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Power lodged in narrow hearts part 2: The Merkel Phenomenon

Cutting a precious stone after it has been split is a skilful task. Experts call it faceting. It simply means cutting faces on the stone so that its beauty may be better appreciated. Without this skilful art, the depth and the sparkle and the translucent loveliness of the stone will never appear.

This, in part, is the case with truth. I was once told that truth is many-facetted and all these facets can be hung up as lights, but they are all taken up by one central beam, refracting different parts of the whole through the prism, brightly.

Now, when a stone is being cut, it is done to a pattern. The artist (called a lapidary) cuts according to a design in mind. He or she can identify an uncut gem for what it is. The reverse is also true, i.e., the lapidary can see, almost at first glance, that some stones can never be precious. No matter how much splitting and cutting is done, there simply never will be that gleaming wonder.

Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, struts about in the garb of public morality, claiming to know nothing about the 12 million Euros worth of trusts transferred to a bank in Liechtenstein. Thing is, she was informed months ago that there is sensitive information about hundreds of tax dodgers…and did nothing.

Given her rise to the leadership of the Christian Democratic Union with the Kohl/Schaubel scandal of over ten years ago, I take her expression of horror on this case with quite a bit more than a pinch of salt. She’s reminiscent of those stones that somehow made it to the shop window, but simply are not able to fix the gaze of anyone on them. Tucked away beneath that cosmetic facade is something that looks more and more like dull, misshapen lumps of glass. The CDU is Angela Merkel’s lapidary, so we cannot blame her. The gem is a reflection of the skill of the artist. Bad faceting.


  • Steven Lamini

    Steven Lamini is a specialist adviser in one of the key policy fields troubling modern-day Europe and works across a range of equality fields, advising on policy and strategic approaches to cohesion. His interests are wide and varied, and he writes on world politics, economic issues, current events, mediocrities and lame-duck presidents of countries. He believes that heads should be enlightened, but somehow regrets having such a stubborn principle, for some heads are rather best chopped off. He lives in York.