I started writing this in September, then someone stole the world economy. So, almost a year since the last ‘Who Governs’, here’s the comprehensive story of what’s happening in the world:
The Conservatives have an enormous lead in the polls, but they are the Conservatives, so they are sure to find an ingenious way to alienate the entire population.
In the UK, Gordon Brown is Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party. He’s emerging from a scandal involving the proposal by one of his key aides to smear members of the opposition parties and do all sorts of fun mischief. His policies are ‘wait a few days and then say sorry’ for every piece of news happening at all.’
David Cameron is leader of the Conservative party, just heading into Local Government elections and an election to the European Parliament. The Conservatives have an enormous lead in the polls, but they are the Conservatives, so they are sure to find an ingenious way to alienate the entire population. Apparently, everybody is emerging from a scandal about claiming things that ought not be claimed on second home expenses.
In the United States, Barack Obama is President, the first black president of the United States. of course, his mother is of European ethnicity, so if he’s run for election in Kenya, he would have been Kenya’s first white leader. Puts it in perspective a bit? No? Okay. I predicted a McCain victory, and that came back to bite me in the ass. Obama is tough but fair, having offered direct talks with Iran with some small preconditions, reinforced his nation’s presence in Afghanistan and ordered the closure of Guantanamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray. In addition, he has dealt harshly but fairly with the nation’s car industry, forcing restructuring.
Lefties all over the world thought Obama was something godlike. He’s not, but compared to what went before him, he’s a lot better for the presige of the nation.
In the un-liberated twenty six counties, Brian Cowen, former Finance Minister, is now An Taoiseach (Pronounced teeshuck, means Prime Minister). he’s claiming nobody knew about the impending theft of the world economy during his tenure over the Irish one, but just as Bertie Ahern left office, -bang- it was nabbed too. Hiouse prices, previously through the roof in Ireland have begun to ease off, and it is now possible to own a house and buy a sandwich for lunch. The vast majority of the cabinet well commands the Irish language, very few seem to have a grasp of mathematics or economics.
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. Salmond is languishing with bugger all to say about the economy except ‘Hoots, mon’ and ‘Jings, mon’. Or something.
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 no longer 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. Sarkozy isn’t loved anymore, but he’s planning to do something about it. He’s seen as the most financially able president of France in along time, and the Economist likes his style, for now. It’s yet to be seen whether they’re well prepared outside the UK for the results of a shunting growth in economy after the inevitable uptick.