How dare you, Mr. Sonneborn?

The German government wanted to get rid of him – and put a lot of energy into pushing satirist Martin Sonneborn out of the European Parliament by means of electoral law. But he is still there, more cheeky than ever.

Anyone who wants to understand what the former Titanic boss is up to should read his book („Herr Sonneborn geht nach Brüssel – Abenteuer im Europaparlament“, Kiepenheuer & Witsch).

I really devoured it – and not only laughed heartily, but even learned something. Above all, the passages in which Sonneborn describes the wrangling over electoral law reform are worth reading.

Apparently, before the European elections, the German government put more energy into pushing small parties out of parliament by means of a blocking clause than into organising the promised “new start for Europe”.

MEPs have also failed. They could have used Germany’s desire for a reform of electoral law to push through EU-wide, transnational lists. But the opportunity was wasted, says Sonneborn.

The result is known – in the end there was neither the (German) blocking clause, nor transnational lists, nor a happy end for the Spitzenkandidaten. The European elections turned out to be a big hoax.

And so Sonneborn is still there, even stronger than ever. His party friend Nico Semsrott also made it into the newly elected parliament. The hooded man is doing even harder than his alter ego.

Recently Semsrott asked his Twitter community how he should address his parliamentary colleagues in plenary. They opted for “Dear aristocrats”.

Can satire do that? And what’s the point? Sonneborn gives some “pertinent hints” in his book, which bring us closer to an answer. On the one hand, he refers to the effect on the audience.

His speeches would easily be clicked 5 million times, those of some “established” deputies not even 50 times. “That speaks for providing the message with a small joke”.

But what is the message? Well – that the EU is not funny at all. Sonneborn refers to the reallocation of civil research funds to military “killer robots”, which we have also skewered in this blog.

He also points to the company tax rate of 0.005 percent that Ireland grants to the US company Apple. It’s the daily madness that is often ignored in official hymns of praise to the EU.

If satire manages to expose this insanity, it serves its purpose, doesn’t it?

Translated with The original post (in German) is here