Thursday, July 16, 2015


In many games - football, hockey, tennis, even the game of life - being 2-0 down is always a testing time.  It calls for determination to claw it back and a strong desire to win in order to climb the mountain and not just avoid defeat but even to go on and achieve victory.

So it`s interesting to see what`s really going on in Europe with the reality heightened by the recent and ongoing saga surrounding Greece, the IMF, the EU, the ECB but most of all the Greek people.   They are the ones caught in the crossfire of the Realpolitik being played out across the continent, from which the UK is happily semi-detached, at least for now.  It`s interesting to recall that the phrase actually derived in Germany when Realpolitik was coined by Ludwig von Rochau in the 19th century and defined as `politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations rather than explicit idealogical notions or moral or ethical premises.` Indeed.  Very telling.

So maybe we shouldn`t be surprised that Germany, finding themselves 2-0 down as a result of their failed military exploits in the last century, are seemingly determined to regain their place in the pecking order but this time through financial hardware rather than military.   Now there are several countries and peoples in Europe with sharp memories of the past which I understand all too well, having been born in 1939 and been lucky enough to survive this long.   That may be another of my generational generalities and the difference may be that the younger generations, not having had such experiences and their consequences, may feel differently.

But no wonder the Greeks, for all their fiscal failings, feel a sense of betrayal, that they`ve been here before and that the outcome is likely to be the same.   And no wonder France hangs on like grim death to the dream of a European Superstate and the coat tails of its neighbour as insurance against a repeat of the past.  And no wonder also that the UK is, however optimistically, hoping to achieve serious change in the way the EU is run in the hopeful quest to  retain at least some semblance of sovereignty over its own affairs.

I get the feeling it`s half-time in the game of Europe and that the winners of the first half had better be more defensively mindful of the strength of the opposition midfield dynamos.   Anyway, my dilemma for today, now that the half-time team talks are taking place in Athens, Brussels, Berlin and Paris, is whether to watch the Test Match from Lord`s, the Golf from St. Andrews or the Tour de France from, well, France I imagine.   I don`t know who will win those either.......

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