Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Volume One: Not For Turning

April 28, 2013

Charles Moore discussed his authorised biography of Margaret Thatcher at LSE on 25th April.

This eagearly anticipated authorised biography, Not For Turning, is a ‘notable landmark’ according to the FT (27th April).

And, yes, Charles Moore, said on Thursday that he Iron Lady ‘did actually care about society’!!!!

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To ask ..or not to ask..

June 6, 2012

Questions among -not only- Greeks these days:

  • Will a stable government stem from the elections on June 17th?
  • Are the Greeks ready for making an alternative (radical left) choice?
  • Is the above choice a rational one?
  • Is there really an alternative choice in Greece? …….Greece?…..Which Greece?
  • Could a disorderly Greek exit cause a contagion and destabilisation in EU? ………EU? …….Which EU?

 

 

When Democracy, Sovereignty and ‘well-being’ collide

June 1, 2012

Daniel Gros at Project Syndicate raises the point of the ‘sovereign debt’ vs. the ‘sovereignty of the people’.

 

The broader message from the Greek and French elections is that the attempt to impose a benevolent creditors’ dictatorship is now being met by a debtors’ revolt. Financial markets have reacted as strongly as they have because investors recognize that the “sovereign” in sovereign debt is an electorate that can simply decide not to pay.

This is already the case in Greece, but the fate of the euro will be decided in the larger, systemically important countries like Italy and Spain. Only determined action by their governments, supported by their citizens, will show that they merit unreserved support from the rest of the eurozone. At this point, nothing less can save the common currency.

Far Right in Europe

June 1, 2012

An interesting discussion debate yesterday evening at BISC. Me and two colleagues tried to define the reasons behind the rise of the Far Right in Europe today and to identify common principles among the European far right movements/parties/groups.

Interesting questions that were raised (not necessarily followed by answers though). I have to further think about the following and more…

 

  • Can we compare the inter-war conditions (social/economic/political) with the ones in Europe today?
  • Is the economic/social/political crisis in Europe also a crisis of representation?
  • Has the rise of Far Right in Europe –and particularly its expression through electoral results -become the triumph of Pluralism- central principle of democratic politics-?
  • Does Fascism express the very pathogenesis of democratic politics?
  • Is demagogic populism the product of a failed liberalism?
  • What does the constant effort of the Far Right movements/parties to label themselves as non-fascist suggest for their epistemological categorization?

….and many others……and last but not least

Is the present European crisis providing the greatest devices for the development of the Far Right’s tactics and strategies?

Our discussion goes on…

In search of the lost PM or how to go Greek for a week

November 10, 2011

Go Greek for a Week?

How to do it

  1. Learn to live without a Prime Minister
  2. Learn to live without knowing when a new Prime Minister will be available
  3. Learn to live with the hope that your country will be governed some day in the future
  4. Learn to be patient….
  5. Introduce ‘Chaos’ in your everyday vocabulary
  6. Save a tear for the near (…future…)

En attendant…….?

November 5, 2011

George Papandreou’s risky gamble re referrendum has backfired. Although he was still able to get a vote of confidence yesterday, the political landscape in Greece will soon change under the new government of national unity soon to be formed.

lessons?

  • when we are called to take action, i.e. to choose and directly express our support or opposition, we are hesitant and step back. Choice demands action, and action demands responsibility…
  • Mr Samaras, New Democracy’s leader, has been constantly opposed the EU-IMF reform programme. He now expects the call of elections as if he is ready to oppose all the programmes, the implementation of which is necessary if we do not wish the default scenario to come true. He did not even attend the (possibly last one under his current position) Papandreou’s speech in the Parliament yesterday.  Neither did the rest of New Democracy parliamentarians, continuing to demonstrate a well-known behaviour driven by personal or party’s interests. Is Roubini right in his suggestions about the opposition party?
  • The Greek leftist parties continue to reject facing the reality and making viable propositions about what to be done.
  • Greece’s credibility has been traumatised, although there are voices around celebrating Papadreou’s decision to let people decide. But he has already infuriated his partners in and outside Greece.
  • EU’s credibility is also at stake. Big questions on the very nature of the state, sovereignty and democracy still remain open. And when the European weakest link is able to put the world markets in turbulence for 24 hours, it is obvious that the cloud of uncertainty does not only surround Greece…

but the girls in Saudi are happy

September 30, 2011

Women in Saudi will have the right to vote and to run as candidates in future local elections. Good news? I couldn’t argue that this is the beginning of the ‘Saudi Spring’, as it seems that the winter there is still too long….

In China….the girls are not happy…

September 30, 2011

In China  a TV talent show,  ‘Happy Girl’,  was just recently shut down by the government as it allowed viewers to vote for the winner and therefore it promoted democratic values. So interesting!

Being exposed to decision-making procedures, exercising the right to vote and participatory behaviours are likely to make the Chinese people demanding more and more….happiness. So sad -for the government- to be happy in China!

‘B’ for Beijing but not …for Brussels

September 22, 2011

Nouriel Roubini in yesterday’s FT argued that Greece should both default and exit the eurozone.

Martin Wolf today in the same paper states that ‘..once the taboo is broken, the possibility of exit must be examined‘.

Greece is not the only passenger on the Eurozone’s boat…and the boat is sinking. I am not sure if the boat lacks a good captain but certainly something is going wrong with its compass…the orientation system does not seem to have worked so far.

And for those ones who wonder whether China can provide the much needed compass I am just providing Yao Yang‘s words in today’s FT:

As seen from Beijing, the euro is a European affair. And the Europeans will have to correct their own mistakes.

 

Europe, History and (Ir)responsibility

March 29, 2011

Since the very start, Europe has been on the wrong side of the Arab uprisings.

Prospect Magazine raises the following question. Europe: on the wrong side of history?

My points:

  • Is Europe well prepared to restore order in Libya?
  • Is the EU well prepared to stabilise the unstable?
  • Is UK making a serious effort to lead the way proving that it still matters in the international scene?
  • Is France making an effort to prove that EU is not just a Franco-German diktat?
  • Is the British and French collective action in Libya a sign that EU is about rising ‘groups’ within the ‘Group’?
  • Does Europe has a solid history understanding (and memory)? (It is said that when you do not remember history, you tend to repeat the mistakes of the past…..)