‘Code of Conduct’ Bans Jokes, Irony, Sarcasm About Migrants, Gays, Lesbians in Austria

Code of Conduct
Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Carnival crews in Austria have been banned from making light of the European migrant crisis in a code of conduct which prohibits “hurtful attacks on defenceless people”.

Pre-Lent carnivals, ancient traditions that feature in many central European civilisations have a long and proud history of poking fun at politics, politicians and hot social topics. Yet this year the Austrian Carnival Guild has issued a code of conduct which proscribed jokes, “mockery and malice”, and sarcasm directed at certain protected minorities.

COLOGNE, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 20: A carnival float showing german chancellor Angela Merkel accompanies in the Rose Monday parade on February 20, 2012 in Cologne, Germany. Rose Monday is the highpoint of the Carnival season, which traditionally runs from Epiphany until Ash Wednesday, and is celebrated in cities throughout the Rhine region of western Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images)

Carnival floats in European countries like Switzerland, Germany, and Austria traditionally mock political and social figures / Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

Despite the long standing convention of shows and traditionally grotesque or absurd costumes poking fun, the new rules announced earlier this week said gays and lesbians should be strictly protected from being the target of such barbs, reports Oberösterreichische Nachrichten. Just days later, immigrants were added to the list of protected minorities considered above humour, reported the Kurier.

A statement by the Federal Carnival Guild said this week: “Hurtful attacks on defenceless people, derision of majorities over minorities, biting mockery and malice, irony and sarcasm [are misplaced]… Laughing at others’ expense always leaves a bitter after-taste”.

The chairman of the council added to the statement, saying that people celebrating should be aware of their actions and words, and that to joke about others was to “demonise” them.

It may be the case that traditional Carnival characters, fleshed out to make mockery of the political Zeitgeist of the day including a political figure, a citizen, a fool, and a virgin presented too rich an opportunity for budding satirists in the light of migrant sex attacks in recent weeks.

English-language news source TheLocal reports the change has brought Austria’s carnival in line with those in Germany and Switzerland, yet a source within the Cologne carnival community — the largest of its kind in Europe — told Breitbart London this was not the case.

The carnival season is a time where even Europe’s most politically correct nation could trade jokes at the expense of elites and other out of reach targets, he said.

Europe’s carnivals, which blend Christian with ancient Pagan folklore to express an annual expression of tomfoolery before the start of Lenten austerity are looking to be the next victim of multiculturalism. Following the Cologne migrant rape attacks at New Year’s Eve, a number of carnivals have been cancelled in Germany, with local authorities refusing to take responsibility for the safety of their own citizens.

Cologne carnival itself was under threat this week as police sought a man seen buying bomb making chemicals at a local hardware store. Security sources suggested if the man was not caught, Carnival itself could be cancelled due to the security threat.

He later handed himself over to police, claiming the large amounts of chemicals he had bought were to restore his motorcycle. Criminal investigation officers are assessing the likelihood of his claim.

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