Sunday, February 27, 2005

Queen Victoria and the Election in Schleswig-Holstein

The EU Pundit enjoyed the recent commenter's posting on the Queen of England, which reminded us of a book we read many years ago....

We recalled a passage relating to the EU Pundit's previous post on the recent catastrophic election in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, an opinion shared in Germany by the CDU/FDP coalition.

A small volume in the EU Pundit's humble private library entitled Queen Victoria, by Roger Fulford (Brief Lives: Collins, St. James's Place, London, 1951) writes as follows on the troubling Schleswig-Holstein issue (pp. 82-83):

"On political matters the Queen really had no fixed opinions: she was an empiricist in the sense that she decided each question, as she was confronted by it, on its merits....In foreign politics she was strongly pro-German...

Unluckily, the first considerable crisis in European affairs, which occurred after her widowhood, concerned Germany and it greatly distressed her. It was the question of Schleswig Holstein--one of horrible complexity with its roots going back to the Middle Ages. Fortunately it is not necessary for the average mortal to disentangle them. Even Lord Palmerston, in his jaunty style, said that he did not being to understand it and that only two people had ever mastered it, adding that of them one was dead and the other was mad."

Well, I am sure you know the rest of what happened after that. Let us just say that the importance of Schleswig-Holstein (as it relates to the Danes) in German affairs is currently greatly underestimated outside of Germany, and that we have not yet heard the last of this issue by a longshot.

The EU Pundit read a scathing critique of the incumbent loser (longing to be winner) Heide Simonis today in the German newspaper Die Welt. To the suggestion on the Talkshow "Beckmann" that a coalition of the major German parties in Schleswig-Holstein could be a solution to the current problem, her immediate spontaneous reaction had been: "Yes, and what will become of me then?" ["Ja, und wo bleibe ich dann?"] (Quoted today in a Die Welt editorial "Ich, ich, ich" by Romanus Otte, p. 2, which is not available online).

This is part of Germany's problem today. People like Simonis, whose only interest in politics is their own welfare, are in charge of running Germany... straight downhill.

Otte quotes Simonis further as follows from the Talkshow on the fact that the election had visibly drained her energies:

"First, I am going to have to see now, that I get through until Easter. Then a little bit of vacation. And in summer vacation. And then everything will be fine again."

["Ich muß jetzt erst mal sehen, daß ich bis Ostern durchkomme. Und dann ein bißchen Urlaub machen. Und dann im Sommer Urlaub. Und dann geht das schon wieder alles."]

An abbreviated summary of the Beckkman interview online has another telling quotation from Simonis about her negotiations with the Danish SSW party's head delegate (a female):

"If we agree among ourselves, then we will stick to it. Then it will be a girls' camp."

"[Wenn wir uns einigen, werden wir es durchhalten. Dann wird es ein Girlscamp.]"

These are the kinds of people currently running Germany. And the world wonders why the world economy is advancing, but not the economy in Germany. The answer is clear. Much of the country is in the hands of nice little old ladies like Simonis who are absolute incompetents. Schleswig-Holstein has an unemployment rate of nearly 13% and rising. This same lady who wants to head the government again after 10 years of disastrous non-leadership, by her own admission plans to struggle through until Easter, then take a vacation, then take another vacation, and its a "girls' camp" for all after that.

If that is the way it remains, we are not too optimistic about the future of Schleswig-Holstein.

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