Friday, October 24, 2008

The New Leader of the BZÖ Steps Down

Update: Jörg Haider’s widow does not believe that his death was an accident, and has prevented his cremation so that there may be a second post-mortem, possibly outside of Austria (hat tip: JD):

Haider Widow Believes Death ‘Not an Accident’

The widow of Joerg Haider believes the far-right Austrian politician’s death in a car crash may not have been an accident and has saved his body from cremation for a second post mortem, a Vienna newspaper has reported.

Today cited senior members of Mr Haider’s party as claiming that his widow Claudia had doubts about the official explanation of her husband’s death and wanted a further examination by a coroner, possibly in Italy.

The paper suggested that Mr Haider’s body was abruptly withdrawn from a planned cremation on Saturday. It said Mrs Haider feared her husband may have been drugged.

[…]

Party sources pointed to the fact that there were no tyre skid marks as evidence Mr Haider was unconscious when he crashed, Today said.

[…]

Mr Haider’s car, a VW Phaeton, struck a pillar and flipped near the city of Klagenfurt. The governor of the state of Carinthia, was nearly four times over the legal blood alcohol limit.

Stefan Petzner, his protégé, has been linked to Haider romantically by Austrian media after Mr Petzner said: “We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Me and Jorg were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life.”

Mr Petzner briefly succeeded Mr Haider as leader of the Alliance for the Future of Austria but was sacked after his tearful revelation.


According to some of my Austrian contacts, the fact that Jörg Haider was gay — or at least bisexual — had been an open secret in Austria for years. It was something that political insiders knew but which did not generally appear in the press.

Now that Mr. Haider is safely dead, certain details of this previously obscure aspect of his life are surfacing. The man who succeeded him as leader of the BZÖ, Stefan Petzner, has been forced to step down from his position after revealing that he and Mr. Haider were lovers.

According to the Times Online:

Far-right Austrian leader sacked for revealing gay affair with Jörg Haider

The successor of the Austrian far-right leader Jörg Haider was dismissed yesterday after he revealed a “special” relationship “far beyond” friendship with his former mentor.

In emotional interviews with the national broadcaster and a tabloid newspaper Stefan Petzner spoke openly about his affair with Haider, who died at the age of 58 in a high-speed car crash after heavy drinking session at a gay club this month. Haider’s party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria, captured 11 per cent of the vote in national elections last month.

“He was the man of my life. Our relationship went far beyond friendship,” Mr Petzner, 27, said after only a week in the job, adding that Haider’s wife, Claudia, 52, “did not object” to their relationship.

“I only had him. Now I am all alone. I would spend nights with him and his family and that was important for me because I often was afraid to be alone in the dark,” he added.

Regardless of one’s opinion on homosexuality, this last tidbit of information indicates that the BZÖ was wise to oust him. How could a man with an acknowledged fear of the dark be fit to lead a major political party?

The article continues:
- - - - - - - - -
Mr Petzner’s appointment as party leader was widely seen as a fulfilment of Haider’s last wish, as he had frequently said in public that he would like his young protégé to take his place one day. Mr Petzner dropped out of university when he met Haider at a party. At that time he was working as a journalist, writing about cosmetic treatments.

Outraged by the interviews, the party felt compelled yesterday to dismiss its leader amid reports of his alleged role in Haider’s tragic death. Local papers said that, on the night of his accident, Haider and Mr Petzner had a row at a magazine launch party. Haider left in a hurry and drove to a gay club in Klagenfurt, his home town, where he drank vodka with male escorts. The reports said that he was hardly able to walk to his car.

But Stefan Petzner is not leaving the BZÖ completely. In fact, he will be the deputy to the new party leader:

The new leader of the Alliance, Josef Buchner, 43, a hotel owner and a divorced father of two, is seen as a more conservative choice. Mr Petzner will serve as his deputy.

Am I being over-fastidious in thinking that this whole affair is a bit peculiar? Mr. Haider’s deputy obviously had duties that extended beyond the mere conduct of party affairs. His placement in the same position within the entourage of the new leader would suggest a continuation of his former role. After all, Jörg Haider had a wife and children, too.

Or maybe I just have a dirty mind…

36 comments:

Charles Bogle said...

Last night I find out that Opie, Andy, and the Fonz did a commercial supporting Obama, and now this.

What's the world coming to?

Czechmade said...

Out of fear of the darkness Petzner embraced even more darkness:

http://sicsa.huji.ac.il/acta18.htm

spackle said...

Pim Fortuyn, Jorg Haider, Stefan Petzner. I am the least homophobic guy you will ever meet, but wow! What are they feeding the right over there in Europe?Who's next out of the closet? LePen? Dewinter? Wilders? : )

spackle said...

In NYC we had Koch who apparently had a thing for young black men who would slip into Gracie Mansion in the dead of night. But hey. He was Ed Koch. To this day he still comes across as asexual. But now I am just dishing dirt.

islam o' phobe said...

Hm I think politics attracts sexual perverts because access to power increases their chance to sate their appetites.

At least thats why it seemed to me that Bill Clinton wanted to be President.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Clinton was nothing. Just one (1) adventure during 8 years? Nothing spectacular here, though he tried to make it look like a great neurotic thing.

BTW, with regards to not having any closet to step out from, you can rely on me :)

kbarrett said...

I could care less about sexual orientation.

I am more concerned about lying and near nepotism.

Clinton's error was lying to the American people.

This leaders problem was that promotions should be based on merit, and not on whom you are sleeping with.

Afonso Henriques said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Afonso Henriques said...

First, my bloody comments on other comments:

Czechmade, uuuuuu... that old ghost still in the closet;

Islamophobe, great point!
Henrik: The extent of what one does not know always transcend the extent one is able to know.
(man, does this even make sense in english?)

Kbarrett, and what about those who are sleeping with persons "with merit"? What I mean is that some people cannot really dissociate one thing from another. It is somehow instinctive... you know... in a way that "beauty is in the eyes of the voyeur" (a kind of saying here), so may be merit. I just wanted to tell a joke and have come to this Minotauro's labyrinth... damn it!

islam o' phobe said...

Clinton was nothing. Just one (1) adventure during 8 years? Nothing spectacular here, though he tried to make it look like a great neurotic thing.

Yeah but what about all those flings he had as Governor? Most of his supporters thought he'd given up that kind of behaviour in 1992. Yet the sex-crazed boy from Arkansas was willing to endanger his Presidency in order to indulge his carnal desires.

BTW, with regards to not having any closet to step out from, you can rely on me :)

Hahaha! If my main problem was with homosexuality I wouldn't have cited Bill Clinton as an example. I don't think Haider's double life was appropriate. Even if his wife reputedly "didn't mind" its still a bit of a stretch.

Thank you though, its good to know I can enjoy your complete confidence. :)

Afonso Henriques said...

Baron, allow me to give my two cents in this story.

I think that all this story is made of two "important events" which have great consequences wheather we understand/know it or not. This events must be confirmed:

1) The fact that a man as important as Jorg Haider has died. And I do not mean important to Austria but rather to all of Europe.
2) The fact that his death was/was not caused by "third players". Here is where the "European Union" and all the conspiracy theories come in.

The fact that the man is dead is uncontested but, what about number two?

More shocking than he being dead is the (quasi) fact that he was gay, at least to me. And this is not out of homofobia, I just saw him as a man with a steady family, (Christian(?)) vallues and Nationalist feelings. And Nationalists of all damned kinds - even neo-Nazis and "National Bolsheviks" - can never forget the family, the base of the Nation.

I am somehow ceptic that this is not a conspiracy even though the room for it is short. First, we have the car's roof hole, then we have the crash happening in the ideal moment and now we have the gay thing undermining all the Nationalist anti-European Union right. And by the way, their gay statements were very "dubious": I want to hear an "I am gay!" scream from them.

I am not crazy yet, I just think it is too odd for all this anormalities to happen in such a convinient moment. It is not that the anormalities are of a great quality to conspiracy theories, it's quiet the opposit, it is their quantity that makes me think. After all, what are the probabilities? 0,12%?

And I must confess my literacy on english is getting worst and worst. I failed to understand your last paragrah. Not obstanding I read it three times and from what I got, you still have some doubts about it, am I right?

Baron Bodissey said...

Afonso --

I mean that the man who was evidently Haider's lover is once again the "deputy" to the party leader. The article seems to want to reassure us that the new leader is heterosexual by saying that the new leader has children and an ex-wife. Yet Haider had a wife and children also.

So I find the whole business quite peculiar, as if Mr. Petzner is deputed to do the same "job" with the new leader as he did with the old one. I have no idea whether this is true; I'm merely saying that it appears bizarre.

Takekaze said...

He was drunk like a thousand Russians and tried to play Michael Schumacher. Knockout drops -as the rumor in Austria now goes- don't give you that level of blood alcohol that Haider had. Sure, the Phaeton is a good car, but a drunk driver plus bad environmental conditions and that speed... no, you have to be very lucky to get through this without becoming an organ donor.

One thing, though, is clear: the BZÖ is dead. No matter who takes over, none of them will have the success as Haider. The BZÖ is done for. They only had such large wins because of him. Anyone who runs it now will always be compared to Haider. Next general election and they'll be history.

And let's not forget, it was Haider who split off from the FPÖ with his farce of a party. The BZÖ was never significant. Never. They only played a role in Carinthia, and thanks to that province they managed to pop up in the parliament. In all the other 8 provinces they usually never went above 2%, maybe 3% on good days. The reason for their large wins this year is clear: Haider returned to the large theater (even though he clearly stated that he would not go into parliament in Vienna). Still many people voted for him and I'd say mainly because they thought Haider would go into parliament. BZÖ members going for parliament are people like Westenthaler, who is an asshole.

Frankly, I think that Haider stole a lot of votes from the FPÖ. Votes which would had more impact with the FPÖ, cause the BZÖ was never really anything else but a silly joke. Now there's BZÖ and FPÖ having some 29%, but they're split up. Strache doesn't need to beg for the BZÖ nuts to come back to the FPÖ, he just needs to wait for the next elections and the BZÖ will be gone. The BZÖ, on the other hand, will suffer the same fate as the LIF. They'll be wiped out.

TC said...

One thing appears very bizarre to me:

Haider was definitely one of the VERY FEW European politicians who could have rallied a conservative movement of resistance against the EU and the islamisation!

He had been in politics for 20 (!) years now. The European MSM were CONSTANTLY on his case and CONSTANTLY trying to dig up "dirt" about him. An affair of that significance and potential visibility would have delighted the European smear press and would have come out long ago, if it were true! Austria is not the kind of country where you can keep a gay affair of a major politician a secret. Definitely not!

I think, Petzner has been bought. He looks and sounds like a bad parody of the archetypical homosexual to me.

Natalie said...

All I have to say is that this story just gets weirder and weirder. And I'm not entirely convinced this Petzner is being truthful.

wiredgrenadier said...

Yeah, a gay affair... in Klagenfurt, with the politician hated and in the most focussed spotlight of Austria's press.

Really people, think, just for once. Klagenfurt is a village in all but in name. Do you know how the rumour mill dynamic in such places works? If one knows, pretty much everybody there knows. And somehow I'm supposed to believe that for 20 years nobody said a word about that? Hell, 20 years ago that would have easily killed Haider's carreer!

Czechmade said...

The only wisdom to be learnt from Haider is the fact that Austria has
a good potential to oppose EU + islamisation.

One man party with dubious contacts at home and abroad is no solution.

If someone starts from the scratch now with real political agenda rich in ideas and binding rules - he can be successful. He would loose a handful of probably influential nazi-Austria veterans (they die anyhow) and get x-times more support from people with brains and loathing for antinational nationalists called nazis.

This is a great strategic asset.
Building a pedestal for Haider is rather a hindrance to such a democratic development.

The protestors against the ahmadiyya mosques in Pankow-Berlin
grasped what I am preaching in vain: they fight nazis, leftists and muslims. This mosque would be the first one on the East-erman ground. How is it they understand better?

Meanwhile in Cologne the leftist story goes on with PKK protesting on the main market for freedom for Ocalan. A deep humiliation for Germans esp. ProKoeln movement.
http://www.pi-news.net/2008/10/koeln-freiheit-fuer-a-oecalan/#more-24463

Meanwhile the French are scared of coming Czech rotating EU leadership and try to modify it French style. They say we have the most antiEU politicians in EU. Nice to hear that! Please promote our stance by more media "insults"! You are good at it, you self-centered French.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Wiredgrenadier, for at least 10 years people *did* talk about this...


Anyway, I think the best BZÖ could do now is to return to the 'mothership' FPÖ and be done with it.

As for Clinton, his main problem was that he tried to talk himself away from the obvious - that his affair with Monica was indeed of sexual character. Had he the appropriate courage, he'd have said right away: "Yes, that was a sexual relation," and have offered to resign as president. Instead, he struggled for months to figure out how to stay in power.

Oh. In order to do something 'presidential' to divert the interest of the press, he had some cruise missiles fired at the Taleban. Damage was limited. But one of those missiles didn't detonate, and was sold by the Taleban (for a handsome reward) to the Chinese. Bad.

Other presidents, like Kennedy, also had a very active and stimulating nightlife... Clinton's not the first. But unfortunately, fear of public opinion and lawyers' games beat good, old honesty.

Conservative Swede said...

If someone starts from the scratch now with real political agenda rich in ideas and binding rules - he can be successful. He would loose a handful of probably influential nazi-Austria veterans (they die anyhow) and get x-times more support from people with brains and loathing for antinational nationalists called nazis.

Sorry Czechmade, but you miss the facts, once again.

Haider got 27% of the votes in 1999 with FPÖ, and the same figure was reached again with BZÖ+FPÖ this year. No anti-establishment party(s) in Europe has been more successful than this.

Start with the facts instead, Czechmade, instead of your ideological sentiments, and your comments won't end up being so detached from reality.

Erich said...

spackle, Pim Fortuyn was not "far right" -- he wasn't even on the "right". He was a flaming Leftist. But merely because he objected to Muslims, he became doomed with the label of "far right".

Czechmade said...

Pim Fortuin went for getting his "professor" of sociology to Groningen, the most leftist univerity in Holland. Was it mainly to get it fast? Reading his thesis might give some answer.

Pims party favoured the richest in Holland acc. to the Dutch people I spoke with.

ConSwede,
Voting "against" is so wide-spread in Europe. It should be part of our evaluations. Same with Obama/MacCain.

Give us some evidence those votes were for Haider and not against the 2 main parties - administrating the unequal job opportunities among themselves equally for willing Austrians. (Austria is famous for this). But also do not forget "his feeding hand" (of H.) bewailed by Carinthians...is it merely part of his media image or squandering some money...from where?


H. supporting Turkey EU accession needs also some clarification.

Apart from Iraq,Iran, Lybia - H. visited several times Israel (??).

Afonso Henriques said...

Takekaze, can you please tell us the difference between the BZO and the FPO? Was the BZO just the Carinthian "muscled" FPO?

All this is so foggy...

Czechmade said...

Haider was pleading for "EU-Beitritt der Türkei" (Turkey EU accession) already around 2000...

Recently he donated to the Turkish Islamic-cultural centre in Villach 10 000 EURO (facade renovation).

Are we wasting our time?

Conservative Swede said...

Czechmade:
Give us some evidence those votes were for Haider and not against the 2 main parties.

Czechmade lives in perpetual fantasy land, where the ~30% would x-fold into 60%, 90% or 120% if it just hadn't been for Haider.

Then the votes for FPÖ and BZÖ are not really votes for Haider etc. but for something else...ahem... It's kind of parodic. Czechmade just cannot absorb a simple fact. 27% of the votes for FPÖ in 1999. the same figure for FPÖ+BZÖ again this year. For ideological reasons this fact cannot simply be admitted, but must be explained away with deviation and strawman arguments etc.

Czechmade said...

Google Haider and Paneuropa or Haider and Otto von Habsburg.

As a Swede you can read in German.
Viel Spass!

It is even more entertaining than my fact gathering about Haiders support of Turkey.....not commented here yet.

I explained how the voters thought.
Not counting but speaking to the voters might give you some insight.

I try to reach some definitaly non-left friends in Austria to present first hand info.

Eliyana said...

Re: Haider's views on Turkey joining the EU, here is an interview with him right before the recent elections where he takes up the issue:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akkXPmyHTYA

As for his bi or homosexuality (?), it was pretty much a known fact for the past 10 or so years. The main issue with his sexuality was the fact that he was being a hypocrite - on the one hand he was gay and on the other his party was staunchly anti homosexuality, which didn't help win him friends within the gay community. I resent implications that Klagenfurt is a village, but this is because I am from Klagenfurt. And there are more people there than you think, gossip doesn't get around THAT fast. After all, we have cliques etc just like anywhere else. And you forget, we loved our L.H (mostly) so we would not start a smear campaign against him because of his sexuality.

Stephen Hand said...

It's a very old trick of the Queer Left to say prominent men or women of the Left really were really closet Leftists in unnatural behavior and thus hypocrites.

Haider is not here to defend himself now, is he? Haider's wife thinks that may be a well known old trick too.

Conservative Swede said...

Czechmade,

I explained how the voters thought.
Not counting but speaking to the voters might give you some insight.


Before you asked the truly absurd question for evidence of the true motives of people in a secret ballot system (and I don't believe in true motives, it's a mixed bag, even within the same individual). Now you declare ex cathedra that you know, and have explained these motives -- no evidence needed (it's magical!)

Your perpetually shifting (and double) standards are certainly interesting.

First you bring up how the support of Austrian anti-establishment parties would have been many times higher (30% times what? 3 or 4?) if it just hadn't been for bad bad Haider. Then when I point out that this support is on the highest level found in Europe, you simply move the target, shift the standard, and define this out of existence as a non-true support.

You simply do not want to acknowledge this fact so you use voodoo to avoid to absorb it.

In the same way you define all the pro-Russian Ukrainians out of existence. Very convenient. Nice voodoo. With the break of the Orange coalition and the change of Timoshenko, with the support for Russia in the Georgia affair, skepticism against the West, skepticism about the claim that Yushchenko was poisoned, etc., what's left of your Orange dreams is a minimal support for Yushchenko. The naively and/or aggressively pro-Western Ukrainians are a minority today. But you simply define them out of existence.

You uphold your delusions by voodoo tricks and by avoiding reading the news about Ukraine. You do not care the least about Ukrainians (and of course not about Austrians), you only care about your ideological position and the following of that party-line. And you certainly do not let yourself be "confused" by facts.

Czechmade said...

Sorry, I know for years how fed up are the Austrians with their two main parties. This does not make your FPO/BZO look much better, it is called "Proteststimme".

As for Ukraine do not think Russian speakers are always "Russians". Many Russian speakers in Russia itself are a mix of non-Russians, or another nationality unmixed speaking only/also Russian. You have two distinct terms for ethnic Russians and Russian citizens (russkiy and rossyan).

Many people in Ukraine can claim to be both at will. We had the same situation in Czechoslovakia - many people could claim to be German or Czech or both: even Jews decided here to be German or Czechs/Czechoslovaks at will.

The loyalties are steadily shifting and fluent. Right now every kid learns Ukrainian and English. Why do you want Ukrainians to merge in bigger EU-by-itself-Russia empire is beyond my comprehension. The beauty of Ukraine was appreciated by many during the Chechen war. Not one Ukrainian citizen was forced to join the slaugher in Grozny. The Ukrainians like Georgians and Azerbayjanis. Their relationship is simple - no supremacy, just partners. While the Russians performed a sort of softer ethnic cleansing of Georgians living in Russia/born in Russia.

You are too much obssessed by parties and numbers. The people are not all that. And I tell you again:

The Austrians are much more anti-German than the Czechs. I was surprized. The Austrians in fact demonstrate what is the difference between language and national identity.

Did you google? Haider and Paneuropa: marvellous!! Haider was just a vote-banker. Universal friend and universal traitor.

Czechmade said...

Not to forget: Many Germans disdain Bavarians and Austrians. If you come from Friesland or Saxony - you have to cope with endless jokes as well.

The "Germans" are a fantasy for us "Auslaenders".

Conservative Swede said...

Czechmade,

Why do you want Ukrainians to merge in bigger EU-by-itself-Russia empire is beyond my comprehension.

I do not want anything. I have no will that is more important than the Ukrainians themselves (naturally!). I'm just describing where I see the things heading for, by following the news of Ukraine, which I do on a daily basis.

The new and very clear position of the Timoshenko bloc put together with how crazy the West truly is, and how wise the Ukrainians are after all, not interested in suicidal social experiments, only leads to one conclusion, the way I see it, and that is for them to stay within the adobe of the Free Europe (untouched by Soros).

Why do you want Ukraine to join the EUSSR?

Regarding Haider, look at the interview linked by Eliyana and tell me what's so horribly appalling with it.

Yes, I have an objection. He seemed to share an exaggerated fear of Russia quite as you. But is this what you object to?

Conservative Swede said...

Czechmade,

The beauty of Ukraine was appreciated by many during the Chechen war. Not one Ukrainian citizen was forced to join the slaugher in Grozny.

So you are a bleeding heart for those poooor Muslims too. Well that figures...

I guess you are rallying with Clinton, Bush and Bernard Henri-Levy against those evil Serbs too, right?

Go to Soros-land with you! You do not live any longer in Eastern Europe, do you?

For your information, the slaughters were not in Grozny or Srebrenica, but in Beslan, NYC, the Armenian genocide, etc., etc. Your are as clueless of the character of Christianity as you are about Islam.

Afonso Henriques said...

Eliyana,

Wasn't Austria a catholic country?

How comes a homossexual is well recieved - not by the populace - by the right and "far right"?

And, if his party was so homofobic, how comes that there were so many gays in it? Was Haider such a sex bomb that he attracted gays to homofobic parties just to hang out with this father of two girls?

All this is so odd... what comes next? Obama is one of his secret lovers?

Czechmade said...

Mutual slaughter in Grozny. 18 years old Russian kids untrained and badly fed/clad facing professional guerilla war.

More Russians die in the military service at home than the US soldiers do in Iraq in combat due to the harsh despotic enslaving character of Russian "patriotic" officers.

In the spot Haider went around the issue reducing the EU Turkey accession into a pipeline issue, I quoted from some German sources
previously. Es war eindeutig!

Srebrenica was a fraud, Dutch soldiers are ready to go and witness for the Serbs.

I hate Soros. I blame you the educated Western class not to show any active interest in those countries, lieving them fully to the soros wolves.

Already in late 90 I was searching in vain for some quality articles in internet about Soros. I found one only (written by a Swiss "nazi", no idea who he was...) plus an article in a local student paper supported by idiotic Paneuropa oldies. I have tried in vain to fight soros 10 years ago! The free West did not supply any material to do so.

No we have the biggest mosque in Grozny in Central Asia...surprize?

Eliyana said...

Afonso,

First of all, Austria is catholic only in name. As an example of how "catholic" Austria is, a friend of mine was having problems dealing with his sexuality, so he decided to resolve it by becoming a priest. Needless to say this did not make him happy.

With regards to homosexuals in the far right, this is hardly surprising - if anything it is quite common, particularly if you try to repress your sexuality. Austria like Britain has a very "don't ask don't tell" mentality amongst the more conservative factions of the population...Haider could be as gay as he wanted as long as he was discreet . So Haider kept his sexuality quiet, it was an open secret, and it was taboo to talk about it...Petzner broke the status quo and we have seen the reprecussions on his short term at least political career.

Not that I agree with people being forced into the closet like that...it's just unfortunately the way we work...

As a final note, there is something everyone seems to be missing. Petzner even in his grief was very careful in his wording. The English translations of the interview keep going on about how he outed himself and Jorg as lovers. In fact he was very careful with his wording. All he said was that they had a very special relationship that went far beyond just friendship, and called Haider his soulmate. He never said they were in a sexual relationship, he just left a loose string that could be interpreted as such. If anything, the panicked reaction by the BZO points more in that direction than anything Petzner himself said.

Anyhow, if you have seen any of the interviews with him...I know he is in grief but he cries like a schoolboy. Hardly someone fit to run any sort of political party. He needs to grow up first...

Stephen Hand said...

I see I made a typo above. I intended to say,

It's a very old trick of the Queer Left to say that prominent men or women of the political Right were really closet Leftists in unnatural behavior and thus hypocrites.