Dear Richard, our SPD did it again! The Employer's Association in Germany made the suggestion that the work time rules are too strict and that these should be eased. And our Secretary of Labour (Andrea Nahles) now pointed out that she is willing to change the laws just as the employers want it. Working of more than 10 hours a day, cutting of resting time between two working days a.s.o. In the Gerhard Schroeder chancellorship the SPD made the HARTZ IV rules, which forced unemployed people to take every work that was offered no matter how low the payment is. This was the reason that the SPD went down from 35 % of the votes to 22 %. The leaders of this party are not willing to back of of this policy. Sigmar Gabriel will never become chancellor this way. Unfortunately the LINKE is not able to make profit of the SPD downturn, because the Germans still think of them as a GDR-related party.
Your point makes good sense. The SPD was captured long ago by neoliberal ideology, the notion that capitalism was permanent and could, at best, only be reformed, not superseded. Making the LInke taboo as connected to the GDR will only do its political job until the decline in the conditions of the mass of workers makes them unwilling any longer to be controlled by that taboo. Here in US workers long tending toward Democratic Party were so angry at their long-term economic decline that they held their noses and voted instead for Trump as a hope for change that the democratic Party had betrayed. The lesson for Germany is clear.