Before the “re-election” in Berlin on Sunday (March 12), there is a directionless mood of change. The fun party DIE PARTEI put up a poster with three riot slogans for the final sprint, which cynically and aptly reflects the mood in most of the 12 districts:
“Bomb away Giffey!”, “Bagger away the CDU!”, “Jarasch – who is that?”. Bettina Jarasch is the top candidate of the Greens, which are traditionally strong in the capital and are preparing to succeed the governing mayor Franziska Giffey from the SPD.
In the forecasts, however, the avuncular CDU leader Kai Wegner is ahead by a few percentage points. “What the Greens and Mrs. Jarasch are demanding in the election campaign, especially in transport policy, cannot be done with me. Point,” he says in an interview with the “Tagesspiegel”. A black-green coalition, such as that in Hesse or North Rhine-Westphalia, hardly seems possible in Berlin. And be it, according to Wegner, because of the “unilateral policy against the car”. A muddled situation around the Goldelse in the truest sense of the word.
Annoyed irritation in Berlin
The “state elections” in the city-state of Berlin are only taking place anyway because the last combined count on September 26, 2021 (Bundestag, Senate, referendum) resulted in cute, almost Berlin-typical irregularities in the counting. Now there is an annoyed irritability.
Due to Berlin’s exposed position in terms of culture and pop, which in turn (see Berghain and other nightclubs) are massively relevant for tourism and business (see also “Easyjet Raver”), the music scene plays at least a larger role in the political agenda than in, for example, Nuremberg or Bielefeld. However, the “creative class” once postulated by US professor Richard Florida is present in numerous debates that go beyond the pop music agenda.
Lutz Leichsenring, press spokesman for the local club commission, says in a statement: “The current election campaign is rarely conducted with positions on Berlin’s club culture. However, such commitments are crucial for the sustainable development of the city’s cultural diversity and also provide an insight into the orientation of the parties in relation to urban development, social or cultural policy as well as information about their relationship to federal politics.
So all major Berlin parties are at least at a panel discussion at the start. After all, the large music and celebration scene in the capital makes up a large constituency, which is anything but homogeneous.
This was evident last Wednesday in Neukölln’s SchwuZ, when the five democratic parties in the House of Representatives clashed during a club commission panel discussion. The AfD is left out. The right-wing Polter party acts destructively in this segment and is therefore neither helpful nor relevant.
Even the CDU has a spokesman for club politics
Otherwise, even the CDU in Berlin can no longer do without a “club political spokesman”. The man’s name is Christian Goiny. During the ping-pong of interests surrounding the expansion of the inner-city A100 motorway, which would make the indie club landscape around Ostkreuz impossible in the next stage of expansion, he calls for a “tunnel solution” for the widely disputed expressway. This variant would continue to make “cultural uses” possible.
Some people don’t want to think about the barrier fences and concrete clouds during the construction phase. There is a snotty mood in the audience against the expansion of the city motorway. None of the clubs based there want to be dredged away or tunneled under. The representatives of B’90/Die Grünen, Die Linke and SPD are against the further construction of the A100.
This regional excitement topic shows how strongly the music and club culture and “big politics” are interlinked with regard to general urban development. Accordingly, rising rent, wage and energy costs and the resulting financial “barriers” for the non-heirs generation are discussed. As is typical for Berlin, targeted funding programs are being demanded to combat this trend towards exclusion. After all, there should still be reasonably cheap admission prices for “all social classes”.
It becomes completely functionary when all politicians want to put a committee on track in Berlin based on the model of the Parliamentary Forum “Nightlife and Club Culture” in the Bundestag. In this way, the “cross-party and cross-administration cooperation to protect and create club culture spaces should be implemented more efficiently”. Tamara Lüdke, club policy spokeswoman for the SPD Berlin, makes the offer to invite to a first meeting in this case. After the election, conferences can be held over biscuits and oat milk lattes.
The activities of the so-called “Awareness Academy” for a “discrimination-sensitive and feminist” Berlin club culture are drifting in a similarly academic direction. Here, too, additional financial resources are required – befitting the status. Last Night A Official Saved My Techno-Life…
“The party, the party, is always right”
In Kreuzberg’s SO36, DIE PARTEI’s pre-election bash is far less constructive and often just balla balla, for example when the comedy greats sing the old socialism anthem “The party, the party, it’s always right.. ‘ intoned. Nevertheless, one gets the impression that this spontaneous slapstick with nihilistic sticker slogans such as “Mimimi rent cap”, “Kill bees dead” or “Life means change” exactly reflects the current brew of opinion in Berlin. As the saying goes in the wild years of house-to-house fighting: “Anarchy is possible, Mr. Neighbor…!”