In the UK, David Cameron is leader of the Conservative party, and we haven’t got any firm policies to speak of, except the old truism ‘communism is bad, and you oughtn’t do any of it’. Gordon Brown is leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister. His new policies are mostly ‘I’ll have whatever David Cameron’s having’. It’s over six months since Tony Blair stepped down as Prime Minister. Gordon Brown is in real opinion Poll difficulty, with the Conservatives at least 13% in the lead in national polling.
Boris Johnson is very likely to be the next Mayor of London, with one poll putting him 12% ahead of Red Ken Livingstone. Two years ago, you’d have had to be on crack to predict that one.
In the United States, G.W. Bush is seeing out his remaining months as Leader of the Free World with a daring scheme to stop Israelis and Palestinians blowing each other up. It is notable that it seems to be focusing minds, but mostly on the weirdness of Bush doing anything right. The race to succeed Bush is on, of course. Senator John McCain is the Republican ticket holder, and the fight amongst the Democrats is now down to a straight fight between Barack Obama (Sen, Ill) and Hillary Clinton (Sen, NY). Barack Obama is ahead, but the race looks likely to be decided at a brokered convention, giving McCain plenty of time to rebuild the Republican base.
In Northern Ireland, The Rev. Ian Paisley is First Minister. Martin McGuinness is Deputy First Minister. It’s a bit like a recurring nightmare that, unfortunately, is about to get much worse. Paisley is retiring, and Peter Robinson is very likely to succeed him.
In the un-liberated twenty six counties, the Teflon Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, has ended his political career (probably, but Europe is great at choosing trustworthy leaders) in ignominy, resigning as Uachtarán Fhianna Fáil and An Taoiseach in a speech in front of Government Buildings. Brian Cowen, Finance Minister, is to take over. Speculation that Bertie gave in because he has been repeatedly found to be clearly as bent as a nine-euro note are entirely denied by Fianna Fáilers, and absolutely, one hundred percent true.
Wales has a Labour/Plaid Cymru Assembly Government, which I hope for the sake of the Welsh disproves the aphorism ‘you get the government you deserve’.
Scotland has a minority Scottish Nationalist Party government, which puts Alex Salmond at the top table with Gordon Brown, hopefully giving the Prime Minister an ulcer, or a revised submission under Barnett, whichever is worse.
The EU is just as vapid and nonsensical as ever, proving Nelson was right and that the Germans may be the opposition, but the French are still the enemy. Speaking of which, Germany has Kanzler Angela Merckel (CDU, centre-right) and France has Prèsident Nicolas Sarkozy (PP, centre-right) as their respective head of government and Head of State. He just got married to the stunning Carla Bruni.
Africa’s breadbasket is officially empty. Zanu-PF’s President Robert Mugabe appears to have lost the Presidential election in Zimbabwe, with the Movement for Democratic Change’s Morgan Tzvangirai essentially claiming victory. Zimbabwe is in a bad way.