David Cameron: Leader Profile

Today we look at David Cameron, Prime Minister  of The United Kingdom. The United Kingdom (UK) is important to look at because:

  • The UK is inheritor of the great power status held until the 20th Century
  • The UK is a nuclear power
  • The UK holds a seat in the UN Security Council
  • The UK maintains cultural linguistic and legal ties with the other (colonial) inheritors of the British Empire, namely the commonwealth this includes Canada, India, Nigeria, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.
  • UK Elections are scheduled for May 2015

The UK has experienced a steady decline in the power and influence that it can project since the days of the Victorian era. With the union of Europe, American foreign policy, Chinese ascendency, Russian belligerence and Demographic rise of Brazil and India, the UK has less and less to say to its partners as a country. Despite the loss of governmental influence, London’s financial sector never the less holds significant influence on the global financial system and the wealth and commerce that other countries engage in. The english language is still the default lingua franca of business and Britain’s government is active in its pursuit of making the island nation a hub of travel and trade. Britain remains a constitutional monarchy, and the parliament including Mr. Cameron and public sector serve at the nominal pleasure and permission of the crown held by the Windsor family and the reigning Queen Elizabeth II. This arrangement between monarchy and democracy is part of the aesthetic appeal that makes the UK a significant tourist destination despite the absence of either sunny beaches or snowy mountains.

Background of The United Kingdom

The Leader Profile

dcameronName: David William Donald Cameron
Born: October 1966
Religion: Christian Anglicanism
Family: Wife, 4 Children (1 deceased)
Languages: English,

Education:

  1. Heather down School, Berkshire
  2. Eaton College
  3. University of Oxford, Brasenose College (BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics)

Career:

  • 1988-1993 Researcher- Conservative research department
  • 1994-2001 Director of Corporate Affairs – Carlton Communications(PR)
  • 2001- Member of Parliament
  • 2003 -2005 vice chairman of the Conservative Party
  • 2005-2010 Leader of the Opposition
  • 2010- Prime Minister

Extra Curricular:

  • Cycling
  • Travel and holidays
  • Faith
  • Family
  • Bullingdon Club
  • White’s Gentleman’s club
  • Dementia friend

Opponents:

  • Edward Milliband (leader of Labour Party)
  • Nigel Farage (head of UK Independence Party)
  • Zac Goldsmith (Conservative powerbroker)
  • Norman Tebbit (traditional Conservative)

Allies:

  • Lord Ashcroft (Conservative Power Broker)
  • William Hague (Conservative MP)
  • Boris Johnson (Conservative Mayor of London)
  • Rebecca Brooks (former News UK)
  • Jeremy Hunt (Conservative Minister)
  • George Osbourne (Chancellor)
  • Grant Schapps
  • Nick Boles
  • Ed Vaizey
  • Patrick McLoughlin
  • Michael Gove
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Nick Clegg (Liberal democrat leader)
  • Ed Llewelyn
  • Steve Hilton

David_Cameron_portrait_2013Prime Minister Cameron describes himself as “a modern compassionate conservative”. He does not see himself as a deeply ideological person. Perhaps a significant indicator of Cameron’s ideological ambivalence is the failure to launch of the UK austerity programme of 2009 which took a back seat to gain political popularity and electability. David Cameron often references political polling and “what the people think” rather thank his own convictions. He expresses economically liberal and social conservative values but has liberal views on  sexuality and personal freedom. After the 2010 election, David Cameron was forced into an alliance with the Liberal Democrats lead by Nick Clegg. This coalition was smoother than anticipated perhaps because of the common liberal values shared by the leaders and main body of the parties.

Analysing David Cameron proves difficult because he is a very scripted person. This is an interesting sign in itself. Most of his speeches are written by professional speechwriters and he will always be seen, peering down at his script. British politics is now a notoriously stage managed affair and interviewers show some indicators that there are media handlers hovering nearby. British politicians also have a very fractious relationship with the British press and despite the stage management and soundbite culture, Cameron and other politicians show visible signs of strain when being interviewed. A lot of Cameron’s “tells” are sometimes in reference to the interviewer rather than the topic. Cameron is very media savvy. He spent his political career as a speechwriter/special advisor and non-political career as a director at a media company. He also has special relationships with media owners and people within the media sector.

David Cameron studied and emulates the successful gesticulations of Tony Blair the Centre-Left Prime Minister who lead Britain in the ’90s and early 2000s. Cameron has expressed admiration for the man and many of his speeches echo the former leaders mannerisms and talking points. David’s grooming for leadership used Tony’s template but pushing more Conservative values. In a way, the Conservative Party used Cameron as a “blank slate politician”, to push “Modern Conservatism” in the same way the Labour Party used “New Labour” under Blair. Unlike Blair, however, Cameron does not exude raw charisma and is much less likely to act in an executive manner without the full support of his inner circle. Blair, Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are typical of the European trend of young leaders.

In interviews and speeches, David Cameron exhibits the follow traits: David will usually have water near by and sip it more often than other political leaders. This could indicate the dry mouth of an extravert or using this action as a ploy to gather his thoughts while remaining active. Cameron will often lean on his left elbow which will come across as aversion when being addressed from the right side. Cameron does not exhibit engagement mirroring with interviewers of other leaders and his body gives very little away except when he is deliberately trying to convey an emotion or point. In fact Cameron tries to keep his body very still, adopting a pre-scripted power pose such as legs splayed (when standing) or foot forward (when at a podium). Cameron usually sits with feet straight down and fingers interwoven. The interwoven fingers suggests anxiety which ties into his role as a performer and his emotive quotes about heartbreak and depression. Cameron will use a chopping motion with his hands to underline his points. This motion is to indicate definitive thought with little room for compromise. Perhaps like many British politicians, Cameron cycles through pre-formulated talking points. Because communication is tightly controlled by himself and his handlers Cameron can become flustered if taken “off script”. Cameron is not a spontaneous speaker in the political arena. He has illustrated in interviews where he will still be thinking about and answering previous questions. This lack of spontaneity is because he is a meticulous planner. It also explains why he would not be keen on public forum debates. In March 2015 he rejected pressure to have a debate where it would be just between himself and the leader of the opposition but made a counterproposal of having a 7 party freeform all debate.

Myers BriggsDavid+Cameron+Campaign+Trail+London+_hErurZHF5yl

David Cameron presents as an Extraverted Sensing Thinker who tends to use Judgment to plan his activities and make decisions early. He derives control through maintaining institutions extensive planning and predictability. This would make him an ESTJ.

If this is the case then David Cameron is a logical, earnest traditionalist who enjoys order and regulation. He is a serious individual who is thorough and dependable. David Cameron is a joiner. He seeks out like-minded companions in politics, charities, civic groups, church and other service organizations. This is Illustrated by his years at the Bullingdon and White’s organisations and his creation of the EU Party (European Conservatives and Reformists) He has a great need for belonging and is reluctant to “go it alone”. David Cameron’s family is a central focus highlighting his wife and children is a genuine reliance on his family.

Tradition is important to the David. He is very proud of his family heritage which goes back to honored ancestors. He is quick to point out his Regal (William IV) Jewish, German, Welsh, English and Scottish ancestry. This gives him  a sense of family respectability and a sense of security and belonging.

Prime Minister Cameron has an acute sense for conservative values. Much of his evaluation of situations reflects their strong sense of what is “normal” and what isn’t. Cameron will use words like “nuts” when dealing with people who’s behaviour is completely off base to what he sees as normal. 

Cameron has a strong work ethic. He is used to working between 12 and 20 hours a day in his role as researcher and dedicates himself to doing the job. He believes that power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. 

Family

David Cameron is very family focused. These are conservative values which he personally espouses. Cameron has brought his family into the limelight as much as possible and sometimes in a way is not very flattering to him personally. There is an example of him leaving his child at a pub in 2012 His attitude towards family units extends to the Tory stance on gay civil unions which he championed. He also created tax breaks to incentivise marriage. Many of Cameron’s speeches are about putting family first.

“For me, nothing matters more than family. It’s at the centre of my life and the heart of my politics.”

“Here the picture is bleak: family breakdown, drugs, crime and incivility are part of the normal experience of modern Britain.”

“Asian families and communities are incredibly strong and cohesive, and have a sense of civic responsibility which puts the rest of us to shame.”

“I ask myself the question, why is it that we deny gay couples the ability to get married, and I don’t think that’s right.”

European Union

David Cameron has had a fractious relationship with the European Union. Early in his career he was against “Banging on about Europe” and he is very much for maintaining a strategic union with the rest of Europe. Cameron was part of the team that announced that the UK had been forced to withdraw from the European Exchange rate mechanism. Cameron’s line has hardened with the German lead EU especially with Conservatives and right wing parties at home becoming increasingly Eurosceptic. Cameron has no desire for a British exit of the European Union but he is preoccupied with renegotiating the terms of the relationship. Cameron and preceding prime ministers will have to come to terms of the loss of influence in Europe. At the same time Cameron is trying to claw back powers and relieve itself of the burdens of supporting the weaker economies in the EU. Under Cameron, Britain has often disagreed with decisions on leadership, economy, resources and trade. Cameron envisions Britain having a special status within the Union which benefits businesses and special interests. He would like to see flexibility and autonomy and less central planning. Cameron plans to lose the in-out referendum. At the same time he hopes it is enough of a threat to give him more bargaining power.

“Well I don’t think that the right answer is for Britain to leave the EU. I think the right answer is for EU reform and then a referendum.”

“Britain is at the heart of that Single Market, and must remain so.”

“I know that the United Kingdom is sometimes seen as an argumentative and rather strong-minded member of the family of European nations. And it’s true that our geography has shaped our psychology.”

“Britain is going to work with intensity and with grit to reform the EU day in day out over the next few years until we achieve it.”

“The Council nominated to vote Jean-Claude Juncker as the next president of the European Commission. Britain and Hungary opposed.”

Russia

Russia is a cause concerned for David Cameron. In the early 20th century the UK ensured that it developed and maintained a credible nuclear deterrent against a Soviet attack which never came and the UK still maintains trident carrying submarines in order to face Russia in a nuclear war. The United Kingdom also spends 2% of its GDP maintaining it’s military in case conflict was to occur. Despite the UK’s loss of power and influence Cameron maintains that the UK remain a credible counter to Russia, calling on the United States, NATO, G8 and its other leadership positions in international organisations to reinforce his position. While Germany and France attempt to lead diplomatically, Cameron is happy to use military aid and economic sanctions against Russia. This indicates more of the United Kingdom’s traditional stance than Cameron’s own innate convictions. While he leads the United Kingdom in its abhorrence of Russia’s actions in Crimea and support for the separatists, he is not overly preoccupied with international posturing. Before the Ukrainian crisis, Cameron maintained a formal but constructive relationship with the Russian Presidents, both Dimitri Medvedev and Vladimir Putin. Instinctually Cameron will tighten the screws of commerce rather than turn to posturing and diplomacy. Russia’s actions have caused great losses of opportunity for British manufacturers and trade.

“And there is rightly anger that a conflict that could have been curtailed by Moscow has instead been fomented by Moscow.”

“First, there has been a clear message sent out from this conference to Russia that what President Putin is doing is indefensible and wrong.”

“Britain is one of only four countries that currently spends 2% of its GDP on defence.”

“This European Council sent a clear and united message to Russia that its actions are in flagrant breach of international law and will incur consequences.”

“President Putin must recognise the legitimate election of President Poroshenko. He must stop arms crossing the border into Ukraine. He must cease Russian support for separatist groups. And third, if these things don’t happen, then sectoral sanctions will follow. The next month will be vital in judging if President Putin has taken these steps, and that is what I will urge President Putin to do when I meet him later today.”

“I very much agree that Britain and Russia have very strong business-to-business relationships; we have very strong people-to-people relationships.  In terms of the government relationship, it’s not been frozen.  President Medvedev and I have had very good meetings over the last year.”

United States

David CameronThe United Kingdom has lost its status of “special relationship” with the United States enjoyed during the 20th Century. Never the less, Cameron uses historical inclusive language emphasises shared language, culture, history and military victories. Cameron  aims to use this relationship as an economic tool but also as a way of increasing relevance and influence in Europe and globally. Dave feels and attempts to portray being “old fashioned” when speaking in the United States and tries to come across as a very approachable person rather than a head of state. Mr Cameron is group oriented and will commit to doing his “part” against ISIS, Russia, Syria and other common threats.

” Like my predecessors, I’m proud of our essential relationship and of Britain’s strong national bond with the United States of America.  I feel it in my bones.”

” America got bin Laden, and together with British and coalition forces, America has fundamentally weakened al-Qaeda.”

“And as fellow leaders, we’ve struck up, I believe, a really good partnership.  It is frank and honest.  We talk through issues very rationally.  We don’t need to remind each other of the basic threats that we face, we know them.”

“So, I am a little embarrassed as I stand here, to think that 200 years ago my ancestors tried to burn this place down.”

NHS

The National Health Service is an institution that a majority of people in the UK is especially proud of. This concept of socialised healthcare is not something that naturally sits within the Conservative ideology. Never the less, free healthcare especially for voting pensioners is a “sacred cow” that Cameron is keen to show reverence to. Despite many overtures to preserving the NHS, the Conservative party has implemented swingeing cuts to the service in order to balance the budget. Cameron has attempted to sell off parts of the NHS including the NHS database to recover the 6.5-6.2% of GDP that it costs the United Kingdom.

“A national asset in the NHS.”

“Compared with 2010, there are over 5,000 more doctors working in our NHS, and there are 6,500 fewer managers.”

“We need to change the NHS to make it work better today.”

“And ours is the first health service in the world where we have introduced a legal duty to promote research.”

“The UK is going to be the world leader when it comes to making this kind of data available and we’re going to do this by harnessing the incredible data collected by our National Health Service.”

“We’re wasting too much money on empty bureaucracy when it could be spent on the frontline.”

“But let me also be clear, no: we will not be selling off the NHS, we will not be moving towards an insurance scheme, we will not introduce an American-style private system.”

“So, for me, it is not just a question of saying the NHS is safe in my hands – of course it will be. My family is so often in the hands of the NHS, so I want them to be safe there.”

David Cameron is a modern traditionalist and a liberal conservative. He wants to be a locally oriented world leader and inside Europe but outside of it’s bureaucracies. He heads the UK which is a democratic constitutional monarchy and a kingdom that is united and strong and yet devolving and diminishing. Cameron will spend an inordinate amount of time squaring all of these circles along with the dichotomy of being an ordinary family guy in an extraordinary position of power. He is a team player, relying on personal relationships and his is an extensive planner, relying on scripted actions and responses. Throughout his leadership he will continue to balance conflicting forces and maintain his public relations face as leader of the Conservative Party and United Kingdom.

References:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/david-cameron-on-families

Similarities to Blair, PR

David Letterman
Conference British chamber commerce
Channel 4 debates
Easy interview with ITV
With Nick Clegg
CBS
BBC1
Conservative Party conference
BBC riots and moral relativism
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United Kingdom

Economy:

  • GDP: 2.678 trillion USD
  • Sectors: Agriculture 0.7% Industry 20.5% Services 78.9%
  • Unemployment: 7.2%
  • Import Partners: Germany, China, Netherlands, USA
  • GINI per capita: $41,680
  • Fitch Rating: AA+ Stable
  • 4 Largest Urban Areas: London, Birmingham, Manchester, West Yorkshire.

People:

  • Population Size: 64.1 Million
  • Religion: 4.8% Muslim, 59.3% Christian 32.3% No religion (or not stated)
  • Media Age: 40.4 years
  • Languages: English
  • Literacy: 99%

Geography:

  • Total: 243,610 sq km
  • Land: 241,930 sq km
  • Water: 1,680 sq km
  • Border countries: Ireland,

Media:

  • Radio: BBC Network, Global, Bauer, Communicorp, UTV, Orion, Other
  • Television: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky.
  • Print: News UK, Mail, Mirror, Telegraph, Independent, Guardian, Star, Express, Times, Evening Standard, Metro
  • Internet: 82% penetration
  • Mobile phones: 99%
  • Smartphones: 61%

Politics:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain came into being as a personal Union between the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England in 1707. It is a constitutional monarchy composed of a Royal Family which does not exercise executive powers and a parliament which is headed up by a prime minister. In 2010, Conservative party leader, David Cameron lead his party to emerge as the strongest party and formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats. Elections are scheduled for 2015. In the 19th century the British Empire covered one-fourth of the earth’s surface. The UK went into decline during two world wars and also by the Irish Republic’s withdrawal from the union. The British Empire lost nearly all of the commonwealth and overseas territories and rebranded itself as an active member of the European union of nations while remaining outside of the economic and monetary union. The UK still holds residual influence with the United States, UN Security council, NATO and the Commonwealth.

Suffrage: 18

Voting Patterns:

  1. Labour(1945)
  2. Conservative(1951)
  3. Conservative(1955)
  4. Conservative(1959)
  5. Labour(1964)
  6. Labour(1966)
  7. Conservative(1970)
  8. Labour(1974)
  9. Conservative(1979)
  10. Conservative(1983)
  11. Conservative(1987)
  12. Conservative(1992)
  13. Labour(1997)
  14. Labour (2001)
  15. Labour (2005)
  16. Conservative(2010)

Significantly Participates in:

  1. NATO
  2. European Union
  3. G8
  4. UN Security Council

Military:

  • Expenditure: 62 Billion USD
  • Active Personnel: 191,410
  • Males fit for service: 12 million
  • Females fit for service: 11 million
  • Military Commands: Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force

Military Suppliers (10 years):

  1. United States(2,969 Million USD)
  2. Netherlands (514 Million USD)
  3. Germany (349 Million USD)
  4. France (345 Million USD)
  5. Sweden (243 Million USD)

Military Leaders:

  • Nick Houghton (Chief of Defence Staff)
  • Nicholas Patrick Carter (Army)
  • George Michael Zambellas (Navy)
  • Andrew Douglas Pulford(Airforce)

Last Engagements:

  • Falklands
  • Gulf War I
  • Gulf war II
  • Afghanistan (2002)
  • Balkans
  • Northern Ireland
  • Libya

Security Issues:

  • Terrorism
  • Radical Islam
  • Cold War

Greece

Economy:
GDP: 267.1 billion USD (2014)

Sectors 80.5% services, 16% industry (2014)

Unemployment: 28%(2014)

Import Partners: 13.8% Russia, 9.5% Germany, 7.9% Italy, 7.8% Iraq(2014)

GINI per capita: 26,700 (2013)

Fitch Rating: B/Stable (2014)

People:

Population size: 10,775,557 (2014 estimate)

Religion: Greek Orthodox 98%(2014)

Median age: 43.5 years

Language: Greek

Literacy: 98.4%

Geography:
total: 131,957 sq km
land: 130,647 sq km 
water: 1,310 sq km
border countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Turkey 

Media:

Greece has three mobile telecom companies; Cosmote, Vodafone and WIND.

Television in Greece: Mega Channel, Alpha TV, ANT1, Star Channel and Skai TV.

Newspapers in Greece are highly political. Ta nea, eleftherotypia, ethnos, sport time and eleftheros typos have the highest circulation.

Internet penetration in Greece is just under 60%

Politics:

On the 25th of January 2015 in parliamentary elections, the Coalition of the Radical Left wins 36.3% of the vote (149 of 300 seats), New Democracy 27.8% (76), Golden Dawn 6.3% (17), The River 6% (17), the Communist Party 5.5% (15), the Independent Greeks 4.7% (13), and the Panhellenic Socialist Movement 4.7% (13). Turnout is 63.9%.

On 26th of January 2015 Alexis Tsipras is sworn in as prime minister. The cabinet is announced on 27th of January with Nikos Kotzias as foreign minister, Panos Kammenos as defense minister, Nikos Voutsis as interior minister, and Giannis Varoufakis as finance minister.

Modern Greek States Independence: 1821

Adult Suffrage: 18

Voting Patterns:

Conservative -1974

Conservative-1980

Socialist/Communist-1985

Conservative-1990

Socialist-1995

Conservative/Socialist 2000

Conservative-2005

Conservative-2010

Radical Left-2015

Significantly Participates in:

EU
NATO
WTO
Schengen Convention

Military:

Expenditure 36,739,000,000 Euros(2013)

Active Personnel: 109,070 (2012)

2,032,378 males fit for service(2013)

2,016,552 females fit for service(2013)

9 months conscription

Military commands: 1st Army, Supreme Military Commands of the Interior and Islands, Supreme Military Support Command, NATO Deployable Corps.

Military Leaders and strength(2015):

Michail Kostarkos

Christos Manolas (Army)

1,913 MBTs, 4,209 IFVs & APCs, and 4,840 artillery pieces

Evangelos Apostolakis (Navy)

39 Warships, 9 Submarines, 6 Patrol Boats, 57 Fleet Support & other Ships, 21 Aircraft

Evangelos Tournas(Air Force)

523 + aircraft

Last military engagement (Libya 2011)

Military Suppliers:

USA: 3856 Million

Germany: 2382 Million

France: 1192 Million

Security Issues:

Turkey (Agean Sea)

Macedonia (Naming and claims)

Albania (Immigration)

Drug Trafficking

Other military facts:

Until 16th January 2001 there were approximately 10 NATO “B-61” nuclear weapons stationed at Araxos military base in Greece. The authorities had always refused to comment on the presence or absence of these bombs, throughout the time that they were based there.

Alexis Tsipras: Leader Profile

Our first post is going to look newly appointed Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras. It’s important to look at Tsipras for several reasons:

IMG_0295

· Greece has not ever recovered from the 2007 financial crisis
· Greece is part of the EU and Euro financial system
· Greece has never elected such a leftist party before except maybe in 1985
· Greece has strong trade ties with Russia
· Greece is part of NATO
· Greece is a strong maritime nation (16.2% of worlds merchant fleet)

What happens in Greece has strong influences on Finance, Politics, Security and Trade.

The format of these analyses will be some quick-fire facts about the country and then I will look at the person that now leads it.

Background of Greece

The Leader Profile

Alexis Tsipras

Born: July 1974

Languages, English, Greek, other

Greece Election

Education:

Ampelokipoi Multi-disciplinary High School

Civil Engineering at National technical University of Athens

Urban and Regional Planning at National technical University of Athens

Career:

Construction
Politics
(1999-2003) Synaspismós (political secretary of the youth-wing)
(2004) member of the municipal council of Athens
(2008) Synaspismós (Leader)
(2009) Hellenistic Parliament and SYRIZA
(2012) Leader of the Opposition
(2015) Elected Prime Minister

Extra Curricular:

Student protests in High School

Students union (executive board)

Central Council of the National Students Union of Greece (member)

Opponents are: Neoliberals, Tax cheats, German Hegemony, Golden dawn.

Allies: Sinn Fein, left, plural left, podemos, left bloc, the other europe, the left, left front, left alliance, communist party of bohemia and Moravia, Peoples movement against the EU,

Tsipras is described as charismatic and “far left”. He has a casual style of communication and does not wear a tie. Young Greeks like him because he is young, radical and leftist. He speaks in populist overtones. His critics call him a professional protestor. Born in the 70’s Tsipras has spent a lot of his political life addressing young people and reflecting youthful themes of rebellion, hope and the unfairness of the previous generations. He is influenced by Che Guavera and has even named his youngest son Ernesto in reference to the Argentine rebel.

Tsipras likes to meet big names, even if he has nothing in common with them. Despite Tsipras being an unmarried father, Atheist from a country of 98% Orthodox Christians he went to see Catholic Pope Francis. Despite his animosity with the EU Central Bank he made a big show of visiting Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank. He has toured America, Russia and Europe giving popular and populist speeches. He also giving interviews to sympathetic media houses and regularly wrote columns for European newspapers. This was deliberate to raise his profile and gain international funding for the party. He can tone up or down his rhetoric for his audience with goal being to secure relationships. Another notable sympathetic celebrity is Serbian philosopher Slavoj Zizek.

Despite Tsipras’ strong socialist beliefs and speeches he shows a lot of pragmatism and goal oriented behavior. He is genuinely passionate about his country as interviewers have been observed to easily stoke him into an edge of seat and arm gesticulating manner. His rhetoric is strongly tempered by his actions and official policy statement that he has no desire to leave the EU monetary union nor the NATO Alliance. His speeches are designed to appeal to his parties bases of support and his statements are meant to reassure his opponents that he is still reasonable.

When not activated, Alexis Tsipas adopts open handed expressions or steepled fingers which collapse into closed and laced fingers.

The open hands indicate media training, but also genuine expressiveness and the steepled fingers indicate thought. Interestingly his thoughts often turn negative which make sense since he is facing what he calls a ‘humanitarian disaster’ in his country. He feels shame of Greece turning to the World Bank late in 2014 and this actively bothers him. While Tsipras often adopts a very confident stance, he sometimes tucks his feet under the chair suggesting levels of insecurity and tension. The lacing of his fingers also indicate levels of frustration.
Myers Briggs

Alexis Tsipras presents as an Extraverted, Imaginative, Thinker with Judging tendencies which, if correctly assessed, makes him ENTJ in the Myers Briggs Thematic Personality test.

As an ENTJ, his primary mode of leadership will be focused externally, handling his country rationally and logically.

He lives in a world of possibilities where he sees all sorts challenges to be surmounted, he is motivated to be the one responsible for surmounting them. He has a drive for leadership, which is well-served by his quickness for grasping complexities, his ability to absorb a large amount of impersonal information, and his quick and decisive judgments. His biography indicates that he is a “take charge” person.

ENTJs are very forceful, decisive individuals. They make decisions quickly, and are quick to verbalize their opinions and decisions to the rest of the world. This will make interactions with the rest of the EU continuously fraught with tension.

As an ENTJ Alexis Tsipras risks clashing with internal stakeholders in Greece especially the ones that he may see as acting for their own self interest.

He will be prone to quick decisions and he will most likely have to follow up with clarification or adjustments to his initial stance.

Conferenza stampa di Alexis Tsipras leader della sinistra radicale greca

Themes and Quotes:

Greek Debt:

This is a common theme on Alexis Tsipras’ mind. Tsipras’ solution for Greece is to adopt a similar stance to the 1953 Germany agreement where 60% of Debt was written off. The specifics of that agreement suggested that if Germany economy recovers better than expected, additional interest would be paid. Tsipras wants to nationalise the Greek banks and halt privatisation of the public sector. He admits and even laments the corruption within the private sector but insists that it can only be reformed from a centralised and bureaucratic position. He has repeatedly stated that Greece will not default on its obligations even as he continues to negotiate a new arrangement.

Economy:

It will most certainly be the end of austerity and privatisation for a the near future. Tsipras and Syriza are ideologically opposed to these approaches. Much of Tsipras’ term in office will be spent reversing the policies of his predecessors for the economy. Tsipras’ ideological stance is typical left: centralised, big public sector, big benefits and secured pensions. He will go after tax avoiders and big businesses who he thinks are not “carrying their share”. Equally hard will be the reforms and “political patronage” that will exist in the public sector.

“We will not allow a criminal policy”(in reference to austerity)

“We will cancel austerity, because it is criminal”

“Greece has a dysfunctional public sector”

“The rich don’t pay taxes in Greece.”

“I’m talking about people who have sent their money to Switzerland and have evaded taxes”

“We want to nationalize these bank”

“those who ruled the country [before] and threw the country to the rocks, were experienced. But their policies were destructive”

“We have a worldwide financial war and the front is in Greece. Usually the outcome of the battle at the front is determining the outcome of the war”.

“End Austerity and regain democracy”

“If any of the 17 Eurozone members were to exit, the next day the euro would be unsustainable”

“Do what it takes to save our common home”.

Youth

Tsipras grew up in Generation X (between 1965 and 1980) and is more used to instability and uncertainty than previous generations. Divorced parents, single mothers and working mothers was commonplace and though this detail of Alexis Tsipras remains hidden it is possible that this is the case for him as well. Economic turbulence was especially evident in Greece for Generation X which experienced the violent end of a monarchy, 3 years of civil war, British and American involvement in that war, a Military Junta and war with Turkey. He will have similar traits to the rest of the generation making him very independent and resourceful. He has the ability to adapt to a wide range of circumstances and actually feels more at ease in uncertainty.

He appeals to a generation highly disenfranchised from politics and with youth unemployment in Greece at 60% he has an easy task to convince young voters to try a change. Being a politician now in power, he faces the challenge of maintaining the hope of his supporters. Thinking of the disappointment of voters towards Obama and Hollande, Tsipras could easily find himself discarded by his electorate should he waver from his promises or be unable to achieve them quickly enough.

“Being young in Greece feels like a negative, doesn’t it?”

“They didn’t allow 100,000 18-year-olds to vote this time, because they are afraid of you,”

“Old Establish is withering away”

“Solidarity of young women and men”

“It is true that we are not experienced, we don’t want to hide that”

Europe:

Tsipras plans to stay in Europe. The Greek exit of the Union is his “trump card” and “nuclear option”, but he presents as far too pragmatic to actually use it for anything more than a threat or a last resort. That being said, Greece has experienced wars, invasions in his lifetime and he is aware of all of the defaults in modern Greek history under the drachma. He also has spent time studying Argentine defaults. His end game in this regard is to create a situation where Greece remains a part of the union but at the same time unloads the debt via some default-like mechanism but without actually defaulting. Tsipras feels strongly about his country’s reputation and sees himself and Greece as part of a larger ideological and economic struggle. He will also be wary of a possible European countermeasure to push Greece out of the Eurozone using mechanisms that could leave Greece still in debt but without the trading privileges. He will push the possibility of default and exit so long as it remains a credible threat.

“If one country leaves the whole puzzle will collapse”

“Greece is not a third world country”

“…and suddenly a global experiment took place in Greece. The experiment failed we cannot keep on trying it”

“We feel a great deal of responsibility, historic responsibility, not just for the Greek people.”

“Mrs Merkel ultimately just want to promote a strategy for a German Europe, and this is not compatible with the European idea.”

“Europe in the service of human needs”

“Either be democratic or will not exist”

“greatest threat to democracy in Europe is the rise of fascism of neo-nazis”

“The [Greeks] were a people who were at the core of resistance in Europe”

“Eurozone should be saved.”

Politics:

Alexis Tsipras is a leftist and bombastically so. He is socialist minded and likes to imagine big structures. His civil engineering education suggests that he sees the world as big systems at work rather than individuals. He is strongly Anti neo-liberal, and vocally blames conservatives, neo-nazi and fascists for what has happened to Europe and Greece. He feels a responsibility to act for the future of Greece and the leftist movement in Europe. He believes that Europe’s original ideals have been hijacked from its original purpose by a German conservative ideology.

“we are not asking for elections because we are rushing to govern; we ask for elections because the country cannot wait anymore and the people cannot endure anymore”

“It unacceptable and dangerous that the EU political establishment tolerates the Neo-nazi right sector in positions of power in Ukraine.”

“A prime minister in Ukaine giving Nazi style salute”

“Conservative is Neo-Liberal”

“Never before since the end of the cold war has been Europeans been so euroscheptic”

“Alliance for hope and for the people”

“unite”

“When the left unite it does not simply add, it multiplies forces”

“Comrades and friends”

“Hope and change”

“Reject the liberal recipe”

“eurocrisis is crisis of neo-liberal paradigm”

“Solidarity”

“In politics and the economy we are often forced not to be polite…how can we polite to the ones who have caused this crisis”

“return to old ideas (away from neoliberal capitalism)”

Russia:

Syriza is a leftist party with genetics, mentors and leaders who are unapologetically Marxism. Greece has had Communist parties were in power the 80’s and the civil war was fought by Communists. While the Soviet Union is now in the past, the people who ran and supported it are still very much alive. These ideological alliances mean that Russian, South American and European communists still band together whenever possible, lending financial, logistical and moral support whenever possible.

As indicated in Greece’s economic profile, it owes a significant amount of its income to Russian money. Tsipras will bear this in mind far more than his ideology when addressing this issue. Sanctions against Russia will inevitably make life more difficult for Greeks. No Greek leader will deliberately ostracise the Russian expatriates who use Greek banks as a safe haven from their own troubled politics and economy. The question of how much Russian security service money is involved in the Syriza victory will never be quantified unless another Vasili Mitrokin emerges. (Mitrokin revealed how Moscow propped up and supported left leaning regimes during the Cold War) Tsipras and Syriza undoubtedly accepted donations from a variety of sources but this is nothing extraordinary in politics. Being iconoclastic and different in his politics helps to attract donations from many sources but Tsipras does not have the personality of a puppet. Tsipras strongly identifies himself as European and sees himself as one to reform than to destroy or change alliances. He will accept the money, however.

What is telling, is Tsipras’ and Syriza’s interpretation of the Ukrainian/Crimean situation. Ukraine is fighting Russian-backed separatists in the east after Putin annexed Crimea when the Kremlin-allied Viktor Yanukovich was ousted as president during protests in Kiev. While touring Moscow, Tsipras was critical of the Ukrainian government because of fascist elements within it. He repeats this allegation in other speeches, going as far as suggesting that Poroshenko gives Nazi style salutes. In it’s press releases, Syriza blames Western European governments and special interests for Ukraine and has not voiced concern over Russia’s role.

Similarly of interest, Tsipras and Syriza’s use of the Russian word “Troika” (тройка) seems indicative of them playing to Russian audiences. This word has become popular among the radical politicians of Britain, Ireland, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain. Only a few of these politicians have been suggested as being backed by Moscow and at least one source claims to have proof of this. Ideologically the parties have little in common apart from use of the word and their anti-neo-liberal position.

The use of the word “Nazi” is the final bit of evidence gathered to suggest more than a hint of Russian influence. The Kremlin and its overt puppets have ramped up the use of this word over the past few years. Standard propaganda tactics suggest that the Kremlin would actively encourage all recipients of funds to lace their language with this evocative word. On the other hand, the financial crisis has in fact exposed more extreme fascists and extreme right wing movements. Islamophobia, antisemitism and other forms of racism and national socialism are genuinely on the rise and are a significant security concern. Golden dawn, a genuinely fascist Greek political party earned 6% of votes, by comparison the liberal democrats (still considered a significant party) in Britain now pick up 7% of votes. Syriza itself went from a single digit to ruling party in less than a decade.

Cyrillic is a form of Greek lettering and Greek tribes around the Black Sea form a part of Ukrainian and Russian history.

IMG_0293

Headline Actions for President Alexis Tsipras

· addressing the humanitarian crisis,
· restarting the economy,
· encouraging employment
· carrying out institutional reforms in the State

Long term goals for Alexis Tsipras

· Change ideas
· Change policies
· Change institutions

Alexis Tsipras’ term in office will be turbulent. He will be vocal at every stage, delighting leftists and frustrating opposition. He faces a conservative and neoliberal Europe abroad a struggling economy at home, continued capital flight and very high expectations from his supporters. He is comfortable with looking into the abyss of the “Grexit” from the Euro but his pragmatism will win over so long as the central European government is willing to continue negotiating. He is turning to everyone he can for help but he is proud of Greece’s prestige and independence and dedicated to remaining European. Lack of strong and genuine ideological allies within the Eurozone will be a limiting factor and Tsipras could end up a blip in the overall European political trend.

He will remind many pundits of deceased Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez (who also was influenced by Guavera). It will be key to see if Tsipras follows a similar trajectory which involved a lot of consolidation of power.

References:

CIA World Fact Book
Fitch Ratings Agency
World Bank
NATO
SIPRI
WTO
Foreign Policy of think tank
Syriza’s website

European Left Speech
(http://youtu.be/UDVFT7RfCCQ)

Al Jazeera Interview
(http://youtu.be/PelAe0xrIL4)

The Guardian interview
(http://youtu.be/4C8-RSgKmWs)

Channel 4 (UK) interview
(http://youtu.be/J8HcEpiM_aQ?t=2m14s)

US Speech: Can the Eurozone be saved?(2013)
(http://youtu.be/YdqfSyYVsv8?t=50s)