What is Populism?
I suppose you could think of populism as a movement away from the Adenaurite / Churchillite model of European Federalism resulting from Helmut Kohl's inability or unwillingness to deal with the Margret Thatcher problem in European politics and the questions she raises with us. Certainly, there is an argument that populism has its roots in that. The whole idea of purchasing New Zealand Lamb of buying British like we had in the 1980s where possible of giving ourselves a chance against Helmut Kohl and Von Weizecker who seemed to have all but beaten 'Britain as a world power' so much so that they even devoted time to debating whether the German national anthem could be sung in all three verses in student masonic circles or not? A fact that was until recently advertised on the German nationalist organisation the Deutsche Burschenschaft's official homepage. Indeed, Kohl being a bigger bloke was played on in the media and meanly characertured in the media with so called French sidekicks being told to officially stick it. Thatcher's downfall was to cry "Up yours, Delors!" and fall on her sword straight afterwards. Oh, what might have been! Conflict with the European Union cost thatcher her political life. Many in England saw that as a profound injustice, but she herself, despite securing a rebate, never fundamentally withdrew from the EEC as it was then or went too far with them. After all, she was intelligent enough to realised that they had saved us from the oil crisis of 1970. A fact some of her avid followers have forgotten.
Populism is a movement away form Federalism towards so called freedom and nationalism although this in itself is a paradox because the EU was intended to secure freedom through a sustained capitalism and to help Europe lick its wounds after the war. The notion that freedom and democracy go hand in hand with nationalism as the populists claim is myth. At least it was a myth until comparitively recently in the German politcal vocabulary. From a German and French perspective freedom is more about working togehter more closely at least it has been in the past for various reasons too numerous to mention here. The total opposite of breaking off on our own behind a moat and drawbridge. Europeans defend themselves through forming alliances most of the time.
Beethoven's ninth might sound like the guns of Naberone to a British ear when played under the baton of the late great conductor von Herbert von Karajan but it is actually about the freedoms bought about by the French Revolution. The exact opposite a representation of a movement away form oppression and suffering and towards enlightenment. Beethoven's ninth is by no means evil and Hitleresque as Nigel Farage was aiming to depict to a British audience by turning his back on it in defiance. Looking under the magnifying glass to see Farage's small print it's clear for all to see he was a Nazi at that stage if now a reformed one. Employing Hitler like tactics in parliament to delibereratly vote down, and ignore and not listen, becuase that notion of Freedom was German and French and not British. What a selfish movement to say 'freedom' was not about all 'men being brothers' and more about the English hard power 'Fight Club' and public school buggery of male bonding 'as it always had been' rather than the possibility of it really being Beehoven's flower! How short sighted!
It's our music and anthem not their political football and they should have made that clear. I think the André Rieu version is musically punchier and should be the official version. If it had sounded that good musically they'd never have been able to subject it to ridicule so effectively. Purism cost us there most people respond positively or more positively to the André Rieu version. That can never be allowed to happen again simply for purist values and arguments that it should always be played in the full 20 minute version or not at all. That simply is not practical, and the other shortened Karajan extract they call the anthem doesn't best sell it to people like the Dutch Maestro and my ex in part! The Karajan version played right into the hands of Farage's view that Europe was always about the greater Germany because it sounds so German. I love it but it isn't to the best taste of most other Western Europeans; call me a donkey fucker for it but I feel vote winning compromises must be made here. IT NEEDS TO SOUND MODERN, not 1950s! These things matter not a jot in European circles but they did to my fellow countrymen in that vote. It was just the sound not the words or sentiment. André's version is softer and more entertaining and captures the sprit rather than the letter of the law. As a purist I agree that it still should be played in full in general but it's just not most people's thing. I have to say and that needs representation. The official version makes ME cry every time. It's just that the English didn't understand the German words and didn't want to. They weren't a German that belived in the French Revolution like Beethoven and I at heart! They just wanted an anthem that was snackable and interesting not something only a music officionado can understand. God Save The Queen is a crap tune and melody by comparison that I would describe as nothing more than stink langweilig but that's them. They don't like anything but instant satisfaction and you have to cater for that populist need. Catering for the populist is a concession we need to make to them for votes.
A lot of these populist assumptions that Anthems form Euorpe sound harsh is a complete lead of old tosh most of the time though. To anyone with an open heart this original version of the German anthem form the Emperor Quartet by Haydn shows the strength and depth of German talent and beauty. It's not at all harsh or Nazi sounding. Indeed the German anthem wasn't about domination at first but pooling of German talent accross the German speaking world. We wanted to conquer and they just wanted to stand together to defend their interests. form the the River Maas to the River Memel (which is the on the former Eastern boarder of East Prussia. It's beautiful. I think the secodn verse of the German anthem is the most beautiful becuase my German girlfriend was beautiful. She made me me feel German and inspired me to great things and sounds like the inspiration behind this original version as a string quartet
It's very different to the Tschykowski version.......I like that too but commanding and not as seductive. Remember like me Peter Illych Tschykowski was someone who was surpressed for his superior German talent, skills and love of his adopted country in Russia. He was never accepted in Russia as their best composer becuase he loved Germany so much and was educated there like me. The Russians liked their national school of Composers with Borodin and Massorgsky and they didn't like his German influence despite his genius they ruined him for it! It is the best verison of the anthem own as I feel André's version is of our anthem as a proud Eurofed.
The myth of a German centred Hitleresque vision for Europe
The NRW became the Captial Territory of the old Bundesrepublik Deutschland what we know as West Germany, with what is now Bundesstadt Bonn as it's captial. This movement was spearheaded by Konrad Adenauer Germany's first Bundeskanzler. How do you follow Hitler? KA provided a model answer keep calm and carry on! I used to be personal friends with some of his masonic friends in Cologne and actually met and had lunch with his son's wife and a tour of his house. On this tour contrary to popular belief the EU was not a populist construction in my opinioin as Mrs Adenauer filled me in on; He was said to have had a divine inspiration going through the ruins of the old gestapo headquarters (in his beloved city of Cologne of which he was mayor for many years befoe being deposed and supressed for refusing to attend a Nazi rally) and he picked up an opulent silver candlestick and thought to himself how talented and yet how selfish they were. How could he save Germany? How could he restore thier independence and his answer was to utilise the facist sense of discipline for legitimate means to create an economic miracle to benefit an entire continent. To secure lasting peace for all. Germans apart from the previous 12 years had been a very collective people and he wanted to show us their good side. Baring in mind he was himself incacerated in a concentration camp on the Deutz side of the Rheine which are now his trade fair halls adn smuggled out by his masonic friends to his house in Bonn. His second wife he lost to the Gestapo she was said to have slit her own wrists and died of blood poisioning shortly after the war ended. Many people saw him as well meaning and genuninely sorry because of his own personal suffering. Indeed he lost his first wife to cancer and came to power in his seventies with the population starving in the streets. By the end of his life he had overtaken England with the leaderhsip of Europe and achieved the only absoloute majority in Bundestag history, without a need for co-elition politics. He was their genius. Kohl carried on his legacy but he wasn't able to deal with Thatcher's talent he wasn't that clever. Adenauer's era was about the simple and effective as this link shows to a text by the German nobel prize for literature holder Heinrich Böll wrote called
It depicts a 'Heimkehrer'. Someone coming home form the war. As the only adult surviving male in the family, his brother's wife in the ruins of thier home had high hopes he could do somethign for them but for the first 2 weeks he is so tired he just sleeps. Then he leaps up from the sofa and comes up with the simple idea of selling roses to people in a bucket on street corners, the buisness becomes so successful it becomes a legacy for his family. Entrepreneural, and practical he had the talent to save his family after all.
The NRW Anthem as a model for European civilisation
Take a look at the National Anthem of North Rheine Westphalia a British protectorate until recently.....The lyrics embody everything the EU was supposed to be about everyone 'having their place', 'hat jeder seinem Stand' and rebuilding after the war.
'Unser Land lag verbrannt in den Wunden die der Krieg geschlagen',
'our land lay scorched in the wounds the war knocked us with'
'Dann mit Herz und verstand nahm sein Schicksal selber in die Hand'
'then with heart and understanding took its fate into its own hands'.
North Rheine Westphalia has a modern anthem because it is an artificial creation of the Treaty of Potsdam 1945. In fact, this country within Germany was originally part of several smaller dependencies and fiefdoms a playful rivalry exists between to this day. In the Ruhr they say 'Gluck auf' in Cologne 'Alaaf' and in Westphalia and 'Hallou' everywhere else. Different words from what were basically tribal variations in the German language.
This anthem could well be applied as the true spirit of the EU.
....And what could be a greater prize
Or this singing in this lovely French movement from a mass?
Or this lovely Dutch Christmas carol in church?
Europa ist wie Kölle, Multi Kulti und schön so......