Democracy

The Chartwell team recently went to the Old Vic on a summer outing to see Michael Frayn’s Democracy, a play about the career of Willy Brandt, Chancellor of West Germany from 1969 to 1974, who launched Ostpolitik, a programme of reconciliation with East Germany but whose career was ended prematurely by the discovery that his close confidante and aide Gunter Guillaime was an East German spy. Frayn explores the complexity of human character in his study of two men who are both deeply conflicted by their childhoods and the pressures they endure daily in Bonn and on the campaign trail. And complexity is embedded in democracy, a process driven by people trying to balance their individual objectives with the need to compromise to achieve resolutions. It was fascinating to focus an on episode in Germany’s modern history which moved a divided nation closer, and a reminder what an extraordinary amount has been achieved by the country’s people since 1945.

Also worth seeing as study in the frailty and discomfort of coalition government …

Politics & Government