Friday, 20 November 2009


Referendum? What referendum?
At last! Europe has appointed its first president. Please welcome: Herman Van Rompuy! Herman Van Who? You may well ask, and you wouldn't be alone. He is the prime minister of Belgium, a country about the size of Disney World, but less sunny, where the belligerent French and Flemish population are continually at each other's throats. Belgians brew insipid beer, make over-sweet chocolate1, and - ah-ha! - host the vast bureaucracies of the sprawling European Union.

Lucky Herman ascended this lofty throne courtesy of a disastrous general election in 2007 which nobody won. Out of this mess, the King Of Belgium asked him to form the government of Belgium. It's like Willy Wonka handing over the chocolate factory. (This Herman seems like a nice kid; let him have a go.)

Behind closed doors, Herman has now been chosen by the leaders of the EU's 27 states to be our glorious leader. He's the president of 500 million people. I didn't vote for him, and neither did anyone I know. We didn't get the chance.

And second place goes to: Britain! The position of foreign policy supremo is handed to Lady Ashton, the EU trade commissioner, who has never held publicly elected office and has only been in post for a year. You've never heard of her either? Neither had I, until just now. But apparently she's jolly nice. And she does have a sociology degree, so she's obviously pretty damned smart.

What have these two paragons of fluff got in common? They're both completely bland. They haven't annoyed anyone, except people like me, and we don't count.

In Britain we were repeatedly promised a referendum on the constitution, which then became the Lisbon treaty. It never happened. The promise meant nothing because it was made by Blair/Brown. At least they're consistent.

Cameron's turn now. Sigh.

Can you imagine this happening in the US? American elections may cost as much to enter as the GDP of a small country like, ooh, Belgium, but at least they get bumper stickers ('Vote Herman and Lady Wotz-er-name 09!'), and everyone gets a say. Even in places like China or Russia they're honest about their dictatorships.

This is the biggest stitch-up in history, bigger even than Jedward on the X Factor. It doesn't feel right. Can it last? Of course it can. No-one cares. Chocolate, anyone?

1 - Not curly-wurlies, obviously, they're British


  1. I can't really relate to the many political aspects of this post, but the curly-wurlies are right up my street. Yum.

  2. I hear Air New Zealand has a 'buy one, get one free' offer coming up. Anyone want to emigrate with me?

  3. I don't mean to be rude or sexist, oh alright, maybe I do, but Ashton is one uber minger!

  4. Brown has once more gone into bat for Britain only to find the rest of Europe is playing soccer. Still Lady Ashton should be able to use her sociology skills with her new staff of 5,000! Her first task should be to ensure the Great British Curly-Wurly has an opt-out from being covered in Belgian chocolate. In the meantime Etonian Dave is silent. Poor bloody Britain. Nick Clegg anyone?

  5. ug - i have a little surprise for you at:

  6. Old Man, who remembers Ted Heath.21 November 2009 at 18:30

    But at the end of the day it's a Curly-Wurly in the eye for Blair and his Mrs. so that has to be a result. Go Herman.

  7. Remind me to chat to you about the Cameron referendum bit. Anyway, definite minus points to you for knowing about the content of X Factor!

  8. What about the waffles?!
    Thank you belgium, for the waffles.

  9. since when did you know about Jedward, UberGrunpy? yes, i agree with Matt, definite minus points. tutut, UberGrumpy.

  10. also, who needs belgium chocolate when we have curly-wurlys?

  11. WOW Uber how cool,
    I guess I coul get a position as head adminastrator in charge of society waffles, if I could spell it,hell, I would even chip in for the bumper stickers, and reinvent the waffle stompers.

  12. I think Belgium thoroughly deserves it for it's contribution to world cuisine. Forget chocolate and waffles, where would we be without french fries? Due recognition at last.

  13. We had a referendum on Lisbon but fear mongering got a yes vote. I would just like to say that I am not a fan of Jedward, nor are many of my countrymen!

  14. In our referendum for that treaty, everyone I know voted No, and campaigned No, and the result was Yes.

    Is it me, or was this Herman fellow in office all of ten minutes before he announced he was wanting a Europe-wide tax??

    Oh gooodeeee.

    I'm so glad to find you. Grump away.