Celebrities in a chat interview: EU MP Martin Sonneborn: "I have to rule for 2 hours now... See you later..."

Martin Sonneborn learned the craft of humor at the satirical magazine “Titanic”.

Celebrities in a chat interview: EU MP Martin Sonneborn: "I have to rule for 2 hours now... See you later..."

Martin Sonneborn learned the craft of humor at the satirical magazine “Titanic”. In 2004 he founded "Die PARTEI" together with other "Titanic" editors and took over the chairmanship. On the one hand, “Die PARTEI” parodies the classic politics; on the other hand, it is a regular German small party with now over 50,000 members. In the last European elections, “Die PARTEI” received 2.4 percent of the vote and won two seats in the European Parliament. The star chatted with Sonneborn for two days. The conversation is the start of a new series in which we chat with celebrities in their everyday lives.

Hello, Mr. Sonneborn. How is Europe doing this morning? Yawn, good morning, Mr. Mouse, you're up early... My alarm doesn't go off until 9 a.m. Since the terrible bombings in Brussels - which happened around 9 - I never go to Parliament before 11 for security reasons.

Get to work, representatives of the people! What's next? First, headache tablets (Belgian beer can contain delicious coloring and sugar additives), then a shower, a 30-minute walk to parliament, an annual routine check-up, an hour of coffee with office manager Dustin Hoffmann to plan the week.

I'll go take a shower now and think of a few common trick questions for you. I already have one: “Is this strange EU actually good or bad?” The PARTY slogan “YES to Europe, NO to Europe” summed it up well.

Pretty dialectical for this time of day. The construct is good and makes sense. But we need a change of course, away from the interests of large corporations and towards the interests of citizens. I think, based on what I have seen here (and in Germany), I would advocate drawing citizens into parliament. Like the ancient Greeks. With a ban on secondary employment.*YES to Europe, NO to Europe...

Very briefly: You're not really still in your pajamas at 9:00 am, are you? I'll work later.

Send pic!(Sonneborn sends a selfie)*But this is not for publication...

Let's talk about it again. Just as proof so that you start trusting me.

You can see: You're sleeping in the "PARTY" T-shirt! Yes, that's what I wear in bed...*Pattern*Unique*I'll sell it on eBay afterwards

Chic bathroom. Is this at your home or in a luxury hotel after a binge with lobbyists?Smiley. Since I joked with "Huawei", I've hardly been invited by lobbyists anymore. My home in Brussels.*By the way: Enjoy the water pressure in your shower, in Belgium it is often not very high in older buildings Grrrrr. (You can also look forward to warm water, in the EU Parliament there is only cold water. Legionella has been in the hot water pipes of the most important EU building for over 10 years, so the warm water was simply turned off...

Then I want to check for the Hamburg legionella. A conversation like that is good for waking up.

Let's do this every morning now.Smiley!

So, subway now. Very briefly: When was the last time you felt deep, real, true happiness in the EU Parliament? At Merkel's farewell in Strasbourg... When I stole speaking time from Udo Voigt from the NPD... *In between, this: I have a routine check-up at the medical service Waited exactly 45 seconds in a newly renovated, empty waiting room for the blood sample... Transport (especially in Berlin) and medical care are the real luxury of being a parliamentarian in these times... Now I have to fill out a form about how much I drink and what kind Drugs I take - the "sheet of untruth", as the assistants call it...

We'll probably all have to become parliamentarians at some point in order to be properly cared for and transported to work. With the Bundestag, we have the second largest parliament in the world, after China, but I still wouldn't consider that a viable solution... It's better to have sensible social policy and that De-economize the system...

You suddenly make very pragmatic demands. Aren't you just a political clown? We do politics using satirical means. But we do politics. The von der Leyen speeches are seen millions of times, speeches on values ​​and NATO are also well seen... and our texts on the Pfizer contracts or Fiona Scott Morton are reprinted or published by newspapers... we already have a clear humanistic and social worldview - and a program with a maximum existence (10 million) and the demand for a German atomic bomb.*Smiley.*Not everything is to be taken literally.

Some accuse you of always making fun of the absurdities of parliamentarism and creaky democracy. These people say you are promoting contempt for democracy. Otherwise only right-wing populists would do that. What do you say to them? The major parties do not really criticize the EU course, it is their own. Criticism of the war course of the former peace union, of the borrowing that will cost us an incredible amount of money, of the completely over-extended budget, of the ongoing attempt to introduce total surveillance of citizens, of the 22 percent poor in the EU, which has been the case for 20 years according to Eurostat -Data gives...*On supporting Azerbaijan in the bombing

Let's assume I'm a committed EU citizen who shares your values. But he also wants specific changes in Europe. Does it make sense at all to elect satirical activists like “The Party” instead of a completely classic party that uses all its power to advocate for very realistic concerns? Unfortunately, I have to disappoint you: the classic parties represent your interests not (anymore).*Write more later*

The Greens and the Left probably have similar programs to yours, right? And they have parliamentary strength. The Left has good proposals, drew attention to militarization early on, criticizes anti-social EU policies - but cannot create publicity. (Fortunately, we can do this to a limited extent, thanks to my past life) *The Greens have discarded everything left-wing, social, and connected to the small citizens (if they ever had that). They are cooperating with the conservatives and Ms von der Leyen... There is a lot to criticize - but real criticism is currently only coming from the far left and right. We have a gap in the market: EU criticism from the “extreme center” (The PARTY)*We must not leave the criticism to the radicals from the right...

When was the last time you felt deep sympathy and emotion for the idealistic project of Europe? When we were elected to parliament with 2.4%...*This time we need 1.6 percent, then Sibylle Berg has to go with...*AND I HAVE TO WORK LESS

The writer Sibylle Berg is in second place on her party's list in the European elections. What do you expect from her? I read her column at Spiegel, one of the few you could read...*She's anti-capitalist, humanitarian*cynical, funny - and knows a lot about the EU*Wrote a book about it. *She can take on the role of the pirates... network topics, surveillance*And she can write!

Do you always need celebrities in your party? No, but it's a tradition*From K.I.Z.* to Heinz Strunk, Mark Benecke, Serdar Somuncu to Nico Semsrott*the one Hamburg depressive...

Nico Semsrott was also an MEP for your party. But he left you because he found your handling of racism allegations wrong. Back then you made a joke that used clichés about Chinese people. When you read about Semsrott's departure, you had the impression that you were quite authoritarian as party leader. Hahaha, no.

That's how it sounded. It was Corona, we didn't even talk at the time... If we had just spoken in the hallway, it would have been different... *But it's a generational conflict* Whether the joke was funny or not is something that can be argued *But he wasn't racist...

What's wrong with this young generation? Too hostile to humor, pleasure and alcohol

Semsrott's main criticism was that you didn't want to apologize at the time. I didn't learn that from "Titanic"*These are just rituals in which everyone knows what role they are playing*at least on the internet*Now it's time to do it work, but always check in between...

Do you also believe that “you can’t say anything anymore”? No, I don’t think so. You can say anything - but the consequences are harsher than before. Bad for satire, discussion culture, democracy.

Can you give a brief overview of the situation now and then? What's happening around you right now? "Professor" Gunnar Beck (AfD) just walked past without greeting... Paid almost 10,000 euros to call himself a professor... Now Andreas Schwab, CDU. The last time I saw him he had a champagne glass in his hand and said: "We have to keep the fucking Chinese carts out of Europe!"

Overall, I sense great seriousness in the satirist Sonneborn. You have been an EU parliamentarian for 10 years. How has your attitude towards the EU and your work there changed over the years? Have you become more constructive? Certainly not. My image of the EU is getting worse and worse...*But being constructive is not our style. It's no fun, we can't really do it...*The Groko Haram from the Union and the SPD wants to throw us out of here via a dubious electoral law reform and barrier clause* because of: jokes that are too bad and too much transparency...

What is driving you crazy the most in the EU? At the moment: the war drive. Now we are sending ships to Yemen.

Don't we have to protect the economic routes in the Red Sea from attacks by the Houthi rebels? Economic routes? We protect the ships that fly under Israeli or US flags... others are not attacked by the Houthis. *If Baerbock just said otherwise, she was lying... *There is no UN for the attacks on Yemen -Mandate...

Okay, now we actually have to drill the really big planks before lunch: How far will the pacifism of the "PARTY" get in the Ukraine war? He's playing into Putin's hands. Ukraine has already lost the war, if you believe British or US newspapers. And 100,000 dead Ukrainian soldiers also play into Putin's hands. Only German politicians still believe in a balanced war that can be won. The Germans are always a little slower when you look at it from the outside... We betrayed the Ukrainians because we suggested to them that we would help them win this war...

In February 2023 you signed the “Manifesto for Peace” by Alice Schwarzer and Sahra Wagenknecht. The manifesto calls for stopping arms deliveries and promoting peace negotiations. Putin should be very happy about that. The 100,000 people who have died since then without the front having changed much should see it similarly. Or their families.*Funny time when peace negotiations are considered something immoral*Alexander Kluge says: The 30 Years' War was also ended through peace negotiations. There were negotiations for 5 years - but during that time no one was shot or stabbed to death with a halberd...

Everyone wants peace negotiations. But the question is from which position. If you hand over Ukraine to Putin without a fight, he'll take Moldova next. Why hand over? Negotiations, not surrender...

Four years ago you said that the EU had moved further and further east and restricted Russia's sphere of influence. Sounds like you can understand Putin's narrative about Russia's legitimate self-defense. NATO probably, the EU was still a "peace union" back then...*Let's put it this way: if we want a solution to the conflict, we have to think outside the box ... But as long as Tüpen (spelling intended) like Strack-Rheinmetall and Carlo Massaka shape opinions...

Ok, very briefly, your peace plan for Ukraine, please. Freeze everything.*The West is welcome to join the EU if it really meets the requirements. We have a new iron curtain and in about 55 years things will calm down again. And: we are again purchasing cheap gas from Russia instead of the most environmentally harmful LNG from the USA. Economic miracle and all that shit all over again...

And now please quickly resolve the Middle East conflict, then lunch. Ceasefire, peace. The killing must stop. But it's not my core area, I have enough to do in the EU itself... My foreign representative Sepp Borrell is calling for a two-state solution...*I trust him for once... Smiley*I have to govern for 2 hours now... See you later... And: bon appetit

Thanks! Good luck in ruling! Thank you.

What was it like to govern? Have you been able to make Europe a more beautiful place in the last few hours? Wait, you're having breakfast, a bit spartan as usual: fresh baguette, a supermarket pack of Belgian cheese, coffee... Write straight away* Fresh orange juice from the juice machine that is available in many markets .

God, sounds like camping. Don't you have a canteen supply of fresh oysters and Belgian waffles? The canteen is okay, but I usually have breakfast in the café and read the newspaper.

Bon appetite! I'm about to be in a kind of parliament ("thematic conference"), but I'll continue chatting secretly under the table.Smiley.*I just gave my farewell speech for Dr. Patrick Breyer prepared, the pirate, who unfortunately will not run again.*Idealist, fighter for civil rights par excellence, but unfortunately without much public impact. Or have you heard that the EU wants to monitor its citizens in real time in the future, with facial recognition etc? Worse than China...

No, I didn't know. Many in Parliament will probably see you as a pain in the ass. It is even said that most MEPs are afraid of you. Are you enjoying this? No, that would be nonsense. I don't notice anything about it either. Even Monika Straußtochter Hohlmeier greets me warmly - even if I once messed up a law for her (which also dealt with mass surveillance, namely by messengers - I hope you realize that everything we say here is collected and searched for anything usable will...)*Rainer Wieland wished me a Happy New Year last week in Strasbourg. We paid a little attention to the fact that he had his office renovated for 630,000 euros...

But Ursula von der Leyen looked pretty venomous after her “speech on the state of the EU.” Yes, she understood that I don’t work FOR her.*But look how many high-ranking commissioners have left her ... A pile of rubble, this commission.

You took Ursula von der Leyen seriously. They called you "incompetent", "a bit of a criminal" and "impressively morally lacking". Why do you actually think she is such a bad President of the Commission? Many diplomats and officials criticize her - behind closed doors. This has never happened before*She assumes things for which she has no responsibility - and then does nonsense. I believe that it is actually their office manager, Seibert, who makes the policy. You'll have to look for a long time to find your own thought when it comes to vonderLeyen. Seibert has even less democratic legitimacy than she does - and speaks on the phone a few times a week with Sullivan, Biden's office manager...*Then the worst contracts that experts believe the EU has ever concluded come out: Pfizer. 35 billion, most of it wasted...*In addition: Positioning in Israel. Not authorised. She's not allowed to do that. Just like negotiating contracts (via SMS) and not disclosing them, regardless of whether there are criminal charges or calls from the European Civil Rights Commissioner.

Just for a moment, between us silly surveillance victims: Do you think the EU is just an evil capitalist association designed to maximize profits? Or do you also think the merger of 23 countries is positive in some way? Do you still believe in the idea of ​​European values? The idea: Sure! When it comes to implementation: less and less. After 5 years, my conclusion was: The construct works, it's just staffed with the wrong people... But that was under Chulz and Juncker - who I now want back. They still had an idea, a vision of (a peaceful) Europe...*Today I believe that we would need a long time to recover from the von derLeyen period... We would need a more critical press that not only EU communications printed...

Victor Hugo once planted a tree for Europe in his garden on the Channel Island of Guernsey. Despite everything, would you describe yourself as a convinced European? Yes, immediately.*There is no sensible alternative...*I would plant a forest...*We can only write and joke against the development... But when journalists contact almost everyone says that they know almost everything they know about the EU from my first Brussels book...

You have been a parliamentarian for 10 years. MR. SONNE!!!000???BORN: How greedy for power are you?111000???Oh, if only I had more power... But here are MPs who give their votes for multinational corporations, for their party careers, for their vanity... *A Greek colleague who I asked how many idealists are in the EU Parliament replied: 5%*A huge disappointment, I had guessed 10%

You work in a huge bureaucratic structure. What makes you feel like you can actually make a difference there? The reactions of the people who talk to me on the street (in Germany) or at readings. And the reactions online… Read the comments on YouTube. I've already posted 10,000-character texts - and they've been read by thousands of people. There is a strong interest in honest, unfiltered information…

Sometimes you also get a lot of applause from swearers and opponents of vaccination. I prefer to accept applause than criticism - if the sender is clearly not showered, crazy or right-wing radical or FDP member.

Have to call it a day for today. I'll get in touch tomorrow, okay? (A night goes by without an answer.)

Hello Mr. Sonneborn! It's a little later today. I thought I'd wait for your morning shower. Was the water pressure okay this morning? Legionella all present? (No answer.)

Mr. Sonneborn!? But please don't ghost now! Hello?! It's all ok? Is someone holding you? I'll get you out of there! I'm sending the A-Team! Good morning, Mr. Mouse! Sorry, I didn't answer again yesterday because after two long interviews - in the school newspaper and the "Welt" - I moved my office from the MEP bar to the Beer Factory. We discussed the US elections and were kicked out at midnight...*I'll check the water pressure right away, please send the A-Team to Berlin...

You have quite a demanding lifestyle, don't you? Is such a politician's life structurally unhealthy? That's what I mean...

What should the A-Team in Berlin best take care of? Baerbock, Scholz, Habeck, Lindner...

Speaking of jobs for the A-Team: The “party” always had sexism problems. Do you have it under control now? Did we? I think no more than in other parties or other sections of our society...*What does it look like at "stern"?

In 2020 there were complaints that “party” comrades were said to have sexually harassed members. They are everywhere. We spent a four or five-figure sum to train members and build structures in the regional associations - more than the SPD or CDU did...

Only the AfD has more male members than “The Party”. How does that happen? We are a subsidiary of the satirical magazine “Titanic”. During my time there were around 20 or 25 percent female readers. You have to have a somewhat oblique view of the world in order to appreciate our kind of social criticism... But in terms of percentages, we are in a good environment: aren't the CSU*FDP too? There were 2 parties with around 23% female members*Last time I checked

Women can also have a slanted view of the world. Can't it just be that the party has a primarily male view of the world? Yes, it's a tradition in satire... But it's gradually changing. I’m looking forward to Sibylle Berg’s satirical perspective…

Thesis: “The Party” skewers classic satirical topics such as corruption, lack of transparency and arms deals. For you, feminism and gender issues are zeitgeist stuff. Is the theory correct? I would put it more politely, but yes. The main contradiction is the crazy distribution of wealth in Germany and the EU. I care about it first and foremost. But I think there are also enough people fighting for the other problems...

So would you agree with Sarah Wagenknecht that the left is wasting its energy these days on the luxury problems of urban lifestyle liberals? A (too) large part of the left: Yes. I am pleased about the founding of a left-wing protest party - and De Masi's entry into the EU Parliament...

Doesn't it bother you that these people are fishing in AfD waters? There is a legitimate protest against the dubious politics of the traffic lights (and social conditions etc) - why should you leave that to the right? So that their poll numbers continue to rise?

If you adopt the arguments of the right, as Wagenknecht does in migration policy, you strengthen these tendencies in society. Yes. But she is in good company: traffic lights, CDU, AfD, EU...

Finally, a few soft questions: What does it actually feel like when you meet Ursula von der Leyen in person? During my speeches on the "State of the Union" she looks intently at her notes on the table in front of her. But she sits 3 meters away from me and really needs to listen to my criticism. That's actually my main fun in the EU...*I met her once at the elevator*It's been a while.*I'm standing downstairs, on the ground floor, waiting for the elevator, it PLING, the door opens, Von der Leyen

Is she your favorite enemy? Or is that someone else?Elmar Brocken was a different caliber... Juncker and Chulz were infinitely more confident... But if you look at their work, she is actually the biggest threat to the EU's democratic values... Unfortunately, I can't find the picture of her Giorgia Meloni (Italian fascist) hearts…

Which of your views about the EU have completely changed since you became an EU Parliamentarian? I thought the Parliament would have more influence. Ultimately, the Council, these are the assholes in Europe, dictates the 27 country heads, all of whom think nationalistically, not Europeanly. The Council simply ignores the few good things that have been laboriously won for the citizens in the EP and does not put them to the vote. Or arbitrarily changes the (oral) agreements from the trilogue...*And I thought the EU was there for the citizens.*Not for multinational corporations.*That's how you can be wrong. Will write more later, have to tweet something…

What's next today? I just sat at an information desk for 30 minutes and explained to people where they had to go when they asked... I'm about to give a lecture, a dozen law students... But the students at the University of Düsseldorf are late, their bus lost an hour in one Border control. I just registered to secure my daily allowance. A burly Polish cowboy guy pushed past me in the elevator. If they look unpleasant, I always google them. Dominik Tarczynski, PISS party. Was once a lay assistant to a British exorcist... Smiley*Unfortunately, I didn't research the Italian who sat in my usual seat in the plenary hall and was on the phone during the votes before I shouted at him. Angelo Ciocca. He apologized too politely several times - and I'm as good as dead now.

He is said to have been involved with the 'Ndrangheta. Yep. *His predecessor had an unexplained accidental death, he had greeted Merkel with the German greeting... It's quite entertaining here.

Her father was a career counselor. What does he say about your current job? Good choice?Ever since I got my first paycheck from TITANIC, he was happy. I also almost made him Federal President once. He got 10 votes against Steinmeier, something he is still proud of today...

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