Germany will soon need a new foreign minister. Awkward, prickly Guido Westerwelle is on his last cocktail stick, sucking the juice from his final kiwi, rattling his last arrows, or “under increasing pressure” as we like to say.
Quite how the pressure got so large is not really clear. It seems to have come to a head because FDP state premier of Schleswig-Holstein Wolfgang Kubicki melodramatically compared Westerwelle’s leadership to “the last days of the GDR,” but you wouldn’t think that would necessarily be enough.
And then WikiLeaks leaked that the FDP chief of staff Helmut Metzner had been leaking the exciting inside FDP gossip to the US embassy. (Apparently the British embassy lodged a formal complaint about this, as apparently Britain had clearly believed that kissing a US “ass” was a special limey prerogative.) But again, that just made the FDP look rubbish, not necessarily Westerwelle look bad.
No, the reason why the FDP mood is sinking into self-harm mode – “death-wish” as one FDP man said –is that the polls show the party getting one third the ratings of a year ago. And in something like the panic we normally associate with the boards of football clubs, it has decided it needs to change the manager.
The party feels as if nothing is happening for them, that they are not achieving their aims or setting their agenda in government. This is partly because they don’t have the power to, and partly because the party has struggled to turn opposition into government. But replacing Westerwelle with someone else won’t make a difference.
Anyway, forget all that rubbish. If you want to listen to something really funny, why not listen to this brilliant podcast?