Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Talking to a German

Every now and again I talk to a foreigner and at a dinner party I was sitting next to this very personable German accountant. His English was far, far better than my German so the conversation went in English.

First we talked about the state of Germany and he was going about how it's getting really hairy there with the economy and the Ossies complaining. I ventured that perhaps there could be a political or social explosion in the offing. Unlike most Germans, he agreed. I also said a bit of the Thatcher tonic was overdue, to which he also agreed.

Then the conversation went on to Europe. He thought that this had a massive role in Germany's plight and although he was pro the EU he thought that it needed to be trimmed back a lot.

By now, dear reader, I hope you realise that this was a very unusual German.

So the conversation turned to the American election. I stated that I was not keen on either candidate, but that Bush was going to win because Kerry was a rich Massachusetts liberal and anyone who understood anything about American politics knows that these don't win anything (well not since 1960). Then he went bonkers. Bush is mad, he's dangerous, he's a cowboy, etc, etc. Not the amused and resigned Americo-scepticism that we specialise over in this corner of the web, but George Monbiot type irrational hatred.

The point is not that I was shocked at the views in themselves. You get this among Brits (although mostly fairly far out lefties). But over here this chap would have been a somewhat hard line Atlanticist if you consider his job and political leanings.

In Germany even Eurosceptic Thatcherite accountants have views on Bush which make Robert Fisk look like a warblogger. No wonder Schroeder plays the anti-war card.


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