This just in: Andrea Nahles has defeated Kajo WasserhÃ¶vel for the job of general secretary of Germany’s Social Democratic Party. Nahles got in with the votes of the party’s left wing. WasserhÃ¶vel, who had managed the SPD campaign in the recent elections, was the protegÃ© of party chairman Franz MÃ¼ntefering. ‘Former chairman’, I ought to have said; for MÃ¼ntefering has resigned in response to this lunger contemptuously hocked in his face. It’s not even clear now whether he will take up his expected ministerial post in the grand coalition.
And speaking of that grand coalition… apparently it wants to place further limits on food retailers’ ability to compete on price. Those who find it hard to believe there’s not a Groschen‘s worth of difference between black and red are invited to consider this example of how awful the two parties can be when they really put their minds to cooperating. (Admittedly, the Union’s man in all this is Horst Seehofer, an advanced economic illiberal even by CSU standards.) Someday, maybe, my bizarre dream will come true and Germany will be governed by an FDP/Green coalition* and we will see the end of this sort of thing. I may be waiting a long time, not least because the Greens and the liberals hate each other so.
* It’d have to be rather different FDP, mind. I couldn’t abide the thought of Guido the Boy Party Chairman playing any role in government.