…Says the old Chinese curse. Well, we are – living in interesting times. The election result was riveting and all for the wrong reasons.
Here we are, two days after we voted (those of us who managed to get to the polling stations, despite the queues and missing ballot papers, that is) and still not sure exactly who is going to be our new Prime Minister. Under normal circumstances, we could all afford to mutter about how our weird ‘first past the post’ system works most of the time, but makes a right old mess of things when it doesn’t – and sit back to see what’s going to happen, next. With varying amounts of enjoyment, depending on just how politically minded we are…
Except that we haven’t got the luxury of time. What most of us in Britain may have missed due to the media hysteria over the election non-results yesterday, is that there was a fairly important meeting. It was an emergency meeting of the heads of the Eurozone states who were desperately trying to thrash out some kind of package to limit the spreading damage caused by the ailing Greek economy. This issue threatens to pull the rest of Europe into a fiscal black hole similar to the 2008 debacle caused by the American banking sub-prime mortgage scandal. Think I’m exaggerating?
Well, while German leader, Angela Merkel announced that their response to Greece’s financial crisis would be ‘decisive’, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that the eurozone was in a ‘state of emergency’. Both he and the French Prime Minister Nicolas Sarkozy cancelled their visits to Moscow tomorrow (Sunday) commemorating the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II, due to the fiscal crisis. If you’ve ever sat through ten minutes of any war film made in the last sixty years, you’ll know that the heads of France and Italy wouldn’t lightly miss such an event.
As for Britain? No, we’re not part of the eurozone. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get caught up in this mess. We are part of Europe; we are already mired up to our necks in debt and if the euro goes down the tube, we don’t have any kind of economic safety net left to cushion us from the resultant freefall.
Surely, the situation is extreme enough for the three parties to seriously consider forming a coalition Government. Just listen to any economic analyst talk for five minutes and you’ll realise that we need the combined talents of all our most able politicians, from whatever Party. And if the talking behind the scenes doesn’t very speedily result in a solution that puts the terrible state of the economy before every other political consideration, then life in this country – along with the rest of Europe – could get very grimly Interesting, indeed.