The political impasse is the new Mexican stand-off.

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.

36 thoughts on “The political impasse is the new Mexican stand-off.

  1. Situation normal then, nothing changes does it? Well, we have moved from total meltdown by end of Aug/Sept. to, maybe some interesting stuff soon……Stay tuned…


  2. Whats happening with this blog? First we have BT going off the rails then JW starts writing rubbish after rubbish. Is it something contagious? Sorry have to run there are three people in white coats knocking on the door.


  3. And who can ever forget those immemorable words he is supposed to have uttered as he got back into the lunar lander ‘Good luck Mr. Gorsky!’

    Well it’s a good story..


  4. Rebel Razzer
    A little defining of ‘rubbish’ would be good. Anyway, at least you’re not in the Troll sinbin, so do carry one writing gratuitous critiques.
    And if things aren’t to your taste here, well…there is no lock on the exit.


  5. Therefore we need a better collective noun for impasses. Discuss.

    Surely that should read “Therefore we need a better collective noun for impasses: “discuss”. As in a “discussion of impasses”?


  6. It would be useful for mr. Shauble to know that the Greeks are also considering an exit for quite some time now. Not our political elite, just the rest of us. Perhaps its a sign of the times that in street fruit markets salesmen are quoting the prices in drahmas, albeit not devalued. Probably a joke but people tend to agree more and more with the prospect. So, i guess the “wolf-gang” is shaping up nicely for Greece. Next please…!


  7. “an insoluble stand-off ”
    here is something from a political philosopher that opposed the cult of bigness and he would have a lot to say today if he was alive :
    Wherever something is wrong, something is too big. If the stars in the sky or the atoms of uranium disintegrate in spontaneous explosion, it is not because their substance has lost its balance. It is because matter has attempted to expand beyond the impassable barriers set to every accumulation. Their mass has become too big. If the human body becomes diseased, it is, as in cancer, because a cell, or a group of cells, has begun to outgrow its allotted narrow limits. And if the body of a people becomes diseased with the fever of aggression, brutzdity, collectivism, or massive idiocy, it is not because it has fallen victim to bad leadership or mental derangement. It is because human beings, so charming as individuals or in small aggregations, have been welded into overconcentrated social units such as mobs, unions, cartels, or great powers.
    Leopold Kohr – The breakdown of nations .


  8. Given the pompous and grand shows they put on every time they meet to solve it we could call it a …. panache of impasses .


  9. I’m always happy to find something that expresses what I feel in a better way than I could, but what is ‘brutzdity’ ?


  10. How about an “impi” of impasses. It sounds right and also contains an allusion to the kind of force that is sometimes the way an impass is unblocked.


  11. @Chris – his name will !
    A truly great man who’s modesty would be an example of how things should be done.

    As to the ‘trollsabode’………bit of a shame as he’ll be back in the wide world again (from under the bridge) soon………t’would have been nice to have had a peak in a couple of months to see just how much all of our own views had changed to fit in with his own :)


  12. We usually reach an impasse when the pros and antis kind of come to a balance ,when there is not a clear majority to impose it’s will upon the minority .So in a way we can look at it as a mathematical term ,as quantities on both sides are equal in value ,is like an equation or a function , how about an f of impasses


  13. Try a “Jenny* of impasses”

    * something which goes round and round going nowhere whilst producing lots of spin…..


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