Does the French presidential election, after the American one, confirm Friedrich Nietzsche’s assertion that “every profound spirit needs a mask”? The shallow spirit, by contrast, is usually plain to see and can be found on American reality television.
The dominant sentiment is one of relief that centrist Emmanuel Macron has won through to the second round of the French presidential election. Barring some sort of political accident, it’s now highly likely he will be the next president of France.
Munich: One of the lessons to be drawn from the ugly Berlin truck attack is that if words are to have a sense in the screaming white noise of modern debate – around terrorism, demagoguery and the rise of the populist right – things must be called by their name, even when half-masked and crouching in corners.
Within an hour of the Berlin massacre, in which 12 people died and around 50 were wounded after a terrorist drove a truck into a Christmas market, a tweeting senior representative of the far-right Alternative for Deutschland (AfD) labelled those who died “Merkel’s dead”.
After the stupefying Brexit-Trump sequence, and the Italian referendum result, could far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen win next year’s presidential elections in France?
Debate surrounding terrorist attacks in Europe this northern summer has morphed into rhetorical overkill, as opportunistic politicians in France in particular focus on “situational dissuasion”, which usually just means regulating access to guns and knives.
Munich: Amid a sense of rising panic, events seemed to happen with exceptional speed in Munich on Friday night. Rain in the air, I was returning home from the central city pool with my 7-year-old, when a blaze of police cars mounted tram-lines as we prepared to cross the street. Moments later came the buzz of choppers overhead. Switching on the mobile flashed the horror of multiple killings.
Might Brexit be a good thing for Europe? There’s a comic wrinkle in watching the British Remain campaign translate the argument that Brexit would be devastating for Europe, when Europe itself is not so sure.
Angela Merkel is on the political rack, blamed from all sides for exacerbating the refugee crisis that she alone among Europe’s senior political leaders was prepared to meet. As if the world’s war-ravaged and desperate arrived on Europe’s southern beaches because the German Chancellor appeared in a selfie at a refugee shelter in Berlin.