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21 November 2019

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"We're watching the brain death of Western democracy."

Mr Armstrong- we may just be watching a whole lot of people running scared. From Greece to the suburbs of the English Home Counties people who did OK when doing OK was easy - aren't these the "Boomers" over your way? - are clinging on for dear life in a world where doing OK is no longer the norm for an increasing number.

I see it most vividly in Germany. People who've worked hard and saved hard are now finding those savings returning little and losing value. They did all the right things and those right things are no longer good enough. So they cling to a status quo that is no longer as functional as it was because that status quo is their only security.

And those values we all held to so firmly - tolerance, concern for others, a desire to avoid or even atone for past sins - now lead us directly to phenomena we would very much rather not examine. Somehow they have led to the dystopian wilderness of Neu-Kölln or of the Zone urbaine sensible.

In this new and uncertain world we are therefore vulnerable to lines like "Corbyn the Red Peril" or "Putin the Devious Monster". Not merely vulnerable, but willingly acceptant. The Red Peril and the Monster threaten to disturb that shaky status quo so we huddle around those who defend it for us. Such as Johnson or Macron and in particular Merkel are selling us a pup, but how gratefully we buy it from them. Living is still acceptable to pretty good on the upper decks of the Titanic. We really don't want to hear from those who tell us that the whole damn thing is sinking.

Only a strand, that, in today's political whirlpool, but that's one strand all over Western Europe and we boomers will have to get lower in the water before we say of such as you "He was right. We must have been brain dead."

.

On another subject, would it be relevant to add to your summary this item. Are the Russians mediating another step towards shaking off reliance on the West? -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-50507849


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