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The Monster, May and Merkel – fuses flying

    

 

Another month, another flurry of excited panic as yet another deadline approaches. And we appear no nearer to any real closure than we were two years back. Even Tony Blair is sounding lucid: “We need to know the destination of the train before we get on it and depart the station; especially when in time we will come to a fork in the track leading in diametrically opposite directions, with a driver who doesn’t know which we should take, several would-be drivers in the cab trying to wrest the controls and no way back to the station.”

If anything Brussels’ attitude is hardening with ‘The Monster’ Martin Selmayr, a leading unelected technocrat, taking a higher profile role. He’s a close buddy of Juncker who shoehorned him into the Secretary General job with cavalier disregard for standard practices. He’s gambling that the UK won’t go for a no-deal since it would make a considerable dent in the EU budget. But if he pushes too hard he may end up with one.

Where it looks like getting tetchy and on a cliff-edge is after mid this week to early March which is showing up as major aggravation time on several charts. Tr Uranus is square Selmayr’s Mars in Libra which tends to provoke macho over-reactions in an attempt to prop up self-esteem. It also flags up as a high tension few weeks on his relationship chart with the EU and with the hapless Theresa May.

Selmayr and Merkel are not exactly trusting buddies; with his impetuous Mars is conjunct her steady 10th house Saturn in Scorpio and worse squares her Sun Uranus, so he’ll get under her skin and rub her up the wrong way. Their relationship looks confused through this month and March; on edge in April with disappointment looming large. She’s under pressure from German business types, anxious about the damage a hard Brexit will do to their exports.

The Tony Blair piece is worth reading.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/05/brexit-closure-theresa-may-deal-eu

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4 thoughts on “The Monster, May and Merkel – fuses flying

  1. “You know why England never wins a tournament in football?”
    Ahem, excuse me, England won the World Cup against Germany in 1966. 😉

  2. You know why England never wins a tournament in football? Because apparently, isolationist mentality really makes it hard for British to see the tactics used by the other side. Regardless of what British press thinks about Brexit, there really seems to be no understanding why these horrible/ perfectly reasonable “EU Technocrats” are doing what they are doing. But if you consider European politics, it’s avsolutely clear that EU negociators are only playing time right now, hoping for British to acceot an extension to transit period with EU. Elections are coming in 4 months, and there really isn’t a party wanting Brexit to go through before. Even Eurosceptic populist have already been terribly quiet about their exits, because they are afraid of the chaos ensuing with any type of Brexit eating their popularity.

    Also, Selmayer may be pushing for a deal, but he is a dead man walking. Reasoning? EPP elected another German, Manfred Weber as their spitzenkandidat to succeed Juncker. Weber, a CSU member, was handpicked by Merkel as a “true” Conservative, who’d be a passable candidate for EPP Central Eastern Europe member parties (most importantly, Fidesz) and even Rightwing populists, such as Lega in Italy, talking about strong outer boarders and European Christian values. But there can’t be two German in EU top positions, and Weber’s victory within EPP was consolidated by “sacrificing” Selmeyer.

    That said, I do not think it will be an easy sailing for EPP this time. I’m almost seeing an EPP “rupture” coming over group’s continuing support of Orban, and especially in case En Marche gets any footing in France (still think it will). This probably does leads to some of that “hard time” on EU chart.

    • “You know why England never wins a tournament in football? Because apparently, isolationist mentality really makes it hard for British to see the tactics used by the other side.”

      Even though I don’t quite agree, it’s a good metaphor. Most footballing nations are either “national side” countries or “club” countries, it’s extremely rare for a country to be successful in both. England happens to be a club country, clubs like Manchester United and Liverpool have had plenty of success in Europe. What always seems to bring down the national side is extreme pressure from a hostile press, as well as the huge success of the Premier League. I don’t think it’s so much a case of not being able to see the tactics of others as much as becoming it’s own worst enemy. What has also drastically changed is the the culture and community of English club football. Before the Premier League, club football was a community. About 25-30 years ago, suddenly you couldn’t watch your local team much any more. Tickets prices rocketed and Sky took it off terrestrial TV and bundled it into expensive packages. The club owners got richer and richer, until many of the most popular clubs were bought by billionaires and oligarchs and the clubs themselves were turned into international brands. The original fans and communities they came from were in many ways left behind. The national side became very small compared to the power and money of the clubs.

      The British psyche regarding this is hugely complex and not easy to understand (or explain!). I think there is a long running feeling among older Britons that the establishment mismanaged and gave away too much too easily, eventually completely destroying the manufacturing base and selling off all the family silver – but that is just one thread of a huge knot. I also think there is a sort of rage against all the rapid change the country has experienced and I don’t think people in Continental Europe fully appreciate how much cultural and physical change there has been in the UK. Places are unrecognisable from just a few years ago. The father of a friend of mine is in the early stages of dementia and the suburban area of London where he lives is suddenly full of new high rises with none of the old landmarks and he is frequently frightened and confused. I knew the area like the back of my hand, but I got lost! I can’t think of many pubs I used to know that are still open. Britain is in a sort of cultural shock at the moment that is harder to adapt to the older you get. Also a pervading sense that success has destroyed something of England’s soul and identity, that is why a lot of brexit voters don’t care about no deal – for them it’s about identity and values. They miss their communities and think any price is worth paying. Of course, this won’t solve it.

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