A Smug Merkel Avoids Controversy in Bid for Reelection – SPIEGEL ONLINE

This is an excellent, quite lengthy but MUST READ article on Angela Merkel in Spiegel. Check it out!

A Smug Merkel Avoids Controversy in Bid for Reelection – SPIEGEL ONLINE.rather than issues.

As I read the lengthy article, my mind wandered, picking up some of the threads in the article.

Initially, I suppose that I was angered that German voters were not challenging important political issues but soon realized that the German election was about personalities. It seems that German voters see Angela Merkel as a safe pair of hands, so are happy not to ask awkward questions.  It worries me that Angela Merkel is able to avoid debating  real issues in Germany.

Interestingly, the article painted a very different international Merkel to domestic Merkel. In the international arena, Merkel is a formidable leader. There is an interesting story about a meeting with Vladimir Putin in Russia, where Putin was forced to back down. Perhaps, David Cameron and Barack Obama could learn from Angela Merkel a few tips about dealing with Vladimir Putin.

Personally, I identified with Angela Merkel’s view on the European Commission that it has too much power which should be reduced and returned to national states. Surely, this is a big issue? Well it seems that EU power is not an election issue; it’s tucked away for after the election.

Most importantly, I compared Angela Merkel to David Cameron. In Germany voters trust Angela Merkel so much that they do not question about policies and issues. In the UK, of course, typically I sense that voters do not trust David Cameron’s leadership. In the UK they see a privileged, somewhat arrogant leader who is able to jump from crisis to crisis, regularly changing or reversing policies. Most importantly, Angela Merkel is a consensus leader, whereas David Cameron is more about “OK chaps tally ho!”

Let me turn this to an open question:

English: THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY, BERLIN. Presiden...

English: THE RUSSIAN EMBASSY, BERLIN. President Putin with Angela Merkel, leader of the Christian Democratic Union. Русский: БЕРЛИН, ПОСОЛЬСТВО РОССИИ. С председателем Христианско-демократического союза Ангелой Меркель. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What lessons should European political leaders, especially those in the UK, learn from Angela Merkel?

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3 responses

  1. Pingback: Commentary: Putin Sees Syria as Fight Against Islamist Extremism – SPIEGEL ONLINE « Dr Alf's Blog

  2. Pingback: What European political leaders, especially in UK, should learn from Angela Merkel – John Gelmini « Dr Alf's Blog

  3. Dr Alf asks what the European leaders, especially those in the UK should learn from Angela Merkel?
    It is a good question but is raises others.

    To begin with, the European leaders, including David Cameron, are mostly not her intellectual equal, have gadfly minds and are simply not up to the job.

    The leaders in Northern Europe are more up to speed but lack her political cunning which is to use her “Hausfrau” image to dull opponents into a false sense of security whilst reassuring her constituency at home.

    Merkel as a former nuclear physicist is not a PR person or a gadfly, but rather a person focused wholly on the task in hand even though on the surface it might not seem that way. She is concerned with the practicalities of Germany earning a living, exporting, keeping people prosperous and employed and through economic soft power winning hearts and minds in countries whose power is growing like China.

    Our UK leaders are obsessed with trivia, living in the past, pretending to solve problems, pretending that things are better than they are, soundbites on television, spin, smoke and mirrors, grandstanding on the world stage and lecturing people in other countries in a very loud and patronizing tone of voice.
    This costs the UK exports and jobs and makes people in the Far East who we have to deal with very angry. Since those people have very long memories the trouble this will cause us could be decades away but will nevertheless come to haunt future generations. Merkel instinctively knows this and plays a long game.

    Many of the other European leaders seem to live in a world of unreality, flitting from one conference to another, in a gilded haze of champagne, expensive food and jockeying for power. They fail to concentrate on the things that matter but leave their remarks about human rights to behind closed doors.

    The UK’s leaders are not up to the job and the same applies to those who might wish to become leaders such as Ed Miliband.

    The public are by and large lazy, unproductive, obsessed with holidays and unable to grasp the fact that the world does not owe them a living. This is why UK employers choose in 80% of cases to employ people from elsewhere, it is not just down to pay.As a consequence it is allowing others to make the choice of leader for them instead of being a lot more vocal and rejecting the poor choices being deliberately foisted on them by those in real control.

    Much of the rest of Europe is also in a state of denial, imagining that foreigners will dump huge amounts of tourist dollars into their shops,restaurants, hotels whilst allowing them to carry on much as they did before.

    Merkel is careful to allow non EU citizens to come in as “guest-workers” who can be sent home whereas the UK has lost control of its borders and now has 5 million illegal immigrants with 250,000 more coming in each year using purchased NI numbers and fake documentation purchased in rogue mosques and from criminals in the Balkans, China, Turkey, Eastern Europe and India which specializes in the “Lazarus like” tendencies of dead doctors who then reappear in the NHS.

    Bill Clinton became President by concentrating on what mattered to ordinary Americans, jobs, living standards, a tranquil and law abiding environment and prosperity. Lee Quan Yew in Singapore focused relentlessly on these things plus law and order and inward investment to build the success story that is modern Singapore today;the Swiss in their quiet way do the same.

    Europe’s leaders, other than Angela Merkel who is also doing it, need to concentrate on building stable and prosperous societies because as Lee Quan Yew famously said when he was younger “All the rest is nonsense”.

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