Sunday, January 28, 2007

Conservative Leader To Step Down

If you think leadership fights in this country are vicious, try taking a look at the way German politicians fight things out. Edmund Stoiber is the leader of the CSU in Bavaria and has been Bavarian Minister President since 1993. Stoiber has indicated he would stay in post until 2012, but this caused such a row that last week he announced he would stand down from both positions when his current term of office comes to an end in September. Der Spiegel says...
In late autumn, CSU party functionary Gabriele Pauli began publicly
questioning whether Stoiber should continue at the head of the party. Stoiber's chief of staff then began making inquiries into Pauli's personal life,
apparently looking for a scandal which could be used to silence her. Pauli
caught wind of the "spying" and it exploded into a full-fledged affair soon
after she went public. Stoiber's poll ratings began dropping soon thereafter --
so low in fact that had a vote been held last Sunday, the Social Democrats (SPD)
might even have won in the state. The CSU has governed Bavaria virtually
unchallenged since 1946.

I lived in Germany for a couple of years. Bavaria is definitely its Yorkshire or Texas. Bavarians like to think they are still an independent state. Economically it is a powerhouse and has a standard of living most of the rest of the country can only dream about. The leadership contest which is about to take place is important as the CSU leader is invariably the second most important person in Conservative politics in Germany. If Angela Merkel fails, the CSU leader will be among the candidates to replace her as the CDU/CSU Chancellor candidate.

More background on the Stoiber crisis HERE and HERE.


Anonymous said...

What do you think of the idea of the Scottish and English Conservatives developing a kind of CSU-CDU relationship as a means of reviving the Scottish party.

Anonymous said...

Sehr geEhrter Iain

Perhaps you have extensive knowledge in neither of these spheres, but perhaps your many Supporters might discover to us their views as to whether normal politics is surpassed in nastiness by :

1. Medical Politics


2. Church Politics

I suspect Surgeons and Churchmen & (in these enLightened times) Churchwomen could teach these German Softies some sharp lessons

Your Spiritual Adviser, his Grace Archbishop Cranmer, sems to have had some experience of this

Your obedient servant etc
und tot siens

G Eagle

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

That article title looks more exciting when it's only an RSS header!

Anonymous said...

I happen to have some knowledge of German politics and all I can say is that it is about time that someone exposed Stoiber for the blackmailing, bullying, power crazed demagogue that he is. Good riddance to him.

Anonymous said...

Gabriele Pauli toppled Stoiber...Guenther Beckstein would be so much better.

Stoiber challenged Merkel and paid the price - not for nothing does the satirist Urban Priol call Merkel Lady Macbeth

She is patient and the bodies float past

Anonymous said...

Being a Lancastrian I still dont think you should insult Yorkshiremen by likening them to Bavarians

Anonymous said...

I was so hoping it was about the "Blue Labour" leader Kameron, Iain.

Thank God for UKIP

Anonymous said...

Mentioning Bavaria:

I've always felt that the greatest historical accident of all time (bar half of Germany failing to realise that a Moustache shaped like a stamp is just plain weird!) was that Bavaria did not join stick with the Habsburgs.

I mean to all intents and purposes it is as Austrian as Graz - they are catholic - agricultural - countrysidy - i could go on - and obviously they are next door to Austria - and to think that it has been part of 'Germany' proper for so long is an indication of how Austrian it would really look if it had become Austrian.

And to add fuel to the fire - if Austria had Bavaria - it would have evened up the balance between Germany/Habsburgs and meant that netither could have dominated Europe - leaving France alone - and creating a division between the German/Austrians that would have left russia alone.

Suffice to Say that Austria would have been able to look after itself in the balkans with basically: peace in Europe for the last century.

That would have kept 'The Empire' free to 'Reign over the world' and avoided all those costly wars/post-war settlements etc.

In short...the Sun would still 'never' be setting and London would never have lost its place as the capital of the world.

Obviously a few 'ifs' in their - but worth thinking about.

(P.s. before anyone gets on their high horse about 'colonialism' that last bit was a joke!)

So, back to that moustache...

Anonymous said...

The CSU are an interesting and admirable lot, proper conservatives rather than neoliberals/neocons, and thus both socially well to the "right" of the latter and (indeed, corresponding) economically well to the "left".

In other words, like Gaullists, French monarchists, the League of Polish Families, American paleocons and Conservative Democrats, the traditional Labour Right, the DUP, &c. But primarily like the Catholic Church (sorry Ian Paisley, but that's the way it is).

All good stuff, and much needed here (as well as on the very welcome way back in the US). Though now needed almost as much in its erstwhile Carolingian heartland, what with Merkel and Sarkozy on the march.

Anonymous said...

Big Andy

"countrysidy". Delicious word.

And fascinating on Bavaria; there's never enough attention paid to the post First World War divvying- up.

Anonymous said...

Bavaria is definitely its Yorkshire or Texas. Bavarians like to think they are still an independent state. Economically it is a powerhouse and has a standard of living most of the rest of the country can only dream about

What on earth are you talking about? You may have been to Bavaria, but I can assure you that we in Yorkshire, though proud of our Yorkshire heritage, are definitely English and do not enjoy a standard of living that anyone would dream about, except in their nightmares.

Yorkshire is a large county - perhaps you have a small part of it in mind? If so, you shouldn't smear us all with this sweeping rhetoric.

And you wonder why we think the Tories don't have an ounce of understanding about Yorkshire and traditional Yorkshire folk - and I am not talking about the migrant ghetts springing up in Yorkshire cities, either/

Anonymous said...

Bavaria is arguably more like a German Wales or Scotland. historically it had its own Kings.

Anonymous said...

Whilst they did have their own kings; they were in turn electors to the Holy Roman Emperor which for hundreds of years was defacto king of Austria.

As well as this pre Bismarkian Germany had about 8 thousand kings/princes (slight exageration) so the fact that Bavaria had one is neither here nor there.