The text of this comes from a post of the same heading on 7th November 2012. Tell me the old, old story.
Now that the US Presidential Election is won and lost it will be about 30 months before the process begins for the selection of candidates for the 2016 election. In the UK it is perhaps 25 months before the next election of 2015, if not sooner, if the Cameron administration collapses.
If that election is inconclusive or left in a state of confusion by the Scottish Question, then there are a number of intricate uncertainties ahead. Germany has an election due next year, what that might come up with is also not certain. So this leaves France with newly elected Hollande as President more or less as the only long term one amongst them.
I exclude Russia, China, India and Brazil from all this because they may well have a lot to think about at home and in their own areas rather than bothering with the coming and going in the West. Given that President Obama is not enthusiastic about UK or European matters, the West probably has a leadership vacuum.
But to be a leader internationally, you need to be in control and secure at home. But because of globalization, the ongoing effects of the financial crisis, the divisions opening up in many countries of incomes, identity and beliefs it is arguable that none of the governments of the West have much real control.
The situation is that in most places the political elites will be hanging on desperately, bidding for the money and support of a limited number of wealthy and secure international companies and trying to play off one group against another to retain some authority and ability to make decisions.
If some things go against them, or there are either events or developments that are seriously disruptive, there are all the pre-conditions in place for serious difficulties of one sort or another. At the moment, the USA might just be able to manage a real war, but none of the others could without politically imploding.
The same applies to financial management and control. This is now outside the real capability of our governments. Because too many let it rip and then did too little too late and now cannot agree effectively to deal with all the problems that arise they face serious tax deficits along with major spending commitments.
This is not sustainable. So by the time all the next elections come round it is very likely that they will be going on when there is either a crisis about to unfold or one already under way.
None of these governments will be able to handle it. Also, none of them seem to have policies for energy, food supply, water, or the management of disease that add up.
In 1969, David Bowie came up with “Space Oddity”, also known as “Ground Control To Major Tom”. It might well remind us that it all can become too much.
There ain’t no ground control any more Major Tom, so just keep going.
Where are you when we need you, Major Tom?