Monday 16 October 2017

Opinions on the Austrian election

In the News

Sometimes the quality of BBC reporting raises your eyebrows. Being up early this morning, I was watching BBC World News's pre-breakfast paper review and heard BBC business reporter Sally Bundock describe Susanne Thier, the girlfriend on the incoming Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz, as "his wife". Not a major error, of course, and I wouldn't have commented on it had Sally not gone on to interject her own opinions into the following discussion (and she wasn't the only one). Under discussion was the Austrian election result with guest Priya Lakhani of Century Tech.
Priya Lakhani: It is incredible. He [Sebastian Kurz] doesn't have enough of the votes to lead Austria by himself so he's looking to form a coalition, and politics in Austria has obviously shifted now to the right. There's been a rise...
Tim Willcox: Significantly so.
Priya Lakhani: Significantly to the right, yes, with the rise of this sort of anti-establishment, anti-immigration party, and so what Sebastian Kurz is looking at is to form a coalition with the Freedom Party...
Sally Bundock: Which is a real worry because they're a far-right party. 
Priya Lakhani: Absolutely. They're very anti-Islam. I think it's mentioned all over the papers. Quotes here about are anti-Islam...talking about fascism and Islam and Muslim symbols, and it is really worrying, and there's definitely a rise in these parties. So it will be interesting to see with the coalition and how it's formed and the type of weight that's given to the Freedom Party. 
Tim Willcox: A very similar campaign in tactics to what Donald Trump did and, as you mentioned, Macron as well. "Austria first" for example...Trump, you know, "America first"...and appealing to those instincts in a very populist way. Too much migration. 
Priya Lakhani: Absolutely. Absolutely. There has been a real focus on the country, who you are and what we should be doing for you, absolutely. And I think the problem is if that's a real precedent at to elections going forward and how the world really responds to this, so...


  1. An interesting read though I don't understand the last paragraph (quoting Priya Lakhani) though of course this may be the point. E.G. "a real precedent at to elections going forward".

  2. I understood her to be trying to say, "I think it's a problem if this result is a harbinger of things to come and comes to characterise the world's response to the problems we face".

    1. She doesn't let you forget she's got an OBE...

      Shame she can't string a sentence together.

    2. Thank you Craig. So for Priya Lakhani there are problems and the electoral response to these could, in their view, create more.

  3. I'd like to ask Priya how many people she knows in the Hindu community who have a positive towards Islam...her reply, if honest, would be revealing.


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