Anorak News | Crossing The Iron Lady

Crossing The Iron Lady

by | 19th, September 2005

‘WHEN America sneezes, the papers report on the velocity of the sneeze, what was in the sneeze’s line of fire, what triggered the sneeze and speculate over many pages on the chances of the sneeze happening again.

The naturals

We treat news in America as our own news, while anything that occurs over in continental Europe is viewed with suspicion or largely ignored.

So it’s a real surprise to see the Times leading with news from Germany and a headline that runs: “Election setback for Germany’s Thatcher brings chaos to Berlin.”

When German politics is front-page news, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Add to this talk of a Teutonic Thatcher, a blonde Brunhilde, and we are enveloped with a sense of deep unease.

Firstly, the reason for the elevation of matters German is that Germans have gone to the polls and, as is often the way with proportional representation, everyone has their say and no one group emerges as the clear winner.

The full results of the election are not yet known, but the signs are that Frau Thatcher’s Christian Democrats are winning, narrowly ahead of Chancellor Gerhard Schröder’s Social Democrats.

Things may yet change, but the paper says the most likely outcome is a “grand coalition” of the parties. There will be much horse trading and commentators predict a “giant bazaar” as the parties jostle for power.

So much for the voting. But what of this German iron lady? Well, she’s called Angela Merkel, and she’s the subject of the Telegraph’s lead story.

She’s got blonde hair, an agenda for economic reform and 35 per cent of the popular vote. In the other camp, Schröder has unquestionably chestnut brown hair of that type that you can’t get in a bottle, a policy for social reform and 34.2 per cent of the electorate behind him.

The two contestants’ policies are picked over by the paper, albeit briefly. But the real choice seems to be one of personality: do you want the blonde woman or the brunette man?

Do you want the man who threatened to take action against a newspaper which said he coloured his hair or a woman who while at college wrote a thesis entitled “The Calculation of Speed Constants from Elementary Reactions Using Simple Hydrocarbons”.

It seems a choice all too easy to make…’

Posted: 19th, September 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink