Schill and Al Queda?24 Apr 2003
In a new comment to an old post on water cannons (used by Hamburg policeon schoolchildren), narciso asks about Interior Senator Schill:
Isn't that where Atta's Al Queda cell was. Isn't the discovery of said cell, a key to Schill's victory. Doesn't that have something to do with it.
Yes, Atta's cell was in Hamburg (his old apartment finally has a new tenant, I read a few weeks ago), but that fact was not a factor for Schill. The Hamburg election in 2001 was held just days after 9/11, but the issue of crime had been a thorn in the the side of the SPD mayors Vorscherau and Runde for years. Schill attracted a lot a media attention as a criminal judge (sentencing vandals to jail time) and critic of both the SPD and his fellow judges. Not surprisingly, he was 'demoted' to civil court and switched to politics, starting his own party.
Schill made wild promises about hiring 1000 new police officers and cutting crime by 1/2 within 100 days of taking office. That hasn't happened, of course, but crime is down (according to Schill's statistics), and he's done some media stunts like proposing blue police uniforms and cars instead of the traditional green. Just today, he was in the paper twice... once for blocking a state contract with the local church (he doesn't like the bishop, and says 'no Hamburger should kneel before the church'), and again for raising the speed limit on certain autobahn stretches. After winning over 19% in the last election, polls these days put his party at around 8%. He does know how to stay in the news, though.