Lead­ers on the brink.

The McLeod River Post - - Front Page - Ian McInnes

As ex­pected An­gela Merkel came out on top in the Ger­man elec­tions but it is was not a re­sult that I sus­pect Merkel or her party felt com­fort­able with. Once again, for the first time since 1945 the right wing in Ger­many has a foothold in par­lia­ment. Whether it can move on from there re­mains to be seen.

Politi­cians of­ten can’t see the one elec­tion too far mo­ment and I think Merkel has missed that boat and is in for a dif­fi­cult, prob­a­bly fi­nal, term of of­fice that she may just re­gret not call­ing it a day be­fore­hand.

In the UK, Theresa May is in her first term of of­fice and is strug­gling to keep that. With a slim ma­jor­ity she called an elec­tion to im­prove it, and failed. Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions haven’t gone well and her po­si­tion looks ten­u­ous es­pe­cially given the un­ex­pected pop­u­lar­ity of the Labour op­po­si­tion leader, Jeremy Cor­byn.

The UK Con­ser­va­tive Party is un­easy. It doesn’t want to lose an elec­tion but many are un­happy with the leader. Usu­ally the knives come out and a fail­ing leader falls or is pushed out. I wouldn’t be sur­prised to see May re­sign, a lead­er­ship elec­tion and per­haps Boris John­son to seize his chance. That could force an elec­tion with a win for Cor­byn or a mi­nor­ity Labour gov­ern­ment. Labour would take over Brexit and the Con­ser­va­tives could blame it for a re­sult. Sound like a plan? Might just be. Me­dia pun­dits have re­ported that EU ne­go­tia­tors have been talk­ing to Cor­byn in se­cret.

U.S. Pres­i­dent Trump has been on the brink ever since he took of­fice. I re­ally think he might like it there. Hardly a day goes by with­out him pick­ing an­other fight. U.S. Sec­re­tary of State, Rex Tiller­son has been re­ported as re­fer­ring to his boss as, “a mo­ron,” other news out­lets have put an ex­ple­tive in front of that. I be­lieve that Trump is one of those peo­ple that one has to work, “for,” body and soul rather than work, “with,”. When team­work is re­quired that’s not a recipe for suc­cess and Trump’s em­ploy­ees may be wise not to stray too far from their pre­vi­ous jobs as they may need them in a hurry.

In the mean­time, the rhetoric be­tween North Korea and the U.S. has ramped up to al­most fever pitch and I truly fear that some­thing hor­ri­ble is about to hap­pen.

In­de­pen­dence has been in the news as some of Cat­alo­nia de­fies its gov­ern­ment. I ex­pect some in Scot­land and Que­bec have been watch­ing the events in Spain un­fold closely.

The mass shoot­ing in Las Ve­gas scored a record for a mass shoot­ing in the U.S. Just say­ing, but who is go­ing to pro­tect U.S. cit­i­zens from other U.S. cit­i­zens that go on the ram­page and slaugh­ter their own peo­ple? Is there more dan­ger within than with­out? Will gun laws be tight­ened? Did no one in the ho­tel no­tice this guy ship­ping his arse­nal of weapons and ammo up to his room? These ques­tions and more will prob­a­bly never be an­swered.

Tran­sCanada has given up on its En­ergy East and Eastern Main­line projects. That’s not a sur­prise to me. Kin­der Mor­gan’s Trans Moun­tain pipe­line looks to be the only game in town left to ex­pand Al­berta’s en­ergy out­put to the coast and to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets. I’ve got to say that I’m not con­vinced that go­ing west is go­ing to work out ei­ther. You can still go north guys through friendly neigh­bours. Just a thought.

I’ve read that con­ven­tional drilling around the oil­sands is the play of the day. With oil at around US$50 a bar­rel, in­ex­pen­sive wells that can profit are go­ing in quickly. Some oil­sands fa­cil­i­ties are per­fectly fine at cur­rent oil prices, some even lower, but there must be some big bucks in­vestors that must be none too happy with break evens way north of that es­pe­cially with bil­lions of dol­lars in in­vest­ments al­ready spent.

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