by Hannes Wessels
Looking at what has recently taken place in France, the UK, Europe and elsewhere, I was reminded that we are not alone in Africa with our troubles. While we must accept our continent boasts some of the most atrocious governance on the planet we are not the only ones being led by narcissists who have no empathy or understanding for their people.
Emmanuel Macron, who only recently was strutting the world stage dishing out instructions and unsolicited advice on the merits of globalisation, the horrors of patriotism, the joys of multi-culturalism and the pressing threat of global warming, has found himself the most unpopular French president in recent history. He lost the plot by hiking energy-taxes to pay for expensive renewable energy which this good-looking bullshitter believes will save the world. Well, Macron’s bubble was rudely burst by working-class French men and women who are more worried about how to get to work to feed their children than about climate change and feeding the rest of the world. They took to the streets and the ‘City of Lights’ became the city of fights and fires and the country now looks dangerously unstable. Macron has since buckled and reversed the taxes but the people smell blood and it’s hard to see how he will recover the trust of the electorate. Needless to say, Donald Trump is chuckling and in a recent interview where he was again challenged on his decision to distance the US from the Paris Climate-Change Accords he simply referred his interlocutor to Macron for some answers. This ended the discourse.
Across the channel, Britain also finds itself in a state of almost unprecedented economic and political uncertainty with both government and opposition lost for answers. All this is a result of the failure of a weak prime minister to deliver on the will of the majority who voted to remove themselves from the European Union and sought to re-establish themselves as Britons with full sovereignty, full control of their borders and outside the clutches of the monstrous Brussels bureaucracy. The complexities of the Brexit mechanism seem to have overwhelmed the politicians, they have failed to deliver and the natives are understandably restless. Whether the Brits follow the French on to the streets remains to be seen but frustration with dysfunctional leadership is growing.
Once upon a time Europe looked to Germany and an all-powerful German Chancellor Angela Merkel for leadership and support. But those days too are suddenly past and all because Frau Merkel, like her best friend Macron displayed the same arrogance, stupidity and lack of empathy for the working Germans who elected her when she announced the country’s borders were open to the world and over a million Muslim migrants promptly arrived, many of whom quickly set about causing mayhem. They say a week is a long time in politics and how true that is; in the days that followed Merkel’s decision to welcome the refugees she squandered years of hard-won political capital and has rendered herself a lame-duck leader waiting uselessly for the end of her term whereupon she will make an ignominious exit and leave behind her, at best, a mixed legacy.
It must irritate them but Merkel and Macron could have learned something from recent events in the United States but such is their loathing for Donald Trump they probably couldn’t bear to look. The fact is Hillary Clinton was an early casualty of the shift in the perceptions and the needs of the white working class. In the course of the election she once famously referred to them as ‘the deplorables’. This cost her the White House when ‘the deplorables’ were scorned and opened the way for Donald Trump to reach out and capture the very voters who have almost always voted for the Democratic candidate.
What connects Clinton, Macron, Merkel and Theresa May is stifling liberalism and rampant ‘virtue-signalling’. They weep for the world’s poor and exhort the West to commit to ever increasing dollops of aid; to open their borders to anyone who says they demand a decent home, school and hospital paid for by someone else and to commit vast amounts of the national wealth to the phony war on global warming. The forgotten people are the taxpayers who get steadily poorer paying for all their grandiose plans. So true the saying, “A liberal is someone with big plans to help – always searching for someone else to pay for them”.
Can the damage done by decades of liberal leadership in the United States and Europe be repaired by the so-called ‘Far-Right’ political realists? Trump is fighting to close his borders and repel the influx of indigent South Americans but being assailed from all sides. Italy’s Salvini is uncompromising in his refusal to accept more Arabs and Africans. Hungary’s Orban, much to the fury of Merkel and Macron, has slammed the door on Islamic migrants.
But I fear it may be too little too late for many of these countries. The liberals who have played such a decisive role in the destruction of Africa may have won the day in Europe. The future for the natives looks bleak, so I say to them ‘Join the Club’!