Wednesday, 1 July 2015


My daughter is playing Billy Elliot the stage show on DVD. They are singing Solidarity and what with the Neo Con Budget in the offing that got me to think about...................Greece. I am sure most Brits think Tsipras is barking, I tend to. But it is worth trying to work out how he sees it. There was some chat about a legal challenge because no-one can be thrown out of the Euro. Tsipras might be technically right on that, no mechanism for exit was ever built in. I think Tsipras' game is this: I argue for a No vote on Sunday, I win and I have the mandate to stare all the other Euro leaders in the face and say "Solidarity". You in Europe are as much to blame as we the Greeks are, you should never have let us join, nor lent us all the money. You must shoulder some blame so you must arrange some serious debt relief because we ain't ever paying. And who thinks they ever can?  The problem for Tsipras is that the Greeks might vote Yes and presumably he is out of  a job. I am sure the other EU leaders are banking on this. Or the vote might be close. Only with a landslide No can Tsipras' plan possibly work. Enabling him to stare at the EU leaders and order them to bail Greece out or eject Greece with much grinding.  The problem with all this is that conventionally a group of very large lenders faced by a rather small barking dog of a debtor seeking to round them up tend to be able to squash the debtor.  It does seem to me (and mightly relieved I am to be in the UK) that this week Europe really is in a tight spot. You would think Greece could be dismissed to let everyone carry on. But dismissed into bankruptcy and with nothing like the financial acumen of the Icelanders, Greece will become a failed state en route to Syria or from..................  It is easy to find some humour, it really is a Greek farce but even from the relative isolation of the Tyne Valley, I think the events in Greece and Tunisia this week really are PROFOUNDLY disturbing. The Europe that really should be a beacon to so many nations is looking rather battered.

Do I have any answers? Solidarity is a profoundly Christian notion so perhaps Europe should amortise all its debts across the whole Continent? And for ISIS I can only return to the Western European Enlightenment and to the older doctrine that is the Christian Trinity, itself founded upon experiencing a God who suffers and allows Himself to be put to death. If Western Europeans and all peoples of Goodwill would once again reflect deeply upon the absolutely non violent life of Christ, there may yet be the mechanism to confront this mindless death cult. Tsipras I may disagree with but I can understand him. With ISIS sending out cocaine fuelled killers to prey on elderly sun worshippers, I have absolutely no understanding or comprehension of. Cameron's "existential" struggle is right although I guess we as a nation are still a long way from perceiving what that means.

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