Angela Merkel

Modern Germany,benign force for good or menace?

Angela Merkel sacrifices the EU to save the refugees, but will she be rewarded?

A knockout blow for the EU?A knockout blow for the EU?

Following the death of Günther Schabowski we were reminded that the Berlin Wall was brought down by accident. When reporting his death much of the press called him 'the blunderer', and 'former communist'. The Berlin Wall was started in 1961 and was by virtue of that mistake by Schabowski made redundant in 1989, that's 28 years. And then some 26 years later another German blunderer and also a former communist, Angela Merkel, makes a mistake on immigration policy and walls, of sorts, start to be built again by some EU countries. Beyond the notion of human frailty, stupidity and the like we don't really know why Schabowski made his mistake. Perhaps with Merkel it's different, but then perhaps not? She's not beyond frailty and stupidity herself; but it has been suggested she had her eye on what, following the example of Tony Blair, we might call her legacy. Perhaps the Nobel Peace prize beckons, time will tell? But for the moment she must make do with some minor reward from Time magazine, with gushing prose normally used to describe Hollywood stars they named her person of the year.

In some ways Blair and Merkel are two of a kind.

Fools rush in

Many glum faces?

No1 glum!No1 glum!
As they say 'fools rush in' but following the 'success' of François Hollande there's a great deal to ponder. Yes it's true there's no real winner yet so to award him the French Presidency now would be wrong but there's no harm in seeing what we have got so far and taking it further. All countries, not least France, have their political traditions and the serving President seeking re-election is, if they are to win, generally doing better than Nicolas Sarkozy is now. There is also the performance of Marine Le Pen. Pretending that her political platform only appeals to a few nutters is not going to work any more. So it's interesting to see the Guardian facing up to this -

A key victory of the night was for the Front National's Le Pen, who came third with around 18% of the vote, beating her father Jean-Marie's record success in 2002, and placing herself firmly at the heart of right-wing politics in France. She said "the battle of France has just begun" and "nothing will be the same again".

Nick Clegg, the curtain falls?

The Deputy PM is not a distraction, he is pathetic

fagged out Clegg and the TEA party!fagged out Clegg and the TEA party!
When in 1981 Greece joined the EU perhaps there was a whoop of joy from the office of the then MEP Jacques Delors, 'another one in the bag'. A long time ago getting countries to join in this grand plan was akin to a child collecting Dinky toys, the more the merrier. It was the same when later on the single currency was created; problems? Oh never mind! We will sort those out later. It was always principle first practicalities later.

The euphoria, a good word to describe the creation of anything related to the EU, was apparent. So a long list of weak and dodgy countries some unable to meet important criteria, others unwilling and some both, made up the numbers. Only recently did Delors say what he thought about it all. But not a peep from him or any of the other euphoric people, the motley crew who without question support the EU, at the time all this was happening. Did they know and keep quiet or did they not understand? This is important. For the study of history, you would have thought, is only worthwhile if you can learn from it so as not to repeat mistakes.

Which brings us bang up to date. What mistakes have been made in the last few days by the EU leaders?

Comedy, politics and St Paul's

Would Jesus have approved of the Greek bail-out?

Two ClericsTwo Clerics
They thought it was all over. The photographs from the EU summit on the euro crisis told it all. Puffy eyed and puffed up at their 'success' the EU elite posed for the camera. However, as expected, Nicholas Sarkozy got the best shot with his theatrical snub of David Cameron who, if he had any sense at all, must now wonder at the merit of sharing aircraft carriers with the French. The EU leaders enjoyed it, they may even have thought this moment would last forever. But no, for the EU elite has only touched the symptoms, the cure for the ills of the single currency are beyond their grasp and understanding. That is done by splitting up the eurozone, this they cannot contemplate for they are no more than Witch Doctors.

By contrast, for another group of stupid people it's already over but they have failed to spot this. The people involved with the protest camp at St Paul's Cathedral, both sides that is, seem unaware this sort of thing is now so dated that even the resignation of two of the clerical staff won't warm it it up to a palatable level. As the EU folk get more publicity than is good for them we will start with the Cathedral people.

Pigs, troughs, bankers and other related stories.

The financial crisis and the EU, will it ever, 'go away'?

The future of the euro?The future of the euro?
Well the Greek financial crisis is back in the news again. Mind you there's been some stiff competition of late, the royal wedding and the death of Bin Laden for example. But what we read about Greece is different, less dramatic, stale even, as it's about a year since the Greek bailout was announced. Also the root of the problem goes back such a long way it seems boring. It's not only Greece too, since their problems became newsworthy Ireland and Portugal have taken a turn. All the way through this saga there have been suggestions that the euro was, as a grand project, ill conceived and has been poorly managed since its introduction. The past behaviour of euro-stalwart Angela Merkel, taken as an example, shows that nerves are frayed. In real business, as opposed to the make-believe of the EU, there's a point when a failing venture is closed down. It goes into bankruptcy to avoid 'pouring good money after bad'. The point to remember with the EU is those doing the pouring are using other people's money. It's not for them to face up to reality.

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