Why I love Angela Merkel

She’s sort of the female Mark Corrigan of European politics. She’s ruled out legalising same-sex marriage in Germany. And yet I find everything about her joyous.

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As a rule, every left wing person is allowed to admire one conservative. More than one is creepy, so choose wisely. Wisely – as in – not Boris Johnson, just for LOLs.

Obvious choices would be Churchill, Thatcher (gulp), or maybe Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (OK, not so obvious). The point is though that it’s perfectly possible to admire someone without agreeing with them. It’s more about playing Devil’s drinking buddy than Devil’s advocate. After all, when you have a soft spot for someone whose politics you find abhorrent, doesn’t it mean that, above all, you wouldn’t mind getting pissed with them?

And I would like, more than almost anything else in the world, to get merry with Angela Merkel. No, that’s an understatement. I want to go full-on Oktoberfest with the world’s most powerful woman. I want exactly this: Angie and me, dirndl-clad, beer brandishing, arm-in-arm and singing German drinking songs that may or may not have anti-Semitic undertones, but let’s not get into that because this is a party, guys. Maybe then, after a stein or seven of Pilsner, I could get her to reconsider her stance on same-sex marriage.

Here’s the thing: I kind of love Angela Merkel. I don’t even know what it is about her. The colourful trouser suits? The stolid longsufferingness of the Eurozone? The unabashed wonkfulness? All of those things, perhaps, and more. So when, last month, my guiltiest of crushes ruled out the possibility of same-sex marriage in Germany, I was heartbroken. More to the point though, I learned never to give my heart to a conservative.

It seems baffling to me that Germany, the land of public nudity and guilt, would refuse its citizens such a basic human right. Conservatives will be conservatives, I suppose. But, hang on a sec, wasn’t it our own Conservative government who brought in equal marriage in the UK?

What Merkel doesn’t realise is that, by coming down on the gays, she’s missing an absolutely huge opportunity. The woman has “lesbian icon” written all over her frumpy, “I don’t have time for this shit,” power suit. But no, Angie would rather squander her place in the collective lesbian bosom all because of her kooky, backward ideas about marriage.

And yet I can’t stop liking her. Believe me, I’ve tried. I was so nearly over her, then, last week, that photo of her seemingly serenading Obama with a Sound of Music re-enactment in the Alps emerges and I’m pulled right back in. Bizarrely, I find it very difficult to dislike Germans. I love Germany. I love German things. Like currywurst and rent control. I like those toilets with a built in viewing platform, so you can take a masterfully sculptural dump, then admire your handiwork. In fact, Germans are the nakedest, most toiletty people in the world, which makes their chancellor (by default) the filthmeister-in-chief. Yes, she’s a walking, breathing embodiment of the word “nein”. Yes, she’s sort of the female Mark Corrigan of European politics. But this is all, I’ve decided, beside the point. I just need to come out and say this: there’s something inexplicably joyous about Angela Merkel.

So yes, when I vote for the UK to remain in the EU, it’ll be about 30 per cent politics and 70 per cent me not wanting to make Angela sad. I hate to think of her doing that characteristic stalwart, Teutonic sadface emoji thing. It kills me.

Eleanor Margolis is a freelance journalist.

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