CLOSE
Loading...
22° Nicosia,
26 April, 2019
 
Home  /  Comment  /  Opinion

Greek phlegm and British drama

The United Kingdom has always been considered a model country for supporters of Western political culture

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

The United Kingdom has always been considered a model country for supporters of Western political culture. Its institutions have endured over the centuries, and political confrontations, though they could become intense, never crossed certain lines. Supposedly the British establishment had the wisdom to open itself up to new blood and talent without ever succumbing to the pressures of the times.

The best product of the British establishment, former Conservative prime minister David Cameron, made a fatal mistake. Instead of acting with the confidence of a leader, he pushed his country into endless turmoil. Now everything in Britain is being tested: the institutions, its political system and its economy.

We Greeks are watching the unfolding of a situation which is somewhat paradoxical. The British are quarreling bitterly among themselves in various fora. The great advantage their country has always had – its predictability, essentially – has all but vanished. We are entitled to be unimpressed at their predicament and even to encourage them to “keep calm and carry on.” We’ve already been through all that.

We have seen how a country can enter a precarious phase when its establishment flounders and makes huge mistakes, bringing to power political groups that are unprepared and unorganized. We are familiar with the corrosive role of social media through which our brains have been fed conspiracy theories and many lies.

The difference between Greece and Britain? Basically, it is that we, as Southern Europeans, are good at political acrobatics. We are not impressed either by political U-turns or by numerous lies. We take them for granted and consider them a part of our political routine. In this climate, Yes can also mean No.

The British are making all the mistakes we made in Greece, but they lack our flexibility. A British politician told me that “obviously I believe there should be a second referendum and that a disorderly Brexit will be devastating. But I prefer it because if Parliament votes to have a second referendum we will become a banana republic. We will show that we do not respect the institutions and the opinion of the people.”

It is sad to see what is happening today to a country with such a long political tradition and one of the strongest economies in the world. Though it may make us feel that, at the end of the day, things are not all that bad in Greece, the British drama also says a lot about the systemic failure of the West.

TAGS
Britain  |  Greece  |  Cyprus  |  Europe  |  Brexit

Opinion: Latest Articles

Kathimerini Cyprus writes a letter of apology in the wake of the horrific serial killer murders

Sorry

An apology in the wake of the horrific serial killer murders
 |  OPINION
A tear for Notre Dame

A tear for Notre Dame

Andreas Paraschos writes about the wilderness of a society that does not seek accountability
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
Son-in-law diplomacy

Son-in-law diplomacy

White House meeting between Erdogan’s son-in-law and Trump’s son-in-law raises eyebrows in Greece
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Government reaction to the Guterres report has been baffling to observers of the Cyprus issue

Political Will

The UN report on Cyprus spells out that there is no political will for a solution
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Caution and prudence

Caution and prudence

The next government will be called upon to make historic decisions. Until we get there, a good deal of prudence is advisable ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Pompeo, Anastasiades, Netanyahu, Tsipras shake hands in Jerusalem, 21/03/2019

Westward Bound

Pompeo’s comments in Jerusalem tell the story of western political culture
Yiannis Kafkarides
 |  OPINION
Marina Economides calls on government to answer questions as passing the buck is alive and well

Pass the buck

Folks served baloney as politicians openly resort to blame shifting tactics
Marina Economides
 |  OPINION
For a strong Europe

For a strong Europe

Does the rest of Europe want to see Germany in a new leading role?
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
X