What, there you go, is going on? There he, Markus Söder, is sitting in a small screen window, on a corner bench, in front of a wood-paneled wall. Corner bench, wood, Prime Minister, otherwise? Nothing. No Star Wars mug on the table like at the CSU party convention, no framed photo of his baby dog on the wall like at Political Ash Wednesday.
Olaf Scholz (SPD), the Federal Minister of Finance, who is also involved in this very special politician derblecken on the Nockherberg, in the pandemic-compliant “Nockherberg digital”, as Maxi Schafroth says at the beginning of his fasting sermon, actually takes on the subtle slap on Friday evening. So the Scholz window pops open, the minister is sitting behind a snack board, in front of which he has placed a little blue man. N / A? Right, a smurf.
Logical, an allusion to the quote from Söder from the most recent federal-state conference. Söder claims to have recognized a “smurfy” grin at Scholz. Everyone can see this grin for themselves. Because he, Scholz, has to grin, that’s part of the principle behind Derblecken on the Nockherberg. Nobody should notice when it hurts. And what must say? Scholz does well, even when the choir sings him a song about his role in the Wirecard case. He even rocks his head back and forth. “I understood everything,” he says afterwards.
And what did he take with him? “That I have to be careful when I’m just before the finish line that nobody cheats on the track,” says Scholz, “you have to push him down”. With “the” Scholz means Söder, of course, about whom Schafroth had warned him during the race for chancellorship. Thanks to Scholz’s presence, the socis at least somehow appear in the fasting sermon. The Landtag SPD, on the other hand, is practically not mentioned at all. And that is known to be the maximum penalty on the Nockherberg.
This year, too, politicians are exposed to the risk of being caught if laughter freezes. You are not actually sitting in the ballroom, but you are looking out of huge flat screens that have been placed on the tables in the hall. Söder masters facial expressions, he has meanwhile some Nockherberg experience.
He even laughs when fasting preacher Schafroth jokes about how Söder dismissed his health minister Melanie Huml (CSU) at the beginning of the year. About the fact that “dear Meli” offered her resignation twice, “but Markus said, Melanie, that is a bad idea because it is not mine. I’ll throw you out, then it will turn into a shoe.” If you then see Huml smiling bravely on the audience screen, it even hurts a little while watching.
What the viewer still notices when watching the watching politicians: That the politicians at the digital Nockherberg apparently do not feel any differently than all those who are currently sitting for hours in the home office in video conferences: Now and then you feel unobserved when you are completely crouching alone in front of this small, inconspicuous camera lens. Economy Minister Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters), for example, has to be admonished by Schafroth because he is playing on his smartphone during the sermon. “Just put it away,” says Schafroth. And once it also looks like Söder is secretly typing on his cell phone.
Anyway, Aiwanger. He not only likes to behave anarchistically within the black-orange coalition, but also on this Friday evening when it comes to derbelying. In any case, he’s the one who tries the least to keep the smile on his face all the time. Sometimes it seems to take a while for the punch lines to reach him at the Ministry of Economics, from where Aiwanger is following the sermon on Lent. But that is certainly not due to Aiwanger’s line, but to the long line from the ballroom to the broadcast van of the Bavarian broadcasting company. That preacher Schafroth called him the Lower Bavarian Dionysus, a direct hit? No, says Aiwanger, “maybe not a direct hit”. But “let’s leave it like that,” says Hubert Aiwanger.
The prime minister’s conclusion? “Great, also the way”, says Söder, “the idea with the screens”. He diligently distributes compliments after the sermon, and you can see that this is easy for him, he has had to put up with more in earlier years. There were “some direct hits”, “really great”. Armin Laschet, his CDU competitor for the Union’s candidacy for chancellor, seems to have a harder time with compliments.
“Markus’s suit is too big for you,” said Preacher Schafroth, among other things. “Cabaret at the highest level,” says Laschet nonetheless. But this sentence sounds a bit sneaky: “You can like Bavaria, but you can also like other regions in Germany.” And Ilse Aigner (CSU)? Says actually that a woman could move into the State Chancellery. A hint? She prefers to correct it before there is trouble. Söder, she says, is of course irreplaceable.