Switzerland Goes Rogue

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by alib, Mar 20, 2010.

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  1. On FP Switzerland Goes Rogue: Is it still possible for a country to be neutral? BY STEVE KETTMAN
    The Swiss like the Irish view neutrality as a moral position. It was never that. It's always been more a matter of expediency for either country. The Swiss did rather well out of holding the coats in two worlds wars. They have always chosen their alignments carefully and switched them smartly. It was very clear they were in the US camp in the Cold War. Modern threats all require collective defense.

    Irish neutrality is also a joke. What's left of their economy runs on Septic venture capital. But the Swiss are not an Atlantic island, they can't even dream of being economically closer to Boston than Brussels. A small land locked country at the heart of Europe can only play at isolationist neutrality.

    The Jewish gold scandal shook some of the smugness out of the country a while back. The recent financial crisis saw the public turn angrily on the on the bailed out bankers of Piratenplatz. There a suspicion abroad that worse is to come. Now they are firmly interlocked with an EU essential to their economic health but steadily eroding their protectionist legal codes.

    The Banks have DC, Bonn and Paris breathing down their necks over facilitating tax evasion and other financial high jinks are nearly on the point of "going legit". The only bright spot for Zurich's bankers is their London rivals have also lost the paddle in a funk of failed risk management and seem even more deluded about their future prospects.

    There is a very genuine problem with immigration. The Swiss don't breed, often emigrate. They are the largest consumers of chocolate, cigars, porn and heroin in Europe. Much of the youth is permanently shrouded in a hippie haze of skunk. Many natives fall back on the countries luxurious benefits system or play at heavily subsidized micro-farming.

    It's a rich rather egalitarian country. Pay is good and the differential between blue color salaries and white is much lower than the UK. The widely admired social system and infrastructure are excellent. The natives are multilingual and surprisingly tolerant of language difficulties. The nicely diversified economy is strong enough to support a larger work force and its a very comfortable place to live. Some cantons are sparsely populated and eager for in comers. The aging, well pensioned population needs more young tax payers to feather their retirement but resents the resulting influx.

    Most Swiss cities are 40% foreigner. A blitzkrieg of well educated thrusting Germans is shouldering the sleepy Swiss middle classes aside. A million more will come to the small country in the next decade. A proportionally massive wave that dwarfs the Polish Plumber phenomenon in Ireland and the UK. They are almost certain to make the country much richer but it will be a painful culture shock. Imagine Scotland having nearly its entire intelligentsia taken over by braying Englishmen and you'll get some idea of how Swiss Germans will feel.

    At the bottom of the food chain fast breeding Turks, Yougos and N.Africans do the manual labor the slow handed natives shy away from and increasingly compete for the skilled work they prize.

    To top it off Hannibal Gaddafi unwisely arrested for behaving like Saudi Princelings frequently do in Geneva has had his dad comprehensively humiliate the Swiss who were an eager consumer of Libya's hydrocarbons.

    There is a grumpy and paranoid mood in the country easily exploited by the populist SVP. The boil messily burst in an asinine referendum over minarets last year. A grand sulk of a vote the SVP were shocked to win in a countrywide landslide. I smell trouble ahead particularly with those Germans.
  2. And I still like holidaying in Interlaken
  4. Agree with Stacker 1. If the Swiss are going 'rogue' then why dont we? It seems good.
  5. It is a Yank view. There was a surprisingly sympathetic response to the Polanski arrest across the pond and assisted suicide is unthinkable politically.

    Swiss politics seems delusional, deeply conflicted in publicly stated goals V the realities and not a little sad. All big talk and no trousers. Going rogue is probably too flattering. The country is more like a passive aggressive accountant having a mid life crisis that involves a lot of covert whacking off and tears. Yes there is a touch of that about the UK as well.

    Alternately grovelling before Gaddafii and waving a puny fist. Venting on immigration by banning a non-existent plague minarets when a bunch of BMW driving box heads are about to wander off with most of the good jobs. This is a wealthy country utterly unable to confront its problems.

    The UK has also been kissing Gaddafii's oily ring lately. Bearing in mind what Libyan Semtex did to the UK you might see that as even more abject.

    The Swiss at least have tried to tackle the systemic problems in their banking sector. Rejecting destructive Anglo-American adventurism in favor of a stolid Swiss approach. London like Dublin meanwhile is just hoping the whole disaster was a bad dream and the tax payer guaranteed gravy train is actually sound. Doubling down on a busted flush.
  6. The fact that they probably feel closer to the German way of life than they do to a middle eastern Muslim way of life might have something to do with it.
  7. Definately, they produce some really dangerous chocolate (toblerone), which can cause real pain when you try to take a big bite!!
    Dodgy lot :lol: :lol:
  8. Never trust a country that makes child size chockie that's designed to break your teeth...


    Even if it is sooooo bloody tasty!

    Will their knives now be banned under international treaty? Hope not...
  9. Le_addeur_noir

    Le_addeur_noir On ROPs

    Better to live in a Swiss democracy than a socialist dictatorship run by an unelected crook and his unelected one-eyed frontman.

    At least Switzerland is not nearly 2 TRILLION pounds in debt.

    At least Switzerland does not give increasing amounts of money to corrupt Islamic countries.

    Can the same be said for Britain?,er no.
  10. Their country and they'll run it how they like! That's the whole point of being a 'country'?

    I also like holidaying in Interlaken.
  11. I have lived in Switzerland and for all its faults prefer it to the UK or Ireland. It's a rich and run with some competence if not flare.

    Despite their tradition of direct democracy its constitutionally pretty difficult to radically change things in Switzerland. There is a bread and circuses element in the regular referendums, the pointless internationally damaging minaret vote is a good example of how inane it can become. In practice I think representative government works better. Though the Swiss make a better fist of it than the Californians whose state government has been reduced to stasis by a childish desire to have a vote on every bill.

    It is a country with a very heavy lair of government that's deeply entangled with corporate interests particularly finance. It's stealthy incorporation into the EU institutions in recent years despite voter rejection of outright membership rather demonstrates this.

    The Swiss system is both more timidly conservative and in some respects much more "socialist" than new Labor's neo-Thatcherite UK, the excellent welfare system, over regulation and Kafkaesque legal system spring to mind. A lot of power is constitutionally devolved to the Cantons, a genuinely democratic strength that London has all but abandoned. The Cantons are diverse in character with wildly varying tax and service levels, some lean well to the left or right of main steam British politics.

    Switzerland ranked a respectable 61st in terms of the severity of the national debt V GDP (43.50) in 2009. The UK is 22nd ( 68.50) and Ireland 27th (63.70). The US which is in a near panic about it deficit is at 66th with (39.70). However the Swiss have a very severe problem with an aging population and are worrying about it trebling by 2050.

    The Swiss have intimate relations with a number of corrupt Islamic countries. Call me cynical but I suspect that as with the UK this may involve energy commerce. Apart from the demeaning affair with Libya, they are assiduously courting Iran with an eye on their gas fields. Credit Suisse got fined half a billion for for helping Iran hide financial transactions. This has not pleased the Israelis and Swiss bashing in the US press often seem to stem from their advocates.
  12. Good job I didn't post that 'addeur', I would have been accused, again, of repetition.

    Presumably the unelected crook is the real boss of this country: Mr. Mandelson and no prizes for guessing who is the 'unelected one-eyed frontman'.
  13. They make dammed good wrist watches though...