Ça plane pour moi!
As I watch how Austria´s Chancellor and the world´s youngest leader has progressed from the boy his parents mentioned to his unofficial biographer as one who leapt into the water without being able to swim, I´m reminded of Plastic Betrand and his mid-70s hit, Ça plane pour moi!
Don´t get me wrong. I was all for him when he was in charge of integration – youth at least will understand what it´s all about, I thought – and even then as the youngest foreign minister.
But when he became Chancellor, things changed. Looking back, I wonder if the whole thing wasn´t orchestrated: Plastic Bertrand in a land filled with Smurfs, living happily ever after.
In the same way the Rumpasaurus tweets to distract, the Austrian is silent when it comes to taking a stance on the shenanigans of his darker-blue partner in government. Cacophony and silence both serve to distract from the work being done in the background: legal practicalities dismantled with lip service paid to democratic principles whose only use now would seem to enable a new autocracy.
While Plastic Betrand´s song was a send-up of the punk movement, could Türkis (the colour of the new ruling party and not the Turkish restaurant chain) be more than a caricature of the staid Austrian conservative party? The guests in the non-dancing Chancellor´s box at the recent Opera Ball seemed to represent a range of areas not necessarily close to the heart of the absent blue partner: integration, inclusion, tolerance.
So is this how the Plastic Fantastic intends to proceed? Clever orchestrations on the outside, silence on the inside. Let the partner “Putin” the effort and his Droogs in their funny hats take care of more equestrian delights.
Meanwhile, Ça plane pour moi! would seem to be the current jingle for the fledgling government.
But for how long, and at what cost?
Interestingly, as a stop press, the servers at the Ministry of the Interior are having difficulties keeping up with petitions (no-smoke; equality of women; asylum seekers) in response to changes proposed by the new blueish government.
So on that note, let me leave you with some lines from a poem by Neil McCarthy from his collection Stopgap Grace, launched in Vienna on Saturday
“I see oligarchs and otters fighting for power,
peasants and perch watching on, toothless.”
But despite all this, let me leave you with onwards!