At the End of the Day

Geli Merkel is playing to the gallery…as is Ed Miliband, every knee-jerk feminist, and David Cameron

Unser geliebte Fuhrerine Merkel has been sounding off in the German media this evening. Acutely aware that she is a few IQ notches above Fritz in der Strasse, Frau Merkel has been doing her ‘Bad German’ impression for the benefit of Der Spiegel’s readership. This is what she had to say on the subject of the unfolding Greek Tragedy:

“It is  very important that people in countries like Greece, Spain and Portugal are not able to retire earlier than in Germany — that everyone exerts themselves more or less equally. That is important….We can’t have a common currency where some get lots of vacation time and others very little. That won’t work in the long term….Of course we want the euro and of course we don’t want to see that a country goes broke, so to speak, and that we all then follow. But we can’t just show solidarity and then say that these countries can continue as before. Yes, Germany will help. But Germany only helps when the others exert themselves as well. And that exertion must be demonstrated.”

There is a ring of Deutschland uber Alles about this…and a temptation to remember ‘Arbeit macht frei’ is overwhelming, and I’ve rarely been one to resist temptation. Also, I’m allowed to be this controversial, because my father-in-law is German and I have overwhelming respect for him. But then, my pop-in-law knows a politician on the stump when he sees one.

Geli Merkel is posturing. She sounds more like Basil Fawlty after the moose fell on his head than a thinking, functioning Chancellor of the Bundesrepublik: “Hors Oeuvres vill be obeyt at all timess” and all that. But I think most of us are thoroughly fed up of EU politicians striking poses. Frau Merkel needs to do a tad more research on how much the average Greek family is struggling with this crap. She should also get in touch with her Europeanische Seite and remember that she is really just a jumped-up Osti garnering the votes of bigots. That the Portuguese are almost out of cash. That the Spaniards have hocked their health and welfare budgets in order to try and stay in this festering Union of which she and other hubristas are so unjustly proud….and that without the machinations of bankers getting off scot-free and filthy rich, little or nothing of this would have happened.

But one way and another, it’s been a day for posturing. When Ed Miliband stood up at PMQs and laid into Ken Clarke for describing the reality of rape, I wanted to smack him very, very hard. Here’s a bloke who couldn’t summon up the commitment to his partner (until the focus groups told him to get wed) mouthing hypocritical bollocks about the Justice Secretary’s innate evil – Clarke being a card-carrying misogynist and all. Yet this empty Opposition Leader’s vacuum of rhetoric unthinkingly accepts the obscene idea that all rapes are equal. Talking to Nick Robinson tonight, Ken observed, “I refuse to apologise to a bunch of screamers who object to people merely recounting facts”.

Amen to that. But the shrill rubbish written about rape in today’s UK press makes me fear for the commentariat’s ability to think, rather than just kick a foot in the air when a small hammer taps its knee. A good example was James Kirkup in the Telegraph on the subject of Clarke’s various utterances: ‘This is horrible, just horrible. Kenneth Clarke, the Justice Secretary, has been on Radio FiveLive and Sky News this morning……In both of his interviews, he was at pains to distinguish between types of rape, including “serious rape” and other types.’

Well first off, I really can’t stomach the hysteria of openings like ‘horrible, just horrible’. It is the ersatz disgust of those desperate to prove that they too have decent credentials. But chiefly, all Ken has done is express an opinion (reflected by the law of the land) that all rapes are not equal. Of course they aren’t: only a sociopath would suggest that rape at knifepoint by a stranger is equal as a crime to a nineteen year old bloke having consensual sex with a girl of fourteen he imagines to be his age. If that’s the case, then every crowned head of Europe is descended from equally foul rape.

Rape is a life-changing, worse-than-traumatic horror movie for every victim of it. I have a close chum who was anally raped at school, and I can vouch for the reality of his tragic sense of shame and disgust as a result of it fifty or more years later. What I don’t need is virgin parrots chirruping correctness about such a profoundly complex subject.

Posture politics has been all the rage for so long now, my own personal anger has become a form of genuine rage of its own volition. Few display such affectations more than David Cameron. In an obvious attempt to show connection with his caring side, Dave has been arguing for a gobsmacking 34% increase in our £8 billion foreign aid budget. It doesn’t require a keen sense of political subtlety to know that he also has at least one eye on his LibDem allies, but even taking day to day reality into account, the Prime Minister’s position is unsustainable. Giving £1.4 billion to a Pakistan that spent seven times that amount on developing a deliverable nuclear bomb last year is somewhere between incoherence and irresponsibility.

The Prime Minister told the House, “I profoundly think it is the right thing to do. We have a duty to the poorest in the world even at times of hardship at home. If you take a view of our national self-interest, then trying to rebuild some of these broken countries will stop problems being visited on us back home.’

If you can extract any sense from that comment, then you’re a better man than me, Gungha Din.