Henry Forth writes from Shangri La: Here in dreamland, we all have ideas of what would be nice for Christmas even though we’re not so certain of its origins. But as there’s every chance Santa’s doing good deals, we thought we’d send the Laplander a list of what we’d like for Christmas. Some hopes? Without some hopes there is only hopelessness, so here goes:
We, the undersigned, have just five things we’d like you to look at. We’re not greedy but the fact is, we’ve asked everyone to look at our wish list and so far not so good.
Israel. Netanyahu is a nice guy but the extra settlement thing is getting us nowhere. What’s he trying to do? Smash any chance of there ever being a state of Palestine? That seems obvious. We’re beginning to think it’s something else that others don’t much speak about. We think that maybe the Israelis want to wipe out the communities of Palestinians – in effect to scatter them into refugee camps without hope. If you don’t buy that immediately, just think what we’ve seen during the past few months. Some Pals have said sometime or another about wanting to wipe out the state of Israel. The Israelis are saying, OK, try it. But we’ll see you all in hell. In Gaza, they may not be in hell but they can see if from where they sit. Could you look at this?
Syria. We’re not sure where this one is going. Some of us have signed up for the rebels. Some of us think that is a crap scheme. Mostly the rebels are blood thugs with a bunch of Islamist fundamentalists latched on. We’re for dumping Bashar Al Assad and his crew. Then what happens? You get the blood-lust revenge thing. And that’s what we’re supporting. The only safe solution is a palace revolution during the next couple of weeks. Then you get the alternative Syrian leadership – but that won’t stop the rebels. They’ve tasted blood. They want a good swig at it. They’ll end up drinking each others’. Your attention here would be a blessing.
Iran. Back to Israel really. They want to bomb the nuclear thing to hell. Fact is, they cannot safely do it unless they get American help. Please explain that they’d best put off any decision until late summer 2013. Our best bet is that Ahmadinejad and his henchmen will be gone by the end of June. We can’t predict what happens next, but give the International Atomic Energy Agency lot in Vienna one last chance to get an inspection regime going. A six month breather could save us from a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East and none will escape a nuclear plume.
The Euro. Try this idea, however wacky it seems: try to persuade Dave Cameron to take the biggest leap of his political career. At the next euro summit, Cameron announces that the UK will now join the Eurozone, that here are the conditions and that the UK will decide policy. If the UK joined the Euro, it would be saved and so would five European economies. The French would spit blood and say, Non. Let the world see them try. Sensation and Cameron gets to rate with the founding fathers.
World Leaders. Santa, let’s talk bluntly here. The world is governed by some of the worst second raters ever seen at global conferences. Obama has the charisma and not a workable plan in his head and no support on the Hill. Cameron is mediocre and his coalition incompetent. Hollande simply cannot get the hang of the job and hasn’t the intellect to grasp what he’s expected to do with a second-rate country punching above its weight. Berlusconi is promising a come-back, so help us. Abe, the new guy in Japan took a call from Obama and thought it was from Bush – didn’t know there’d been a change four years ago. Putin is losing his grip and will lose friends in trying to tighten it. Merkel has got it all right but how can everything be thrown into that office to be paid for?
So you see, the world, at its most dangerous time in fifty years, is governed by incompetents.
Please Santa, we have no one left to turn to. A few years back, we all did notes and you usually managed to put something in the stocking. Do you think it’s too late to ask? We suspect it is, but Christmas this year is in difficult times.
Members of the Global Society of Failed Economists, Politicians and Diplomats.