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Insults in the Bundestag: Also sucker among the deputies

2019-09-15T13:08:31.878Z

The sound gets rougher, yes. Is that also true for Bundestag speeches? An evaluation of the parliamentary "asshole" and its variants



ZEIT ONLINE has made all speeches of the German Bundestag searchable. They show which topics dominated the debates and how much the language in the Bundestag has changed.

Who does not remember this young politician in sneakers, who insulted the Deputy President of the Bundestag as outrageously as formally finished: "Mr. President, with your will, you are an asshole." That was on October 18, 1984, and it would have been the first time that an asshole was verbally drafted into parliament. Would. Because in the protocol, the insult is not. Joschka Fischer had spoken when the meeting had already been interrupted. The only thing to read in the minutes is: "Ladies and gentlemen,
(Fischer [Frankfurt] [GREEN]: Please exclude us all! - More shouts from the GREENS)
I interrupt the sitting of the Bundestag until Mr Fischer, who is excluded from further participation in the sitting, left the Chamber. '

But already in 1986 "assholes" - or their short form "asses" - actually appear in the logs. 32 times to date. So did the Greens tighten the tone? Or did the new ones drive their seconded colleagues to the brink of concession? The poor data does not prove that. The "ass" and its variants never appeared as a direct insult, but always as a quote: sometimes from committee meetings, sometimes historically ("On foreign ass riding well through the fire" by the FDP MP Ulrich Irmer 1992), sometimes as a movie title ( "Little asshole" , 1998). In 1999, Walter Riester praised the labor burdens ripped up the "ass", and another time, the Green Winfried Hermann found the nuclear waste disposal for "archteuer".

It was not until 2018, according to the minutes so far: In the meeting of 21 February - the AfD was there just five months new member - got a unnamed member of the SPD faction and called out "asshole!" in the speech of AfD MEP Karsten Hilse. A few months later, Katrin Göring-Eckardt (Alliance 90 / The Greens) described people "who take to the streets and rush and show Hitler's greetings" as "assholes". According to the protocol, parliamentarians from all political groups have applauded this, but nobody from the AfD.

The tone in the Bundestag is therefore not as rough as some might have suspected. But not because there are better educated people, but simply because the rules prohibit insults of the caliber "asshole". If you really want to stay in the memory, you have to be more creative. In the session mentioned at the beginning, for example, Joschka Fischer insulted the CSU deputy Hans Klein, well, by shouting: "You old altar servers!". On the other hand, "idiots" and "idiots" were and still are many - even among the members, at least according to their colleagues. They are the classics under the verbal abuse. Since 1949, these terms have been used 152 times. Steady and inter-factional.

Source: zeit

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