Friday, March 18, 2005

The Curse of Von Esens (II): Heide Simonis and the Schleswig-Holstein Question

A morality tale from the frozen north of Schleswig-Holstein - one which should sober up power-drunk politicians everywhere.

On February 21st, 2005, this blog invoked the Curse of Von Esens against Heide Simonis, long-time Prime Minister of Schleswig-Holstein, after she had clung on to her post in the face of rejection at the ballot box and the victory of the opposition leader, Peter Harry Carstensen. She had refused even to consider the possibility of standing aside for the victor of the polls, saying, "Und wo bleib' dann ich?" ("Then what will become of me?"). Well, now we know.

We wrote as follows of her ego-crazed actions:

"Such political behaviour is not, of course, illegal - but in going so blatantly against the electoral flow, it is undemocratic, and in pandering so shamelessly to the lust for power of a politician rejected by the voters, it is politicking at its most immoral. In short, it merits the blog's strongest sanction.

"Accordingly, and with some regret, the blog calls down the Curse of Von Esens and invokes it on Heide Simonis' head."

The sequel has not been long in coming. This blog, however, far from gloating at developments, feels only sadness. The workings of the Curse, once unleashed, can be cruel, as they have been in this instance.

Simonis' end was pitiful. No blog of feeling can rejoice at her destruction. Four times yesterday she put herself up to continue as Prime Minister, but the Curse was implacable. Four times she was rejected - a secret abstainer sealed her doom. Now Schleswig-Holstein is without its new government. The issue will be settled after Easter.

Time for everyone - especially our deluded politicians - to reflect on the fate of those who put ego before good governance, and so incur the wrath of von Esens.

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