The world stands poised at a series of impasses: but are they Khyber, Simplon or hospital?
Two weeks ago exactly, I wrote: ‘In short, the eurozone remains in the place it’s been inhabiting since the election of Francois Hollande: an insoluble stand-off.’
I would’ve written ‘Mexican stand-off’ but a chap can get into a lot of hot water for saying things about Mexicans – even if they’re true. So instead, call me standoffish, but I’m going to settle for that pc-neutral word, ‘impasse’.
Here’s a mini-insight for Saturday night: the world used to be just a great big onion; but today, it’s an impassable impasse.
However, we need to work out the difference between one impasse and another. If you make the wrong impasse at someone, it can have disastrous consequences.
New shock as Merkel struck deaf and blind
“I want Greece to remain part of the Eurozone,” Angela Merkel said yesterday. Most people saw that soundbite. But until reading a German site this afternoon (and checking in the AFZ) I hadn’t seen this one: “I do not know of anyone in the governing parties who doesn’t want that.”
How long have you got, Geli, starting with your finance minister, thereafter working down through the Free Democrats, Bankfurters, and assorted CDU loudmouths in recent days?
Twelve days ago, The Slog pointed out that German spin was going into overdrive as a way of belittling Samaras before he even arrived in Berlin. I dislike this kind of bullying: it shows the Germans at their worst, with Bild today running a disgusting front page depicting the Greek Prime Minister as a shameless beggar.
But the release of the ‘news’ that the Schäublers in the Finance Ministry ‘are studying the costs of Greek exit’ was a classic (albeit somewhat leaden) bit of Merkelian poison, injected into the mix in sufficient quantities. Berlin’s finanzmänner have been weighing the cost of Grexit since 2010 at the latest.
No doubt criticism will head my way for pointing out this parallel, but it is very similar to Goebbels’ use of the Nazi press to terrify the various hapless Austrians, Czechs and Poles ‘invited’ to Berchtesgarten to be harangued by Hitler.
Merkel is, however, showing her DDR Stalinist inability to sniff the atmosphere re this one: as I have maintained from the start, Samaras has a stronger hand than she is prepared to admit. She may be trying to head Antonis off at the impasse, but it won’t work.
I predict again: there will be a deal in which Orwellian terms are used to explain away the fact that there has been a deal.
The Murdochs v The Windsors
More briefly, the impasse between Newscorp and the Palace is as insoluble as ever. Charles has (far too late) ‘summoned’ his dick-happy son to be dressed down, but as he’s already in trouble for being undressed on camera, this may not work.
Birth certificates v Tax returns
The impasse between Romney’s tax returns and Obama’s birth certificate is one I suspect neither side wants settled. Also I see that Romney says “Nobody is asking to see my birth certificate”, which is a shame because I imagine it will say ‘Disneyland’. Keep it up Mitt – but do remember that it’s your f**king tax returns we want to see: surely the FOI laws should run to that for a Presidential candidate?
I’ve seen the various versions of the Black Dude’s record of arrival in this temporal sphere, and none of the undoctored ones seem to me a reason to disallow him from the White House. But like I say, this is one of those impasses where the two boxers need lots of guys holding them back, so they can say “Let me at him”.
LATE FLASH: Murdoch rejects call for full release of his nationality certificates, on the grounds of tree ecology and paper waste.
Those other impasses in full:
Chinese surplus v American debt
Osborne thrift v banking insolvency
QE and Zirp v The Rest of the World
The Neo Con v The Socialist myth
Manchester United v Manchester City
And finally, tonight’s brain teaser for those who enjoy a contradictory insight:
The collective noun for impasses should be ‘an intolerance of impasses’.
But an intolerance of impasses is what we need in order to move on. So if we tolerate impasses, we will simply stagnate.
Therefore we need a better collective noun for impasses. Discuss.
LATE LATE VERY LATE FLASH: Johnwardtalksbollix closed down by WordPress.