Originally Posted by Tangfastic
I was going to pull you up on saying we shit the bed here in England, then I realised I had misread it.
When I was in school (mid 90s) we had some German kids over on an exchange trip and took them out to a laserquest centre. They were genuinely shocked that we thought it was fun running around shooting at each other, they had been brainwashed against everything martial and nationalistic. They still had to do national service, though most seemed to choose a civilian service rather than military.
Everyone who thinks Germany, and Germans, are a bunch of liberal pansies should try reading Das Spiegel: the country most definitely is not the airy-fairy hotbed of liberalism that you're all making it out to be.
German populist parties don't tend to do all that well, but even those who are supposedly 'social-democrats' err on the side of what could be construed as the right wing; thus we have Merkel stating that multiculturalism has failed, and even more than that, that it has been an unmitigated disaster; we have Ulfkotte, a popular journalist who daily bashes Islam, whilst Sarrazin, former executive of the Bundesbank, publishes one of the most popular books of 2010, which basically consisted of an unprecedented attack on Muslim immigrants in Germany, and in particular Turkish migrants (even going so far as to attack them for an intrinsic inferiority in their intelligence) - and this guy used to be a member of the SPD...