Some of you kind readers have pointed out (with noticeable glee), that my prediction in Interesting Times: Predictions for 2018, that Angela Merkle would be unable to gain a fresh coalition – thereby getting the bum’s rush and freeing Germany to move forward – has come somewhat adrift.
The SDP party have voted to join with her and give her the majority she craves.
Well not quite yet I say! This coalition is most certainly on a shoogly peg and cannot seriously be expected to last the year. This will bring the rule of Merkle to an end and the elections I am certain will come thereafter. (Thus making me right after all.) Let me explain.
This coalition is being played as a return to sense, a welcome extension of continuity, old hands on the tiller of the ship of state. A jolly good thing, carefully constructed by Germany’s wise old mother hen.
Continuity it certainly is, but that was clearly NOT what the German electorate were voting for. Mrs Merkle took to the election all those months ago chastened from the failure of her disastrous immigration policy, and hopelessly tin-eared to the plain concerns of the people. The Greens and the Free Democratic parties saw this for what it was and walked well away. Merkle’s total abject inability to shelter, give jobs to, find accommodation for, or make any attempt at integrating the millions of newcomers in German society is what is concerning the people.
So, what does she offer them, with this patchwork coalition? She offers continuity, stabilitatskultur, more of the same bloody same, when the voters cried out for change.
What will they get? More moves to the left, to placate the SPD, thereby giving space to the AfD, which Merkle has incidentally now elevated from kranky fringe of nutters into the official German Opposition. There will be no change to the structure of the economy but there will be a splurge of government spending. Guess where that will go. There will be much passion about a Merkle/Macron eurozone reform package. Only don’t expect any reform anytime soon. And finally, the biggy. The idea that she must keep the EU together at any cost.
All things the voters clearly did not give a fart for.
It is not going to end nicely. This coalition is fatal to the SPD on local levels, where the failure to address the real concerns of the public will play spectacularly into the hands of the AfD. Expect them to suffer continually, and to eventually consider breaking the coalition before they are destroyed entirely. Worse, this coalition has no real game plan beyond maintaining its own existence, and is set to pull in all directions at once, left and right with the ever present possibility of losing important votes along the way.
Shackled together by fear, blinded by stupidity and pursued by a monster of their own creation. Today’s German politics.
This coalition is Merkle’s magnificent farewell present to the AfD.
Copyright David Macadam 2018