‘Sex, Lies and Economics’

By Sunday, January 12, 2014 0 Permalink

François Hollande - liar, cheat, betrayer. He could be called many things by his compatriots or critics, but I would hope these derogatory terms would be based on his political, rather than his sexual prowess. Taking a vaguely bemused glance at the 'story' of M. Hollande and his mistress (can one have a mistress when not married)? I feel a bit sad that France has become as puritanical and dull as the ironically sexless USA or UK. And once again, the really important matters of the day are put aside in favour of pointless tittle tattle which to be honest seems almost quaint to me. Now, the first issue I take with this matter other than the fact it is totally irrelevant and a disgraceful invasion of privacy, is one which is weirdly never discussed when writing about the sex lives of politicians or publicly known people. How it affects their partners and families. Mme. Trierweiler, Hollande's partner, ...

‘The Mutti Returns’

By Saturday, May 25, 2013 0 Permalink

Or will she? Mutti is the affectionate term some Germans refer to Chancellor Angela Merkel.  Sorry to borrow from that awful Thatcher line but it was too obvious to resist! Though her other moniker of 'Iron Chancellor' sets up a harsh and unfair comparison with Bismarck. I prefer Mutti. Seeking her third term, with the election only four months away it seems that Frau Merkel is on quite the charm offensive in Germany. But as usual, the British media who will whoop with delight and salivate over the US elections barely utter anything on the topic. Considering Germany's role in the world now I would say their election was pretty important. At a recent Pro European event I got chatting to a highly articulate woman from the German Council on Foreign Relations and was fascinated to hear how Merkel is treated in her home country. Amidst the blatant hostility and frankly racist abuse she receives ...

‘To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth’

As much as I like Voltaire, on this matter, he is entirely wrong. Respect is a universal basis for everything. Mrs Thatcher leaving the Palace of Westminster today for her funeral bought back childhood memories of the first time I got interested in politics, the night she left Downing Street in 1990. A kind of irony in that, but also something which seems totally right and proper. Stabbed in the back and discarded by her own allies and today given a send off fit for royalty and attended by some of the aforementioned. This was not a state funeral as Winston Churchill had been given, but it certainly involved the kind of pomp and pageantry that Britain does best and London has not seen anything on that scale since the Queen Mother died a decade ago. Love her or hate her this was a momentous day and I cannot really let it go by without ...

‘He has sat on the fence so long that the iron has entered his soul’

By Sunday, January 27, 2013 0 Permalink

Good old Lloyd George.... I have tried to resist commenting on the latest instalment of the never ending dramatic saga that is Britain in the EU but you know what... it matters way too much, and the largely anti-EU media cannot be the sole commentators on this important matter. So here it is, our Leader's highly anticipated speech on Britain in the EU. It is not my wish to over analyse or dissect the speech. You can read all the weird and wonderful commentary on that yourself. I would just prefer to direct you to some different opinions and thoughts. So, while I would say it was no doubt eloquently put and well delivered, I have never heard anything quite so vague from an incumbent Prime Minister.  Even Tony Blair occasionally presented his actual real opinion and vision. Am I missing something or did Cameron manage to actually deliver a speech which sat entirely on ...