Which doesn’t mean the boys will do better

February 8, 2020 5:08 am Published by

Which doesn’t mean the boys will do better

Brexit chaos: Theresa May won the vote of confidence wafer-thin. (Source: Reuters)

Two dramas, two small victories: Britain’s iron Theresa survived a vote of no confidence in Parliament yesterday evening, Greece’s brave Alexis survived the vote of confidence. But both successes seem stale. Prime Minister Tsipras is now trying to get through with a wafer-thin majority until the autumn elections; he faces a political gauntlet. Prime Minister May was also only able to convince a small majority to let them continue working – and the next Herculean task is already waiting: According to parliamentary rules, she has to present a new plan to exit the EU by Monday, otherwise the MPs can do it themselves. That something constructive would come out of it is as likely as three days of blazing sunshine in London January.

Several scenarios are now possible: May could a) try to wrest further concessions from the EU countries and then put the agreement to the vote again. Or b) urge that the March 29 exit date be postponed. Or c) close your eyes, slide hard into the disorderly Brexit and accept the consequential economic damage. She doesn’t seem to fear that either – she just wants to prevent her loss of power. New elections "would be the worst we can do"she said yesterday. Which in turn annoyed Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who would like to be prime minister himself and immediately increased the pressure on Ms. May: He will only speak to her again when she has one "No-deal Brexit" rule out, he poisoned.

"Anyone would have resigned": The opposition leader in Great Britain etches against Theresa May. (Source: t-online.de)

We are experiencing a breakdown in communication in London. Theresa May helped by stubbornly sticking to her plan for months and refusing to involve her opponents more closely. Their opponents in turn – those in the government camp as well as those in the opposition – have been making it far too easy for themselves for months by stubbornly insisting on their maximum demands. Sometimes the discussions in the UK remind me of kindergarten dialogues: "I want five scoops of ice cream!" "We don’t have five bullets, you can have two." "But I want five!" "As I said: not possible. Two go." "But I MUST have five !!" That seldom ends without tears.

The gamblers in Westminster seem ready to exhaust their hand until they only have one card in their hand. Which is that in the end? I cannot tell you that as of today. But hour by hour it is becoming less and less likely.

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Konrad Adenauer and Hans Globke 1963. (Source: dpa)

Hans Globke was a desk felon. During the Nazi era, he wrote a legal commentary on the anti-Semitic "Nuremberg Race Laws" and contributed to the disenfranchisement of the Jews. Nevertheless, Chancellor Adenauer promoted him to head of the Federal Chancellery in 1953. An outcry went through the young Federal Republic. Today’s federal governments, one would think, have a more resolute stance towards henchmen of the Nazi regime. All the more astonishing what our contemporary history expert Marc von Lüpke reports: A portrait of Globke hangs in the Federal Chancellery to this day – without any accompanying text. How can that be?

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WHAT’S UP?

Söder, Seehofer, Weber (Source: imago)

Horst Seehofer fights against the snow masses in the Bavarian winter, but autumn is coming down for his political career. He may watch the conclusion of the CSU parliamentary group retreat in the tranquil Bad Staffelstein with his typically smug smile today – but inside it looks different. Doubts gnaw away, remorse burns. He recently admitted that he should not have announced at the end of 2017 that he would resign as Prime Minister.mockingbird essays That was a serious mistake. Because that’s how he made himself "lame duck"This is how he strengthened his opponent Markus Söder, how he got himself into trouble when he later wanted to continue. Perhaps his behavior during the asylum dispute with Merkel last summer can also be interpreted as a consequence of this mistake, as an attempt to prove that one is indispensable. Kitchen psychology, I know, but it’s possible.

In any case, it is obvious that Seehofer has rarely seemed to be at peace with himself since then. He has appeared grumpy and isolated recently. If he is in Berlin, he likes to hide in his ministry, where he at least still has an office. If he is in Bavaria, he praises his homeland over the green clover and speaks disparagingly about it "those in Berlin". It’s more than Bavarian political folklore, it comes from deep inside. But his problem is that they no longer want him to be their boss at home. Anyone who mentions the name Seehofer to CSU people reaps either groans or sighs of relief that the old man will soon be away from the window.

The very big CSU window for Seehofer will open one last time on Saturday at the special party conference in Munich. He would probably like to see him bid farewell to the party chairman’s throne with detailed honors – instead we will experience a coronation mass for the new regent: Markus Söder has finally reached the goal of his meticulously planned career path and wants to delight the party people with a keynote address. And then there is also the new number two of the CSU: Manfred Weber, the well-connected European top candidate. "The CSU is at a turning point", quoted him this morning the "Munich Mercury". That’s what you say when you stand where the turning point is supposed to lead. The two are completed by General Secretary Markus Blume, a far-sighted political strategist. All three of them embody the new CSU, against which Seehofer acts almost like a political fossil. Which doesn’t mean the boys will do better. How does the vernacular say? "Humility, this beautiful virtue, honors old age and youth."

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Several important topics are on the agenda in the Bundestag today, including the ceremony for the 100th anniversary of the first German election, in which women were also allowed to participate. Parliament also wants to pass the transitional rules in the event of a hard Brexit, with Germany building a legislative protective wall against the British chaos. The MPs also want to discuss how the number of organ donations can be increased. Because there are still far too few of them in Germany:

Organ donation in Germany (source: Statista)

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This handball world championship is really thrilling. There is even a goal and balls in our newsroom. The German national team is still unbeaten and showed against France that they don’t have to hide from champions either. Before the last German group game tonight, my colleague Benjamin Zurmühl gives you three reasons in his video comment why the title can actually work this year. 

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READ WHAT

Almost a year ago Marina Amaral’s pictures went around the world: She colored black and white photos of Auschwitz prisoners, which made them even more shocking. "That made the victims more real to me. You are no longer a number from some statistic. Now they’re flesh and blood like you and me"she explained in an interview. You can see the result in this example of 14-year-old Czes?awa Kwok: She looks shyly into the photographer’s lens, and there is still blood on her split lip after a concentration camp guard hit her in the face. She is dead three months later.

The original photos:

Czes?awa Kwoka. (Source: Wilhelm Brasse / Auschwitz Memorial)

The colored images:

Czes?awa Kwoka. (Source: Wilhelm Brasse / Marina Amaral / Auschwitz Memorial)

In the meantime, Marina Amaral has continued her work and colored further photographs. I would like to expressly recommend it to you for viewing. You won’t get them out of your head.

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We tend to brand Donald Trump as a weirdo in this country. But he is not, he calculates his surprise maneuvers very precisely, he has a keen sense for the moods of the population and knows how to make use of them. He does seem to have beliefs (if only that no one can hold a candle to him) – and he has a strange relationship with Russia. For its President Vladimir Putin there could hardly be a greater triumph than the collapse of NATO. Exactly that was apparently actually up for debate last year. Not just as a rhetorical phrase, but very specifically. Trump has repeatedly expressed to officials his intention to leave the defense alliance with the United States – which would compensate for it and would have serious consequences for Germany’s security. Is Trump really all about the money or is he even Putin’s secret agent? This is now being seriously discussed in America. The "New York Times" know more.

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WHAT AMUSES ME?

An owl is an owl is an owl.

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