^ John Kampfner’s bestselling Why the Germans Do It Better: Notes from a Grown-Up Country is essentially a celebration of one of the worst features of postwar Germany. What he likes most about the Federal Republic is that democracy and individual rights are heavily circumscribed.
The corollary of his argument, evident from the book’s subtitle is his view that the desire for popular sovereignty is infantile. That is what Kampfner means when he refers to Germany as a ‘grown-up country’ in contrast to Britain and other countries. In that sense it is not a stretch to read the book as an attack on Brexit as much as an examination of Germany.
Kampfner, who worked as a senior journalist for the Financial Times and the BBC as well as editing the New Statesman, does not pose these arguments quite so explicitly. But they should be clear to anyone who takes the trouble to read the book carefully.
Kampfner seems not to be totally wrong. But it is not anti-democracy, it is democracy what he criticizes - as is is written in your article here: Judges are able to bring politicians under control by using a system of traditional values, which are written down in a constitution. Compared with other constitutions (or not down written values) the German Grundgesetz (=basic law) is not only a summary of values. It's a law which politicians have to follow like every other citizen - and which they are able to change on the other side - except they like to change what we call "the spirit of the constitution" = the basic elements of our democracy and the basic element humanity. "Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority."
And another question in this context: What are we doing better?