main national Tvs?

Pastorius said...

No one has anything to fear from Muslims, just ask Salman Rushdie.

Hey, just ask Piglet.

Pastorius said...

Uh, maybe I ought to provide a link for anyone who isn't aware of what I am referring to:

http://cuanas.blogspot.com/2005/10/oh-duh-duh-dear-piglet-banned-in.html

Baron Bodissey said...

Pastorius --

Yes, indeed, that Piglet meme isfloating around. We heard about it from the Adventuress a little while ago.

Dymphna is probably going to blog on it soon. But first -- Hamas women!

a4g said...

I suspect it is not the scare-quote term "Xenophobia" to which the Austrians subscribe, but rather caputaphilia.

Was it Stephen Foster who famously penned "the caput goes kaput in Muslandia?" Or is that just the swamp gas of my twisted imagination?

Baron Bodissey said...

a4g -- are you sure you're not talking about Stephen Leacock?

Redneck Texan said...

Its pretty simple isn't it? You're either openly willing to watch the fabric of your society be negatively altered by multi-culturalism....or you're a racist.

Its amusing at times to watch politicians make up phony excuses to disguise the racist wishes of their constituents. And its irritating to watch politicians ignore the wishes of their constituents just so they don't appear racists themselves.

I don't know why it is that European politicians cant openly admit that they don't want any Islamists in their little club, the Turkish politicians would not face any domestic backlash if they publicly announced their pro-Islam agenda.

Its gonna be difficult to draft a document that papers over the fact that the members to the two cultures despise each other. Its gonna be hard to bury the truth if the people are allowed to vote on it.

The Austrians may remember the gates of Vienna, but the entire continent seems to have forgotten Constantinople.

Baron Bodissey said...

Ah, but Redneck, you forgot the song:

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Now it's Turkish delight on a moonlit night

Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that way

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works
That's nobody's business but the Turks

Istanbul (Istanbul)
Istanbul (Istanbul)

Even old New York was once New Amsterdam
Why they changed it I can't say
People just liked it better that way

Istanbul was Constantinople
Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works
That's nobody's business but the Turks

So take me back to Constantinople
No, you can't go back to Constantinople
Been a long time gone, Constantinople
Why did Constantinople get the works
That's nobody's business but the Turks

El Jefe Maximo said...

I've never managed to call Constantinople Istambul. But then I still refer to Saigon. To the despair of my teachers, I never in my life called St. Petersburg anything else, (certainly not the name of that butcher).

Never thought of Chemmitz or Guben as anything other than those names, and I still think of the places in question as Breslau, Bromberg, Posen, Liegnitz, Lemberg, Pressburg, Salisbury, Kiev, etc., and I shall probably always call Pretoria by that name.

Probably the benefit/handicap of an interest in 19th Century military history, as well as a certain amount of cantankerousness. Certainly can't blame age, many of these places got other names long before I was born.

I'm not even consistent. I think of Stalingrad as Stalingrad, not to honor the bigger butcher, but because of the Russians and others who turned back the Nazis.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jefe, don’t forget Königsburg. The Soviets deported all the Germans from it, both Junkers (if there were any left) and the peasants, and then it became Kaliningrad.

And how about Yekaterinburg (sp)? Boris Yeltsin was party boss there, but I can’t even remember the Soviet name now — was it Sverdlovsk? Or something else? It’s the place where the czar’s children were murdered and thrown down a well, I think.

Baron Bodissey said...

Jefe, an additional thought re: name changes. In my part of the world (central/southern Virginia) there are a lot of streets, buildings, etc., named for prominent figures on the losing side in the Recent Unpleasantness. The forces of PC are slowly getting the names changed and the portraits taken down, and heroes of the South are gradually being replaced -- Mumia abu-Jamal Elemementary School, Malcolm X Boulevard, etc.

I understand why it has to happen, but it still makes me sad.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Have not forgotten poor Konigsberg, or Pillau, or the poor Pregel River, or a zillion other places, much less Tannenburg (and my ancestors are more English and Irish than German). I blame the awful Nazis for all that more than anybody else, even the Communists, although I don't like them even one little bit.

They're doing a little bit of the political correctness re-naming of Confederate monuments, schools, etc. down here. I suppose that's the in some ways cursed times we live in. Why, there are weirdos in Britain who want to do away with St. George's Day.

giant squid said...

I wonder why support for Turkish EU membership is so high in Hungary?

Leandra said...

Three cheers for the Gates of Vienna! A blog after my own heart. You, folks, are on my blogroll pronto...
Ted Laskaris
http://phylax.blogs.com

Baron Bodissey said...

giant squid --

Maybe because the Hungarians are the descendants of Attila...?

PD111 said...

Britain's support of Turkey for the EU may seem inexplicable but not when one considers its long term aim.

Britain's foreign policy towards Europe for hundreds of years, has been dictated by one principle - not to allow continental Europe, or any one country within it, to become a power to threaten these isles. This has been a constant in British policy - much like Russia constantly seeking warm water ports.

Many maintain that Britain tried to break the EEC when it was a fledgeling organisation by not joining it, then joined with a view (as DeGaulle consistently maintained) to destroying it from within. This has been the suspicion in Europe all along. From a European perspective, Britain has always been at odds with the concensus in Europe. There are far too many instances of this to be dismissed as mere coincidence.

DP111

PD111 said...

Ankara needs cultural revolution to join EU, says Chirac

http://www.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,7369,1584959,00.html

Indeed.

DP111

Eric Blair said...

Curious about the Hungarian support for the Turks. After all, it was most of Hungary that was actually occupied for some time by the Turks.