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November 15, 2019
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Commentary: Czech ultra-right politicians singing in harmony, and Russia likes it

15.6.2019 11:50
Václav Klaus, Jr (above), Tomáš Vandas (left), Jaroslav Kubera (right, holding a sign reading
Václav Klaus, Jr (above), Tomáš Vandas (left), Jaroslav Kubera (right, holding a sign reading "I am a smoker"). (Collage: Romea.cz)

How moving it is to follow the two veteran Czech politicians of the "ultra-right truth", Senator Kubera and the chair of the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) Tomáš Vandas, as they begin singing in three-part harmony with the latest matador of the ultra-conservative circus, MP Václav Klaus Jr, who has recently presented his own movement on the political scene, called "Tricolor" (Trikolóra). His maiden press conference had barely finished before the media and politicians from other such parties such as Kubera and Vandas began giving him free advertising.

The DSSS chair has apparently found himself in the program of this new political group. He tweeted the following: "Although I am the chair of a different political party, I must acknowledge that the program Václav Klaus Jr has presented is 95 % in accordance with my own opinions."

They say the correspondence is so great that the only thing missing for Vandas is "Czexit". It almost sounds like a proposal for fusion.

Why should two parties with such similar programs exist side by side, right? Klaus, Jr also wants the Czech Republic to leave the EU even if the Tricolor program does not.

After all, the Tricolor leader compared French President Emmanuel Macron's plan for EU reform to the antisemitic book "Mein Kampf" by Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. "We'll see how Tricolor profiles itself in the months to come," the DSSS chair told news server Lidovky.cz.

"In any case, [Tricolor] has my sympathies to begin with," Vandas told that server. Let's recall that the Czech state gravely hurt Vandas in the past, so he has even more reason to want to sweep any democratically-profiled politicians out of their fiefdoms.

In February 2010 the Supreme Administrative Court dissolved Vandas' previous neo-Nazi "Workers' Party" for carrying on Hitler's National Socialism (Nazism) and being racist and xenophobic. Vandas and his courtiers then relocated to their newly-established DSSS and continued their politics.

The DSSS has been trying to watch its language ever since, but over the course of time, Vandas has befriended and visited different neo-Nazi leaders around Europe, as their comrade, and has developed even closer contact with Marian Kotleba, the leader of the fascists in Slovakia. The DSSS chair is not, however, a charismatic leader.

Czech MP Tomio Okamura, currently a vice-chair of the lower house, evidently checked out the DSSS rhetoric and used it to his advantage as a politician who has nothing but charisma (and a closed mind). As for Kubera, he has boasted about his affinity with Klaus Jr in an interview with the DVTV online broadcaster.

The Civic Democratic Party (ODS) could, according to Kubera, collaborate with the Tricolor movement in the future. "I never did accept [Klaus Jr's] exclusion [from ODS] - I wish him all the best, I agree with many of his opinions, but I will not be leaving the ODS myself," Kubera told DVTV.

According to the speaker of the Senate, totalitarianism is returning to society. "What else can we call it when young people are terrorizing their parents for not being vegans?" this charming figure says at the close of his brilliant musings.

Introducing Klaus Jr's new party at this point is like bringing manure to a stable - it's unnecessary, there's enough manure there already. According to Jan Charvát of Charles University's Faculty of Social Sciences, the outline of the Tricolor program frequently accents the nationalist aspect of politics and is, therefore, naturally attractive to those political streams represented exactly by Vandas.

"For these proto-fascist groups, the program of Tricolor is attractive mainly in its emphasis on nationalism. Populists might like the look of Klaus Jr's remarks about venerating European values, which he declared as being literally 'non-Arab' and 'non-African'," the political scientist said.

Targeting pensioners has also captivated the populists. "Klaus Jr's party program promises in two different places to increase the value of old-age pensions," Charvát notes.

"By doing so, [Tricolor] is creating the same kind of pressure as the one that this significant group of voters wants to put on Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš," said Charvát. However, those same pensioners are now sending the PM the message that he can keep his populist cash - they will not be voting for him again anyway - so he should probably use it for something that is more necessary, like subsidies for Agrofert.

I'm joking, of course. However, why wouldn't the protesting pensioners send that same message to these other populists, especially when they don't have any other ideas about how to fool the audience?

As far as nationalism goes, the fun ends there - that is a poison that has already been used here. European history is how we know nationalism is the most malignant ideology of them all.

The polygamous announcement of Klaus Jr, Kubera and Vandas will certainly be a permanent source of amusement, but let's not forget that their ideas are on the rise here. If their policies were ever to be implemented, we would no longer be living just in the counterfeit democracy we currently have, but in the rigid regime of the strongman, and beneath the supreme supervision of the Russian Federation.

 

František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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DSSS, neo-Fascism, Neo-Nazism, ODS, Václav Klaus mladší, Analysis



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