Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Political Stumble Story

It was one of those odd events that you could not have predicted, and simply stood there in amazement.

The Hessen state government has their parliament here in Wiesbaden.  Yesterday was a general assembly where the state Interior Minister (Peter Beuth from the CDU, Merkel's party) was to stand and give a pretty positive speech over all the good work of the cops here in Hessen.  It was all scripted and note that the cops had done OK with the Islamic threat, crime, and maintained security of the state of Hessen.

Around fifty minutes prior to the speech....Bild (a significant German newspaper) published a major update....which related confidential documents leading back to the Hessen cops. It more or less suggested that crime statistics had been 'arranged' in some fashion to avoid finger-pointing going back toward immigrants or refugees.

All of this kinda unfolded quickly, with opposition groups (mostly FDP and SDP).....requesting a special meeting of the Civil Liberties committee later in the week.  Whatever advantage or positive that Beuth was going to spin.....dissolved.

The general belief?  The thing about crime in Hessen (mostly around Frankfurt and Wiesbaden, and lesser throughout the rest of the German state)'s been escalating since the early 1990s.  This escalation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the Syrians, Iraqis, or the incoming crowd of 2013-2016.  Most Germans have the belief it relates more to southeastern Europeans who simply drove in....established gang territory.....and evolved into house-break-ins and pick-pocket activity.

So, if you had a crime, and actually arrested some guy, and he's not a German.....the cop has to make a report and he has to say something about the guy's nationality.  Just saying non-German.....doesn't say much and doesn't really help any statistics guy in noting increased problems.

If you arrested seventy people over a one-month period in Wiesbaden (just a scenario, not fact), and sixty-five were might be interesting to note that.  If forty of the sixty-five were Gypsy or Romanian or might be interesting.  If only one was might be interesting.  If the bulk of these were Russian kids between 18 and 21 years old, and part of a might be interesting.

But would you want to be the political guy standing there and saying that immigrants of some variety were a problem?  The sad thing is that you might actually have some facts to assemble and say that none of the crime of the past year relates to Syrians or Iraqis.....but mostly to another ethnic group or cultural group.  Would you even be willing to suggest this and clear the Syrians or Iraqis from prejudicial attitudes of Germans?

Finally, one might wonder.....this confidential document that Bild cited.....where exactly did it come from?  The answer?  I'd take a guess that the cops are peeved about the way that the statistics game is run, and someone finally said enough.....walking into a coffee shop and handing a copy of the document to a Bild reporter.

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