Nationalists In Disaray – Or Are They Faking It?

The parliamentary group of Slovene National Party has split yesterday in what was a most unexpected beginning to the 2008 political season. The party, which – contrary to expectations – won six seats in the parliament in 2004 elections is what I like to call a post-modern party: its political platform is a patchwork of different policies and ideologies, many of which are in direct contradiction with one another (like combining reverence for the Partisan movement with proto-facistic ideology), but – somewhat suprprisingly – this has not damaged the party’s appeal to those voters who for one reason on another decide not to vote for any of the mainstream parties.

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Sašo Peče and Zmago Jelinčič (photo by The Firm™)


SNS has seen its heyday in 1992, when it got as much as ten parliamentary seats (then too, its caucus split, but for different reasons), but 2004 was a fruitful year as well. Party second-in-command Sašo Peče was named Vice-President of the Parliament, the highest office ever held by a member of SNS. But yesterday the party was plunged into dissaray, as half of its six-member parliamentary caucus – led by Peče – announced that they were forming a parliamentary group of their own.

As hours went by, the official story of why’s and for’s changed rapidly. Originally it was understood that Peče was gravely insulted at an SNS party (apparently he was called by his diminutive name “Saško” by a party faithful. Peče seems to react badly to this). But as hours progressed, reasons became more and more serious. Or so they would have us believe. Party president and head of the caucus Zmago Jelinčič claimed that a referendum on Croatian entry to the EU was at the gist of things (SNS is known for its hard-line anti Croatian stance), whereas Peče claimed that Jelinčič danced to the tune of PM Janez Janša and has sold out the party for his personal interests. Furthermore, the number of defectors was originally higher, but during the course of yesterday morning Bogdan Barovič had a change of heart and announced that he will not be joining the rebel group, citing family reasons!!! The story went on and by yesterday evening, Jelinčič offered another theory: that the Slovene People’s Party (SLS) was behind it, trying to dismantle the SNS from within.

Now, had this been any other party, yesterday would mean massive political earthquake. But this is SNS – the party which always somehow made it, even if it meant swithching from nationalistic rhetoric to condmening NATO airstrikes against Serbia and siding openly with Serbs. You see, if had to describe Zmago Jelinčič with a single word, it would be survival. He will go to impossible lenghts to secure another term, perform ludicrous rhetorical stunts, do almost anything just to make life difficult for the larger parties which at some point will need his votes. It is also rumoured (but never proven) that he is more than willing to do a piece of dirty work for any party (say, propose an unpopular referendum) – for a price. But at the same time he is probably one of the more able political analysts out there, being able to predict outcome of events well in advance, highly intelligent, and he speaks near-perfect English 🙂

In any case, the shit that is brewing for the past couple of days smells more of a double-crossing than of anything else. Particularly telling is Barovič’s flip-flopping. The way things stand now, SNS’s causus has split into two groups of three MPs, which just happens to be the mininum number of MPs for a political group to be entitled to all the parliamentary spoils, such as their own seceretaries, monies and – TV time during election campaing. And had Barovič remained with the rebels, SNS proper would have only two MPs and would lose its status. So it was vital that Barovič or anyone else of the rebels remains with Jelinčič.

Now, I may be wrong, but having seen some of Jelinčič’s improbable stunts first hand (at one point he proposed a change in election law which would actually work against him – just to tease everyone else and send them asking “why?”) I wouldn’t put it past him if he has already made a calculation regarding the 2008 elections and saw that he needs to do something. Anything.

Elections this autumn will probably drive most of the electorate in the arms of the strongest parties, which would obviously mean a great deal of trouble for Jelinčič & Co. If he, however, somehow managed to double his media and political presence, he just might make it yet again. And so I strongly suspect that Zmago Jelinčič and Sašo Peče are putting on one hell of a show and for two reasons: Firstly, like in Black Jack, they split their bets. They will spend most of the next eight months attacking each other and everyone else, which will mean plenty of media coverage – in fact, twice as much as if they stayed in the same boat. But the other reason is simple. They just wanted to stir the pot a bit more. Jelinčič usually doesn’t give a shit about fuck about anything and this applies to his latest “marital row” as well. It is just a carefuly orchestrated show aimed at ensuring the continous political survival of SNS’s six MPs – in whatewer name, shape of form this may take place.


P.S.: As you can see, small changes to this blog are already happening. A couple of bookmarking icons and a new category will do for starters 🙂

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pengovsky

Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

29 thoughts on “Nationalists In Disaray – Or Are They Faking It?”

  1. I wouldn’t call them a right wing party. Historically a vote for SNS has always been a vote for the left and almost all voters of their champion Zmago Jelincic have voted for left presidential candidate Danilo Turk after Jelincic lost the presidential race in the first round.
    I think the correct label would be socialy responsible nationalists.

  2. I don’t think I said SNS is right wing – I said that it is a post-modern party. I would even slightly doubt their nationalism. At least Jelinčič’s nationalism.

  3. Very interesting piece. I was just discussing Jelincic and co. last night so it was neat to read this morning. Some of the views he has expressed are truly repugnant, but then again, is that any worse than the exact same views expressed, in slightly modified language, by the ruling party?

  4. @lisa: How very true. As heretic as it may seem, I actually think it is good to have Jeličnčič around, because he is what other do and claim not to be .

    @Suzie Q: It is a comedy alright… I just don’t know who will be laughing all the way to the voting booth 😀

  5. Pengovsky, a very, very interesting and shrewd commentary (although suspiciously similar to the one written by watermelon-man, including the picture …;)) and I am very much inclined to believe this conspiracy scenario … If there ever was a B’Stard in Slovenian politics, The Ig’Noble is his rightful incarnation.

    Tomaž Štih, social nationalists is hardly a new label, and not very dissimilar to national socialists, since here the adjective and the noun play the same role.

  6. @Vranika, Luka: Appologies to both of you – spam filter is a bit trigger happy again

    @Luka: The picture is of course taken from the Firm’s webiste – as for the rest: Watermelon and I have talked about it and reached simmilar but not identical conclusions 🙂

  7. i might be working too hard and missing out all the fun, but … what views of the ruling party that are shameful are you talking about, lisa? (or pengovsky) dont wanna be left in vain 😀

  8. @Iva: speaking for myself, I was thinking of the general treatment of minorities, creating an eviroment of mistrust and witchunting.

    Jelinčič is a demagogue and a provocateur, but the government has made many of his more problematic outlooks its policy – case in point being (again) the Romas and the Erased, as well as a populist hardline against Croatia which serves no real purpose or result.

  9. yes the romas and the izbrisani are a problem. which should have been solved long time ago, but stil isn’t. so i agree on that. but since it is STILL a problem, previous government should also take some blame. they had many more years to solve the issue, but they didn’t. now, this gov had 3 years, and still no result. all in all, seems like everybody here is bloody useless.
    as with croats: the only loudmouth here was and is jelinčič, in my opinion. janša just re-stated what the croats pledged: that they will not implement ERC. but they did.
    anyway, it’s late and i’m tired. 🙂 i just wanted to say my view is not so pessimistic. peace!

  10. @Iva: re: previous governments, you are very much to the point. There is only not-so-slight difference. This government actively participaded in a “pogrom” that should never have taken place (Roma) and is denying rights of compensation to the Izbrisani.

    While previous governments did little to improve lives for both groups of people, it did not accept Jelinčič’s rhetoric (well, Tone Rop did at the very end, but that was just a desperate attempt at remaining in power). The current government, however, accepted SNS’s speech and even rewarded it with giving the party the high position of Vice President of the Parliament.

    What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that there is a huge difference between sitting idly on your hands and doing nothing (previous governments) and riding on anti-minortiy sentiment (this government). And while it is obvious that (in)action of the previous governmetns made possible the situation today, it doesn’t make the actions of this government any more acceptable 🙂

    That’s all. Peace 🙂

  11. is vice president of the parliament implemented by the gov? i thought the MP’s granted Peče the position. but i might be wrong.
    well i didnt say it’s acceptable either. i just see it from a different perspective.

  12. Peče was elected by a majority in the parliament, which includes all the coalition parties.

    And yes, I wouldn’t exclude the parliament as being innocent – at the very least it is its complacency which added to today’s situation.

  13. My God! What kind of carpet you have been smoking this time, Pengovsky? That one which has “conspiracy theories” all over it?

    I have never ever seen in my life a case when a political party whose president won a suprising massive support 26% of votes during the latest presidential elections just a couple of months ago to split his party just a couple of months in front of the parliamentary elections. Maybe your theory would make sense if the president and vice-president of the SNS would be both fools, but I am inclined to believe this.

    It is more likely that we are seeing another phase of the grande design of how to win the parliamentary elections the next year at all cost and no matter what the cost to finish their grand design II.

    In order to achieve this they have checked Pahor and his merry, young and naive group of idiots around him who think they are going to run the country in case if they win the elections next year. In addition, they have consolidated the Liberal Democrats (LDS) with a young, flexible lady who knows nothing at all about the hoch-policy and who climbed to the higher ranks of the high class in Ljubljana by sleeping with her boss and of course the last but not at least they have formed a new political party ZARES under the throne of a man who is basically considered (any argument against this?) the father of clientelism in modern Slovenia.

    Now, of course there is a problem. Although these three parties have more than enough potential there is no guarantee that they will win the election or later be able to form the new government which will act like some people from behind wish them to act.

    So they need what the former president Kucan (you know, the one who doesn’t know anyone and doesn’t remember anything) once labelled a “zlahtna kozervativna stranka” or to put it in plain, simple and straightforward language: a flexible political prostitute. They looked around and found it it (where else) in the Slovene People’s Party.

    But now they have to do everything to make the victory possible for a defeat and another four years of Jansa and Bajuk would mean a disaster for their Grand Design II plans.

    So in June 2007 Mr. Kucan and Mr. B. Srot have met on Hvar (confirmed by the Financeand the cabinet of ex-president). What have they been talking about we will probably never know for sure, but only a few weeks later after their holidays were over we have eyewitnessed the very first significant changes in the field.

    First they need to make sure not to repeat the mistake they made in 2004 when some medias have found themselves on the loose. This time the stake is too high to leave anything by chance. So Mr. Petan and Mr. B. Srot will make sure that the newspapers which they own will write what they want to hear. To add this they need to distabilize, ruin or overtake all newspapers who are a disturbance to them on this path (-> for example MAG).

    Once this will be accomplised they will shift their attention to the phase No.2 and No.3.

    No.2 is to convert the SLS back into the flexible conservative party. To achieve this they elected via the help of the Styrian lobby Mr. B. Srot’s brother for the new president of the SLS. he is flexible, greedy and hey… he’s a brother and B. Srot! 🙂

    Next move was to consolidate the press. Obviously they shouldn’t have much problems in this field since most journalists are already more than flexible, but they need to hatch those medias which still could be a threat to their grande design. So they have sent a loyal soldier Mr. Stojanov, a young Marxist who graduated with the “Buharinova koncepcija socializma” and who is known as a very high profile cocksucker (as Pengovsky would say) of Mr. Kucan’s inner circle. He doesn’t mind walking other journalists’ rights and he doesn’t mind forcing political pressure over different thinking journalists for as long as the orders came from the right man all means are tolerable and acceptable. But just to make sure that he will not feel alone he will bring along a couple of reinforcements. One of them is Mateja Babic, another headless chicken of Slovene professional journalism, but with important pro – she is a high profile cocksucker of Bojan Srot, the new president of SLS and we wouldn’t want the newspaper to write only bad things about him, eh?
    http://www.pozareport.si/images/news/other/f7c8e306aa3af3cc91bc4488dbc13fa3.jpg
    (she’s the woman in the middle, Mr. Srot II is on the left)

    There is still a matter of small details to be done before the elections. First they need to reinforce fragile ZARES with new blood. They have found for this the AS by Franci Kek, another buffon of Slovenian political life.

    Since public polls probably didn’t show the significant increase of support for SLS they have hatched a new plan: to win the supporters of a strong policy against Croatia (which is of course just a phasade) and national interest they need to divide et impera the Jelincic’s party. Easy. His vice-president is a member of Styrian lobby, with Franc Kangler one of the most ardent supporters of sale of Union to the Lasko a couple of years ago and on good terms with Kangler and Srot.

    In the next weeks we can also expect another satellite party to join to this circle of grand design and namely SMS. At a later date also DESUS, but for the time being they are allowed to stay in for the sake of Slovenian presidency of the EU for we cannot embarass ourselve. But the main role of SLS and DESUS is to block any government plans to sell the insurance company Triglav, Telekom and other major profitable companies. Afterall where are the spoils of power if you can’t have any influence in the economy and make large bucks by along it?

    So with all this being said we can expect a full offensive against SDS and NSi after June 2008.

    Then the election will come. If Jansa and Bajuk will win we might still have a chance to make something of this country.

    If Kucan, Gaspari, Rop, Pahor, Golobic, Srot brothers, Gantar, Horvat and alike get hold on our economy we can expect to become in the next four years something similar to Nicaragua under the rule of the Somoza family during 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Like in Nicragua we are going to have here a lot of poor families with no chance to break the border of poverty and a thin layer of notoriously rich families.

    As for their laic supporters are concerned, they will get a new role in this grotesque comedy as well.

    They will become their “Guardia National”.

  14. Karel, we’re obviously on the same shit, because your grand theory is on a par with mine….
    Wait and see. My shit has been confirmed by Kucan (meeting on Hvar, confirmed by Kucan’s cabinet), Srot (wonderful chat he’s currently having through the medias with Herr jankovic) and of course the Jankovic himself (the policy of Mercator can influence the inflation)? What are your “facts” for your grand theory?

    Perhaps, maybe, heard from, supposed to, there’s a rumour…. You forget to mention that saso Pece was lately seen a couple of too many times sitting next to ASK, Zdolsek, Turnsek and Srot. Obviously you haven’t been attending the handball match in Celje a couple of weeks ago, when the upper mentioned people were shining with their wifes in the VIP lodge. 🙂

    Who’s your dealer?
    Logic, analysis and past & present experiences.

    They didn’t teach you that at the FDV, did they? 🙂

    Afterall, who is here still willing to bet that the richest people of our country do not sit in the Forum 21 or are tied around the circles of the “left-wing” (if we can call them as such) SD, LDS and ZARES?

    You?

  15. I had a hunch we have the same dealer 😉

    But tell me, why do you keep on trying to plant me positions I don’t have? I’ve never said anything in terms of left/right wing parties and their connections to capital.

    Mainstream parties of modern age are invariably connected to sources of excess capital. Powerful companies usually see political donations as insurance that they will have the ear of the party should it become necesary (or at the very least keep politics out of its way). It’s called “special interest”.

    And smart businesses have split their bets several ways, making sure that supporting the winning side doesn’t draw too much flak from the losing side.

    But business knows only one true political affiliation – profit & growth. And so the danger change in political affiliation is always present. Janez Janša realized that the moment he became more of a liability to Laško than an asset. He thought he ran the show businesswise, but was in reality only comical sidekick.

    Or would you rather concoct another grand theory about how all of this was premeditated by Kučan during a meeting of Forum 21 where (no doubt) masonic rituals are taking place and plans to take over the world (well, at least Slovenia) are made on daily basis?

  16. I had a hunch we have the same dealer
    Sorry, I didn’t see you at the logic class.
    But perhaps you have attended a different, more avantgarde and flexible school. 🙂

    But tell me, why do you keep on trying to plant me positions I don’t have? I’ve never said anything in terms of left/right wing parties and their connections to capital.
    Of course you did not for we are talking here about the SNS and SLS. None of them can be identified as a left or right wing party.

    Mainstream parties of modern age are invariably connected to sources of excess capital. Powerful companies usually see political donations as insurance that they will have the ear of the party should it become necesary (or at the very least keep politics out of its way). It’s called “special interest”.
    Let’s say I agree with your assesment. But in Slovenia things went way too far. Here the capital is the one who is controlling not just medias but also political parties. If Bosko says dance, they all dance. If Bosko says, limp to Beijing, they would all limp.

    By resigning from the Social Democrats he gave a strong signal: I am powerful enough not to need any politicians anymore. What politicians such as that dispacable Kucan want is not money but power and influence. before you would say “A”, we will already found ourselves similar to Nicaragua under Somoza’s Family. We will have a couple of influential families who will control the economy, parties and all other segments of our state and social apparatus (medias, justice, police etc.) and use it for their own interests. In public they will talk about national interests, but in their own mind national interests means their own interest. A good example are the ELAN and Bank of Koper.

    Sadly as it is, it seems that the only thing which currently stands between us and New Nicragua are Jansa and Bajuk and all vote eligeble citizens of Slovenia who will go to the elections next year.

    But business knows only one true political affiliation – profit & growth. And so the danger change in political affiliation is always present. Janez Janša realized that the moment he became more of a liability to Laško than an asset. He thought he ran the show businesswise, but was in reality only comical sidekick.
    You mean like Jankovic, Gantar and the rest of the gang? Sure. But perhaps Jansa played with them. Divide et impera works in the Slovene economical establishment beautifully as demonstrated by Jankovic and Srot for their is one thing which they have plenty of it – their own ego.

  17. Sorry, I didn’t see you at the logic class.
    Was that “Logic of the Final Solution” class? You’re right… I skipped class and got high on human rights and rule of law.

    But in Slovenia things went way too far. Here the capital is the one who is controlling not just medias but also political parties. If Bosko says dance, they all dance. If Bosko says, limp to Beijing, they would all limp.

    Well, well… Finally. And who created that monster? Who sold Mercator to Laško and Istrabenz? who let Laško control Delo?

    By resigning from the Social Democrats he gave a strong signal: I am powerful enough not to need any politicians anymore.

    If you think that Pahor and Šrot are trully at odds, you are terribly mistaken. It was all a show, baby! 🙂

    We will have a couple of influential families who will control the economy, parties and all other segments of our state and social apparatus (medias, justice, police etc.) and use it for their own interests.

    What? Bearing the wrong surname, are we? Listen… I’ve no idea who you are, how old are you or what’s your story – but your lot wanted capitalism and capitalism is what you got. You wanted free market and free market is what you got. You wanted media that are not state controlled and now at least some of them are not. If the end result is not to your liking…. well boo-fucking-hoo… I was too young to have any say about the future of Slovenia and I’ve no quarrel with either socialism or capitalism. But the latter is here and I guess you’ll just have to suck it up. I don’t like it either, but I’m trying to make the best of it while still being able to look myself in the mirror in the morning.

    Sadly as it is, it seems that the only thing which currently stands between us and New Nicragua are Jansa and Bajuk and all vote eligeble citizens of Slovenia who will go to the elections next year.

    Can I quote you on that?

    You mean like Jankovic, Gantar and the rest of the gang? Sure. But perhaps Jansa played with them.

    Actually, they played with Jansa – it was and still is a cat-and-mouse game. And Delo was this big piece of cheese which Janša just couldn’t resist….

  18. Having read it, it sounds plausible… I mean, if the break up proves to be a real thing (I still believe there is a strong possibility that it’s all an elaborate act), money could very well be at the gist of it.

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