1. Exquisite Tweets from @JeremyCliffe

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    As I wrote on Tuesday: "Mrs Merkel is not a liberal. She is a Christian democrat." economist.com/blogs/kaffeekl…

    Gaby Hinsliff @gabyhinsliff
    People only just realising Corbyn is a Eurosceptic; wait til you find out Angela Merkel voted against gay marriage.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    One other thing insufficiently understood in the Anglo-Saxon world is that Germany *itself* is a conservative country.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Germany is "progressive" in the sense that pacifist, post-heroic, environmentalist and anti-nationalist sorts of politics do well here.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    To this list one could add civil libertarian and multilateralist politics (popular here for deep-rooted historical reasons).

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    On such matters the average German is probably closer to the typical San Francisco/Islington resident than to the average Brit/American.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    But even here there are complexities. Eg on environmentalism: Germany great on recycling & green energy, less so on car emissions & coal.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Or on civil liberties: Germans are suspicious of CCTV, intelligence agencies, even supermarket loyalty cards. But don't mind ID cards.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    Then there are the ways in which Germany is straightforwardly conservative: abortion rights, gay rights, the burqa, gender equality etc.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    For example the business world is incredibly male. At the CDU business day in Berlin on Tuesday, 4 of 49 speakers were women.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    From fiscal policy to gay marriage, from consumer tech (eg electronic media) to the labour market... Germany is conservative.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    One logic unites the country's foreign, social, economic, environmental policies: status quo > adaptation > disruption.

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe

    So Merkel is neither liberal nor dinosaur. She's a centrist Christian democrat in a post-heroic, greenish but traditionalist country. [ends]

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    JeremyCliffe

    Jeremy Cliffe