The Conservative party did achieve one goal: the reelection of Boris Johnson as Mayor of London, a politically important position. Johnson beat Labour's Ken Livingstone by 51.5 to 48.5 percent. In fact, three London councils whose votes went to Labour MPs also voted by a majority to retain Mr. Johnson. This fact alone tells me that the Labour vote was a protest vote.
It must be said that the Conservatives and their Liberal Democrat partners have been slashing whatever they can; including police, immigration control and the military. Those three things are the stuff any sane citizen would want the government to pay for and provide. They also need to have a serious look at the future of libraries, post offices, transportation and youth programs. I share with the British the conviction that just because something is public does not always mean it's superfluous, pointless or wasteful. Some public services, such as those I mentioned, can be scaled back, but must be kept strong enough to survive. My anger is directed at public unions who demand pensions that private sector workers can only dream of, not my local library or post office. I am not impressed when any government stipulates that the military needs to be cut to achieve savings in the budget, but nonworking families, many of whom haven't worked for generations, still receive a vast array of benefits.
France is a lost cause once more, and Greece remains as messed up as always, but Britain continues to keep its economic head just above water and operates with a political system that is more pro-free market than not. Germany continues to lead the way in Europe, with "the Decider," Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the helm with a recent 77 percent approval rating among Germans.
An uneasy week for Europe, to be sure. Europe is always uneasy. But only future elections and results will decide the fate of this continent. All's not completely lost. Yet.