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Thread: Life goes on after Schill

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    Post Life goes on after Schill

    Life goes on after Schill

    Firing of Hamburg interior minister a chance for his party


    By Kristina Merkner

    Its official name is Party for a Law-and-Order Offensive (PRO), but the mark of party founder and honorary chairman Ronald Schill has always been so strong that the party is commonly known - and also refers to itself - as the Schill Party. Now that Hamburg's interior minister Schill has been fired over remarks regarding Hamburg Mayor Ole von Beust's alleged homosexual liaison with Justice Minister Roger Kusch, the party can resort to its official name again. But it will also have to redefine itself as media commentators are likening it to a headless chicken facing a retarded death.

    While it is unclear whether there is still room for Schill in the Hamburg parliament or the PRO party leadership, party officials have expressed optimism about the party's viability without its founder.

    “We're not idiots,“ PRO party member and deputy president of the Hamburg parliament, Peter Paul Müller, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, countering the assumption that the party included no assertive politicians beside Schill. According to Müller, the party had purposely focused attention on its charismatic leader, but the impression of a one-man show “wasn't true from the beginning. We wanted to become popular in 18 months. The only way to achieve that was to concentrate everything on Schill.“

    “This is an opportunity for the party to prove that it isn't a one-man show,“ PRO spokesman Florian Gottschalk told F.A.Z. Weekly. “It's an opportunity for all those who have been doing excellent work in the background.“

    The PRO's deputy parliamentary leader, Dirk Nockemann, has already been given his opportunity. He was appointed Schill's successor last Thursday - according to Gottschalk, a clear signal that the party and the coalition government with the Christian Democrats will continue: “Once Mr. Nockemann has been elected on Sept. 3 - and this will definitely be the case - Hamburg's citizens will see that a strengthened coalition is emerging from this crisis.“

    The opposition has submitted a motion calling for new elections in the city state. The Hamburg parliament will vote on this motion on Sept. 24, but it is unlikely to go through in view of the present parliamentary majorities.

    No longer part of the government, Schill is now technically entitled to a seat in parliament, which the PRO parliamentary group hopes he will renounce. Gottschalk confirmed that this was considered the best solution by the PRO's parliamentary faction, but the party encouraged Schill to remain state chairman and honorary party chairman. “We want him to remain in office, because he always did an excellent job,“ said Gottschalk, “but of course we condemn his faux-pas during that press conference. The party board considers his dismissal appropriate.“

    Keeping the PRO's hardline founder out of the parliament is what Walter Zuckerer, parliamentary group leader of the Social Democrats, considers the only chance of survival for the coalition. “He only needs four people on his side to cause trouble, and the coalition will collapse,“ Zuckerer said, adding, however, that “the coalition between CDU, FDP and the Schill Party can continue.“

    Schill, who would have to voluntarily renounce his seat, will comment on his plans at the beginning of next week, according to Gottschalk.
    Regardless of what happens to Schill and the coalition, members of the opposition said there should be further investigations into whether Hamburg's mayor von Beust really engaged in favoritism by giving his lover the post of Justice Minister, as suggested by Schill in a press conference on Aug. 19. Zuckerer told newspapers he believed von Beust, who denied the accusations. “Favoritism is of course not allowed, but I don't take political action on the basis of rumors that cannot be proven,“ he said.

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    Schills Scheitern war abzusehen. Schon vor der Hamburg-Wahl 2001 hat er bis zum Geht-nicht-mehr Verbeugungen in Richtung der politischen Korrektheit gemacht.

    Seine politische Weisheit erschöpfte sich in einem drittklassigen Aufguß Giulianischer Law-und-Order-Politik. Wer in der deutschen Rechten jemals darauf seine Hoffnungen gesetzt hat und das schon für den Beginn einer national-gesellschaftlichen Erneuerung gehalten hat, ist sehr unbedarften Geistes. So eine Politik ist nichts als der Versuch, die Auswirkungen moralisch-gesellschaftlichen Verfalls und des Multikulturalismus einzudämmen, die Sache selbst aber zu lassen wie sie ist.

    Immerhin hat er mit seinen Worten zur deutschen Ausländerpolitik seine Ehre noch gerettet. Das war Schills größte Stunde. Die von den Medien zur "ausländerfeindlichen Hetze" geadelte Rede war wohl das Wahrste und Richtigste, was im "Hohen Haus" seit einem Vierteljahrhundert gesprochen wurde (wenngleich das keine Kunst ist).

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