Monday, April 27, 2009

British in need of reality check

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The other day I went to a debate in a big Spanish bank about the EU and the “crisis”, which was held under the “Chatham House” rule so I can use the information, but I can’t reveal the names of the participants. I’ll just say that the star speaker was a very prominent British journalist, specializing in EU affairs. His greatest complaint was that the Germans no longer just signed the checks and silently nodded agreement to everything that the USA, Britain and France requested and that they had a strategic understanding with Russia due to energy.

Listening to him talk, I got the feeling that his reality was much more British weighted than reality itself is.

Germany is the most important country in Europe both economically and demographically and as the journalist pointed out they are no longer docilely following the traditional, "Russia out, America in and Germany down" script. And as the journalist also mentioned, if there is any bailing out to be done in countries like Greece or points east, it will be the Germans who do the bailing. It seems to me that this adds up to a very German slant to things in the near future. Who else is there, when you really come down to it?

Britain? France?

As the journalist also pointed out, the euro-skeptic Tories who detest the EU are set to win the next UK election and if we add to this that the British economy is now like some cratered giant Iceland and its financial industry disgraced (manufacturing left ages ago)... then except for Tommy Atkins, what else has Britain got left to sell, lease or rent?

As for the French, Sarkozy has tardo-Bush popularity levels and his enthusiasm for NATO and Afghanistan are not shared by the French people in any poll I've seen.

Except for the British government and Sarkozy does anybody anywhere in Europe in their right mind really want to see the Germans getting militarized ever again?

Since Af-Pak is going down the drain, at this very moment, the German reluctance to get any deeper involved in the coming debacle makes quite a bit of sense.

I would argue that the official German position fits EU public opinion better than either Britain's or France's.

So to sum up, the Germans are paying the piper and they are no longer reluctant to call the tunes. That for better or worse is the EU of today and tomorrow and the crisis is going to enhance that. They have the money, the population and their policies are more in tune with European public opinion... What could be more obvious? DS


bailey alexander said...

The days when Maggie could cross the channel and bang her tacky handbag against the table and demand the English should get something for nothing are done, finito, basta cosi.

Germany has and will continue to be the economic engine of Europe and the Eurozone, including the UK.

The UK is worse than Spain, isn't it David?

I've spent a lot of time there and the mass exodus out of the UK is far from over and why not, one couldn't quite trust the english and their banking way because they change the goldposts whenever it suits them. For heaven's sake they used illegal terrorist laws to extort their money back from Iceland.

Like the Americans, they are insular in their thinking, and self-serving, very.

I lived in London in '82...funny how those concentric circles come back to haunt.

I suppose there's a reason why English writers turn the famous german phras around when describing themselves....freudeschaden....

David Seaton's Newslinks said...

The English are very subtle people, very, oriental, very difficult to read. I lived there for three years, I had some good friends, but despite the common language, which I love, I never found them as normal or human as the Spanish.

bailey alexander said...

I meant economically as I know so little of Spain, on any level.

But your points are so interesting. Yes, they can be inscrutable, although I feel like I know them so well; from the reformed labour kind, to the toff...but you're right, they are repressed, less human than those Mediterranean types...

oriental, hmmm, what a lovely way to put it...