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How a dildo spat is shaking up east German politics

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How a dildo spat is shaking up east German politics
Photo: DPA.
17:22 CET+01:00
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Saxony has picked a fight with a more mainstream party politician. But it's not about immigration or foreign policy - it's about sex toys.

Each year the Free State of Saxony holds a competition called futureSAX for startups and fledgling businesses with innovative ideas . The winners then receive money to go towards developing their novel products.

This year a silent vibrator won third place with a €5,000 prize.The noise-less sex toy hopes to be a boon for those particularly annoyed by normal ones, including an elderly woman in Cologne who earlier this year got into a row involving police about a "farting, kissing" vibrator she purchased.
 
But not everyone was so impressed with the invention. 
 
The far-right AfD's vice chair in Saxony, Thomas Hartung, wrote in a statement on November 7th that the rewarding the vibrator by company Laviu was “a pathetic display”. He went on to foist blame onto state economy minister Martin Dulig, whose ministry oversees the contest.
 
He also gave Dulig the quaint nickname of “Dildo-Dulig”.
 
“Whoever considers the development of a silent vibrator to be innovative and gives it third place in the ‘futureSAX' competition must ask themselves about their own understanding of technology,” Hartung wrote.
 
“Saxony used to be proud of inventions... like the mechanical loom or Germany's first functionally-built steam locomotive, but now it's supposed to be proud of sex toys,” he added, also bragging about Saxony's apparent invention of a drum washing machine, which some may in fact use as an alternative to the invention he condemned.
 
Hartung criticized Dulig's Social Democratic Party (SPD) for trying to pose as a “family party”.
 
“The promotion of sex toys is quite the opposite of this,” he said, insinuating that those who use vibrators for self pleasure then don't have sex and procreate.
 
The name “Dildo-Dulig” has stuck among Saxon AfD members, with Hartung's economic affairs colleague Mario Beger using it last week while claiming Dulig had not done enough to expand broadband internet in the state.
 
“Next to last place in Germany: ‘Dildo-Dulig' is letting Saxony's broadband expansion fall by the wayside,” Beger said in a statement. Beger was citing a ranking that showed Saxony has the second-worst Internet speed nationwide.
 
“If he is ever active in his ministerial role, he's distributing awards to dildo-makers,” Beger said of Dulig.
 
“If he no longer feels like [expanding broadband] - or even cannot - he still has the option to apply to be the new Sexual Minister of Saxony.”

Dulig himself has not personally given a statement about his new pet name, though a spokesman did make it clear to broadcaster Sachsen Fernsehen how the minister felt.

“The AfD expects, though not seriously, that Minister Dulig will jump on and react to this painfully cheap little notion from the 1950s,” the spokesman said.
 
“If dildos are a scandal for the AfD in the year 2016, and they want to disparage an innovative company, that is their issue and says something more about the party.”

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