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 2020 – The year of Disruption.

Western democratic politics tends to be subservient to the art of the possible, to compromise. The European Union began in order to cope with this. It aimed to create common defence and economic policies amongst its member states. Then came “Enlargement” celebrating success over the despotic USSR. Economically at risk nations joined with very different histories, attitudes and politics to the established and affluent members in the North West. They were the new “Have Nots”.

Now, as this column has repeatedly pointed out, the very worth of the European experiment is at risk. The despotic, low performing nations such as Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Balcan states are flouting the EU rules and  threatening to break away. Italy and Greece are in political and economic disarray. Germany and France are split and the UK will celebrate the first total walk out on Friday.

All of which leaves a vacuum of leadership throughout the region.

It is no wonder that the mess continues in Libya, the oil rich nation on the southern the shores of the ocean . A new season for North African refugees is approaching. Sunday’s Berlin conference achieved nothing. On the contrary more supplies are being delivered every hour into one of the region’s already simmering military tinder boxes. 

As month 2 dawns, the prospect for most of the Mediterranean looks bleak. The US has pulled back and there is no strong democratic leadership to replace it. We are in for a hazardous 2020. America First has done more than take out a force for leadership – it has bred Italy First, Hungary First … Any Nation First. This is going to be the year of the selfcentred and selfish. Expect disruption – there will be little good to come out of 2020.

Have a good day, James