Erfurt (dpa) – Floating around on the smartphone at the prime minister’s conference and belittling the Chancellor as “Merkelchen”: Just a few days after the hype about the clubhouse chat app started in Germany, the first top politician already had trouble chatting.
And criticism of Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow after his casual appearance on the app has not abated – today it was also noisy in Ramelow’s own cabinet. The left-wing politician has apologized in various ways for his statements on Saturday evening. The communicative faux pas could also haunt him into the new week.
The FDP’s deputy group leader Michael Theurer raised the issue of some politicians’ “self-control” when it comes to the Clubhouse app on Monday. “Just as Robert Habeck once removed Twitter for lacking the discipline for this app, similar questions arise when Philipp Amthor (CDU) or Bodo Ramelow serenades at night,” said the Bundestag member of the German news agency.
But what had actually happened? Ramelow is seen as someone who has an affinity with new media and likes to use their different channels for his communication. The latest hit at the moment: the Clubhouse audio app. The US social media app allows users to participate in panel discussions. According to the app, Ramelow has been registered since January 21, on Saturday night, as he told the dpa, he participated in the “Trash and Features” panel – and chatted from the much-quoted sewing box.
The left-wing politician said he would like to dedicate himself to the online game Candy Crush during the prime minister’s talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) about the corona crisis. As the “Welt am Sonntag” reported, Ramelow said he could save up to ten levels. “Some of them play Sudoku, others play chess or Scrabble on their cell phones, and I play Candy Crush,” Ramelow said at the dpa on Sunday. In addition, he is said to have sung during his performance and called the Chancellor “Merkelchen”. The latter was taken out of context, said the left-wing politician of the Dpa.
The conversation was followed by a number of pointed media reports, political criticism, especially from Thuringia, and the accusation that the prime minister has not acted responsibly during the most important consultations in the fight against the corona pandemic. One of the critics: the Minister of the Interior of Thuringia. “If it turns out that Bodo Ramelow is playing mobile phone games during the prime minister’s conference, then he should monitor his behavior,” Georg Maier (SPD) told the editorial network Germany (RND / Monday). “The situation is too serious for that.” Ramelow, meanwhile, tried attacking and with numerous apologies to keep the damage as small as possible.
“From now on, when I turn on this format, I notice that in the back of my mind I have the learning curve of the day before yesterday and yesterday,” said the left-wing politician on Sunday when he reappeared at Clubhouse. The analysis of a media service that the enemy is always listening to is now internalized with respect to the app. He explicitly apologized for the phrase “Merkelchen”: “A smart woman just finally explained to me the actual faux pas of my clubhouse chat on @clubhouse_de and it convinced me,” Ramelow tweeted Sunday night. “To belittle the name of the Chancellor was an act of male ignorance. I sincerely apologize for that. “
The fact that he sometimes plays Candy Crush during federal / state talks, on the other hand, is no excitement, nor a secret. If you know that a prime minister’s conference currently lasts about ten hours and includes a lot of free time, “then I’m happy to admit that one person is playing Sudoku, the other is knitting or crocheting or whatever – and I’m just playing Candy Crush. . “
Thuringia CDU boss Christian Hirte finds this disrespectful and irresponsible. “Either it is an expression of arrogance of power or fatigue,” Hirte wrote on Twitter on Sunday. The fight against the corona pandemic is about life and death, but also about the livelihood and future of a generation of students. “Anyone who understands his office as prime minister in this way is losing the trust of the citizens,” Hirte wrote. The Thuringian FDP faction described Ramelow’s actions during the corona pandemic as chaotic, AfD Bundestag member Stephan Brandner called Ramelow “shameful for Thuringia”.
From the point of view of FDP politician Theurer, Ramelow’s revelations give an idea of ”how things are going with the level of discussion in the escalating premium groups.” “The fact that this round has de facto shifted much of the legislative functions in Germany from the Bundestag and Landtag to the backroom is completely unacceptable. The decisions and the discussion about them must go back to parliaments, ”said Theurer of the dpa – repeating a demand that the liberals made time and time again.