Barroso and Bilderberg to the Rescue of Belgium. Will the UK Be Ousted from the EU?
From the desk of Paul Belien on Sat, 2007-10-06 23:01
Today, day 119 since the general elections of June 10th, Belgium still has no government. Belgium’s politicians, however, expect the country to have a new government soon. Yves Leterme, the leader of the Flemish Christian-Democrats, who last week was reappointed as “formateur” (Prime Minister Designate) by Belgium’s King Albert II, knows that he has no choice but to succeed in forming a government. If he does not, his political career is over. Mr Leterme, who won last June’s elections on a pro-Flemish platform, will have to withdraw all the Flemish demands because the Walloon politicians have vetoed them all.
Belgium consists of 6 million Dutch-speakers in Flanders (its northern half), 3 million French-speakers in Wallonia (its southern part), and 1 million people in its capital, Brussels (a predominantly French-speaking enclave within Flanders), where half the population consists of immigrants – many of them Muslims.
While Flanders is free-market oriented, Wallonia is predominantly socialist. An enormous amount of Flemish subsidies (some 10 billion euros per year) is flowing to Wallonia and Brussels. 20% of the Walloons and 8% of the Flemings are unemployed and 40% of the Walloons and 20% of the Flemings are civil servants.
On Thursday, José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, visited the editorial offices of De Standaard, the leading Flemish broadsheet paper, to admonish the Flemings that it is their duty towards Europe to keep paying for Wallonia. Mr Barroso stressed that Belgium (read Flanders) has a large responsibility towards the European Union. “It would be a contradiction if we [the European Commission] would not advocate solidarity within Belgium between Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels,” Mr Barroso said.
Last week a group of post-modernist Belgian intellectuals and artists, backed by the powerful Belgian trade unions, started a petition in favour of Belgium. The petition, which is called “Red de solidariteit” (Save the solidarity), argues that Flanders has a moral obligation to keep paying for welfare in Brussels and socialist-dominated Wallonia. Mr Barroso agrees. “I strongly hope that Belgium and its three regions, Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels, maintain their mutual level of solidarity,” the EU Commission President said. “This is of utmost importance, also for Europe. Within Europe we constantly advocate solidarity.” Mr Barroso added that he is “confident” that the Belgians will find a solution for the current political crisis. “I am a firm believer in democracy. There isn’t a single political problem which democracy cannot solve,” he said.
Mr Barroso does not seem to understand that Belgium and democracy are mutually exclusive. Indeed, Walloon politicians warn that if the Flemish majority in the Belgian parliament decides to vote in favour of policies which the Walloon minority rejects this will be the end of Belgium. In an interview in Flanders’ largest newspaper, Het Laatste Nieuws, Elio Di Rupo, the leader of the Walloon Socialists, was asked “What will happen if the Flemings use their majority in Parliament?” Mr Di Rupo answered: “That would be the end of Belgium.” The journalist objected: “That would be democratic rule, a majority in Parliament.” Whereupon Mr Di Rupo: “Then democracy will be the end of Belgium.” To Walloon politicians, however, democracy means that the Flemish majority gives in to the Walloon minority.
In Brussels, whether at the Belgian or the European level, the word “democracy” has a different meaning than in London or Washington. For the Eurocrats “democracy” implies that whenever the peoples of Europe reject their schemes (such as the so-called “European Constitution”), the political elites just go ahead because they know better than the people what is good for the people. While Mr. Barroso was visiting De Standaard, Viscount Etienne Davignon, a former European Commissioner who is the chairman of the secretive Bilderberg Group and a member of King Albert II’s Crown Council, was celebrating his 75th birthday in the Egmont Palace in Brussels. Among the invited was George Soros, who said that Europe [i.e. the European Union] incarnates the idea of the “open society.” Viscount Davignon said that a debate “without taboos” is needed about the EU’s future. He asked whether countries such as Britain, “which consistently hamper European integration,” should not be ousted from the EU.
In a birthday interview in last Thursday’s De Standaard, the Viscount stressed that the Belgian trade unions oppose larger autonomy for Flanders. Every Fleming, including Mr Leterme, knows that such a statement is a threat. Belgium is a corporatist system. It is run by an alliance of the trade unions and an oligarchic French-speaking establishment headed by the King and dominated by the clique around Viscount Davignon.
While all the Belgian political parties and most institutions have split along linguistic lines, the powerful trade unions have not, nor has the Belgian social security system. The latter is controlled by a conglomerate of three trade unions (a Christian-Democrat, a Socialist and a Liberal one). These are recognized by the government as the only representative trade unions.
In Belgium, unlike anywhere else in the world, the three official trade unions, not the state, pay unemployment benefits. Each year the government gives them the necessary funds and also pays them a fee for every unemployed person they cater for. The perverse result is that it is in the unions’ interest to have high unemployment: the more people without a job, the richer the trade unions become. The total sum of the fees amounts to 120 million euros per year. What is more, all Belgian civil servants are automatically union members: the government pays their membership dues (a total of over 45.5 million euros) directly to the unions – even for individuals who do not want to join.
The Belgian authorities deal only with the three officially recognized unions. These have a combined membership of over 2.9 million – almost 30% of the whole Belgian population. Over half the members (54%) belong to the Christian-Democrat Union, 39% to the Socialist Union and 7% to the Liberal Union.
Each of the official unions is linked to a sickness fund. These funds run Belgium’s mandatory health insurance system, owning hospitals, pharmacies and health resorts. The unions and sickness funds are national organizations with huge financial interests in both parts of the country. They do not tolerate any questioning of the Belgian State and its unity, because they fear that any successor to this state, and in particular an independent Flemish Republic, will be less generous to them. They are always ready to mobilize their members and their clients (the unemployed, the sick, everyone at the receiving end of the generous “social” subsidies provided by the state, as well as those who earn their living providing the welfare state’s “care”) against “political adventures” such as Flemish separatism.
Last week the Social Partners and the Davignon network made it clear to the Flemish Christian-Democrats that playtime is over and that Mr Leterme has to form a government very soon. The “royal scout” Herman Van Rompuy, a pro-Belgian Christian-Democrat and a member of the King’s Crown Council, gave Mr Leterme a binding memorandum, written by the Walloon politician Joelle Milquet, which states that the new government “has to respect the principle of solidarity and the economic unity of the country.”
Greater Flemish autonomy, let alone a unilateral declaration of Flemish independence by the Flemish regional parliament, is out of the question. In the event of a Flemish secession, the trade unions will stop paying unemployment and welfare benefits in Flanders, while the Belgian state, controlled by the French-speaking establishment, will stop paying the salaries of the thousands of Flemish civil servants. The establishment will deliberately create chaos with the aim of turning Flemish public opinion against “secessionist adventurers.”
Pressured by the establishment’s blackmail, the Belgians will soon have a new government. The Flemish Christian-Democrats (CD&V) and the Flemish Liberals (VLD) are about to join a coalition with Mrs Milquet’s Walloon Humanists (CDH) and the Walloon Liberals (MR, the party of the anti-American and pro-Cuban European Commissioner Louis Michel, another member of the Crown Council). All the Flemish demands for more autonomy and for diminishing Flemish welfare subsidies to Wallonia have been smothered.
The Flemish demand to abolish the Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde (BHV) constituency, which allows Walloon parties to stand for election in Flanders while Flemish parties are not allowed to stand in Wallonia, has been turned down, too. According to a 2003 ruling of Belgium’s Constitutional Court, BHV has to be abolished because it discriminates the Flemings. Despite this ruling, however, BHV will continue to exist. This is unconstitutional, but who cares? For the Belgian establishment the Constitution is but a piece of paper which, if the continued existence of the state is at stake, is simply ignored.
What will happen next? Mr Leterme will become Prime Minister and will govern until 2011. His Christian-Democrats are likely to lose the 2009 regional elections. However, by then the Belgian establishment might have neutralized the Flemish secessionist Vlaams Belang (VB) by taking away its finances. The Council of State, a Belgian administrative court, is soon to rule whether or not to defund the VB. This is an attempt to kill the party by depriving it of its finances. Ten years ago the Belgian authorities decided to make it illegal for political parties to accept private donations. Instead parties are subsidized by the state in accordance with the number of votes gained in the last elections. Parties that are considered to be “enemies of the state” can, however, be defunded.
Perhaps the British, if they are lucky, will have been ousted from the EU by 2011. While continental Europe becomes ever more totalitarian, England might just manage to escape. Flanders, unfortunately, will not. As The Brussels Journal wrote last June 11th, Flanders voted for the right but it will not get what it is entitled to. There is no democracy in Brussels, neither at the European level nor at the Belgian level.
|A Throne in Brussels: Britain, the Saxe-Coburgs and the Belgianisation of Europe
Author: Paul Belien
On the current crisis in Belgium, see also:
McKinsey CEO Calls for End of Belgium, Resigns, 13 December 2005
King Warns for Dissolution of Belgium, 1 February 2006
Flanders and France Vote for the Right. But Flanders Will Not Get What It Is Entitled To, 11 June 2007
The Influence of the Immigrant Vote on Belgian Politics, 26 June 2007
EU: The Model is Collapsing. Brussels Calls upon King for Help, 18 August 2007
After Belgium: Will Flanders and the Netherlands Reunite? 23 August 2007
King Summons Unelected Councillors to Solve Crisis. Will France Annex Wallonia? 28 August 2007
Royal Scout Keeps a Low Profile, Brussels Recalls Ambassador in Paris, 31 August 2007
Could Sarkozy Solve Belgium’s Crisis? 3 September 2007
Even Flemish Muslims Want to Separate from the Walloons, 6 September 2007
If Flanders Secedes Wallonia Disintegrates, 9 September 2007
After Belgium: Europe’s New Map, 13 September 2007
Thrembling Thrones in Brussels, 18 September 2007
Save Belgium: Postmodernists to the Rescue, 28 September 2007
Yves Leterme Is Too Soft. Will Flanders Join EFTA? 1 October 2007
Background articles explaining Belgium:
A City Without Water Is A City Without A Soul, 28 June 2005
How Flanders Helped Shape Freedom in America, 11 July 2005
The Dark Roots of the EU, 5 December 2005
Nations Under Construction: Defining Artificial States, 13 June 2006
Why Is the Vlaams Belang So Popular? 13 February 2007
Belgium, the EU’s Destiny. The End of Nothingness, 25 August 2007
Why Belgium Is an Artificial State. And the United Kingdom, Switzerland (and Even Austria-Hungary) Are Not, 27 August 2007
respect the principle of solidarity
Submitted by R. Hartman on Thu, 2007-11-08 17:51.
The hypocrites! The principle of solidarity is that it is voluntarily. Once it is forced, it amounts to extortion and looses all relationship with solidarity. Yet another word raped by the socialists...
Too much TV damages your brain
Submitted by Armor on Wed, 2007-10-17 11:03.
Marcfrans: "2) With regard to selecting immigrants, it should set objective criteria (and practical tests) to discriminate on the basis of behavior/opinions (i.e. culture), not race. Why? Because humans determine (and are morally responsible) for their own behavior, not their 'God-given looks."
I have replied to that a little earlier in the thread. You suffer from a delusion that you are God, granting passports to paradise, when in fact, you are only a brainwashed jackass who watches too much TV. If you were able to think by yourself, you would not imitate your TV set and want third-worlders to replace Europeans.
Submitted by atheling on Tue, 2007-10-23 05:25.
You miss marcfrans' point entirely, which is a PRINCIPLE of true democracy.
Your insistence on associating cultural assimilation with physical characteristics only reflects that you are the jacka**:
A true racist - now look in the mirror and see something ugly.
In Response to Armor
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Fri, 2007-10-12 17:24.
Armor: On the contrary, the most valid opinion against immigration is that we don't want our descendants to look like Zimbabweans or Moroccans. We have a right to want our descendants to look like ourselves.
"Valid" assumes a value system. Aesthetic considerations should be placed alongside economic, socio-cultural and political ones. However, somehow I would probably no longer be concerned with British domestic politics should the indigenous White Britons be reduced to an insignificant minority. Just because the West is terrified to discuss racial aesthetics does not mean that they do not exist or that non-White peoples are not fully aware of them. Indeed, racial fetishism is flourishing in the West on the part of non-Whites, however, discussion of it is restricted mostly to non-Whites in the blogosphere.
Armor: There is no reason we should reward good third world people with European passports. Refusing them entry to Europe is not a punishment either. They have their own countries, and we have a right to exist.
If there is no reason to do a thing, there is no reason not to. If an entity has a right to exist, from where is that right derived? National self-determination is predicated purely upon the ability for nations to enforce their own sovereignty. One country exercising its national self-determination may spell war for another. Western European politicians are enabling the largest conquest in human history to be conducted with only a modicum of violence. Therefore, without appealing to any value systems, Europeans must unite and be prepared to fight for a Europe not that is progressive, is liberal, is democratic, is Christian or is Western, but a Europe that they want.
In Response to MarcFrans
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Fri, 2007-10-12 17:23.
MarcFrans: It is NOT my opinion "that we can transform people of other races into Europeans by sharing our culture, etc.....". At least not if you mean by "people" large groups of recent immigrants coming from very different cultures. This has nothing to do with "race", but everything with "culture". There is a multitude of OBSERVABLE empirical evidence that many specific INDIVIDUALS can adjust to or adopt and partake in almost any culture that is different from the one in which they were born.
Then if recent migrations to Western Europe were regarded as migrations of individuals as opposed to particular peoples - Muslim, African, Indian - there is no reason that these individuals cannot be integrated according to your logic. Therefore, the fact that immigrant acculturalization is failing is a purely socio-cultural problem which can be solved without sealing Western Europe's borders.
MarcFrans: Your objection to 'sudden' and large-scale immigration from "third world countries", or any other countries for that matter, should be based (formulated) on the basis of 'culture' not of 'race'.
Why? Why is it acceptable to discriminate against culture, and even religion, but not race? It is well within one's rights to reject immigration on aesthetic grounds given that the process of human ancestry has tended to produce ethnicities with specific physical characteristics, and that these assist in determining national membership, with all the rights, freedoms, benefits and obligations that this entails.
MarcFrans: People, both as individuals and as groups, can and should be held responsible for their 'culture' (i.e. behavior patterns and opinions) not for physical features over which they have absolutely no control.
I would counter that as one is predated by their culture, they are not completely "responsible", and generally must either accept or reject it. However, rejecting it to demonstrate some sort of responsibility to liberal democratic norms (do I detect progressiveness here?), which appear neither universal nor objective, usually has negative consequences for the individual in question. Moreover, attempting to alter one's own culture in such a direction can only meet with limited success given that cultures generally evolve gradually and incrementally over long periods of time.
MarcFrans: You may think of yourself as a 'European', but you clearly do not get (understand) the core of neither christianity nor of the (historically European) Enlightenment.
Neither Christianity nor the Enlightenment fully encompass the European or Western intellectual heritage. Moreover, despite the universal cosmopolitanism of Christianity, progressive legislation was enacted mostly before the issue of ethnolysis (destruction of an ethnicity through extinction, annihilation or miscegenation) became a major one.
Here we go again
Submitted by marcfrans on Wed, 2007-10-17 04:39.
@ Kapitein Andre
You asked a number of specific questions, and I will give you answers.
1) No, you deliberately misrepresent my "logic". I said that some INDIVIDUALS can better "integrate" than others. A sensible immigration policy would set up procedures to make that distinction, would insist on 'high' standards, and would specify overall limits. It would also not tolerate lawlesness. Furthermore, evidence of significant "failing immigrant acculturalization" provides a strong argument for more effective sealing of borders.
2) The law should never "discriminate" among citizens. With regard to selecting immigrants, it should set objective criteria (and practical tests) to discriminate on the basis of behavior/opinions (i.e. culture), not race. Why? Because humans determine (and are morally responsible for) their own behavior, not their 'God-given looks. Your concern about "aesthetic grounds" wil be reflected in the overall limits that should be determined through the democratic process by parliaments. All cultures and ethnicities evolve over time. It is infinitely more important that a society can maintain (or improve on) its democratic values (and procedures) than homogeneity of 'looks'. For example, the fact that there is no longer respect for freedom of (political) speech in Belgium is much more to be regretted than the fact that the average Belgian today perhaps may no longer physically resemble Belgians of 1830 closely. Racism is a perversion of 'values', and specifically it is a form of 'kopindegronderij', in the sense that it involves a substitution of superficial 'desires' (like 'looks') for more demanding serious values (like democracy, e.g. respecting the individual rights of fellow citizens).
3) Of course, liberal democratic norms are not universal, but they can be given a degree of "objectivity" through constitutional provisions. But, if dishonesty prevails in the culture, then constitutional protections become illusory (as they do today in Belgium). Ultimately, what matters is morality and not looks. The people in Germany in 1938 may have looked more alike and aesthetically pleasing to the Kapitein, compared to for instance the people of Illinois today, but that is/was certainly not something to be wished for....
4) I did not claim that christianity and the Enlightenment contain "fully" the western heritage. But, without them, that heritage would be a very different one today, and probably not much different from what we can see in the rest of the world. I am not sure what you are saying in your last sentence, but I think that a lot of so-called "progressive legislation" is rather 'regressive' in terms of many of its effects.
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2007-10-11 18:56.
1) I clearly asked for your views on the 2 hypotheses that I had formulated concerning Quebec, and in response I get more irrelevant nonsense.
2) If Bretons on the west coast of France no longer have to live in caves, I fail to say why you want eskimos to continue living in igloos! And, once again, culture does NOT depend "heavily on race". It depends on a very specific human HISTORY (or actual experiences of many specific individuals in specific geographic places).
3) As a 'traditional' but post-Enlightenment European, I have no problem with other people having different viewpoints or opinions. But, I do insist on honesty in any discussion. So, pleace refrain from misrepresenting my positions. It is NOT my opinion "that we can transform people of other races into Europeans by sharing our culture, etc.....". At least not if you mean by "people" large groups of recent immigrants coming from very different cultures. This has nothing to do with "race", but everything with "culture". There is a multitude of OBSERVABLE empirical evidence that many specific INDIVIDUALS can adjust to or adopt and partake in almost any culture that is different from the one in which they were born.
4) Your objection to 'sudden' and large-scale immigration from "third world countries", or any other countries for that matter, should be based (formulated) on the basis of 'culture' not of 'race'. People, both as individuals and as groups, can and should be held responsible for their 'culture' (i.e. behavior patterns and opinions) not for physical features over which they have absolutely no control.
You may think of yourself as a 'European', but you clearly do not get (understand) the core of neither christianity nor of the (historically European) Enlightenment.
Armor corrects Marcfrans
Submitted by Armor on Thu, 2007-10-11 20:22.
"1) I clearly asked for your views "
I don't think you are always very clear.
"4) Your objection to (...) immigration (...) should be based (formulated) on the basis of 'culture' not of 'race'. "
On the contrary, the most valid opinion against immigration is that we don't want our descendants to look like Zimbabweans or Moroccans. We have a right to want our descendants to look like ourselves.
"People, both as individuals and as groups, can and should be held responsible for their 'culture' (i.e. behavior patterns and opinions) not for physical features over which they have absolutely no control."
You speak as if you were God and Europe was paradise.
There is no reason we should reward good third world people with European passports. Refusing them entry to Europe is not a punishment either. They have their own countries, and we have a right to exist.
atheling admonishes armor
Submitted by atheling on Thu, 2007-10-11 22:01.
"the most valid opinion against immigration is that we don't want our descendants to look like Zimbabweans or Moroccans. We have a right to want our descendants to look like ourselves."
Now that's creepy. And shallow.
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Thu, 2007-10-11 16:25.
"It means from an Eskimo point of view,Europeans are not people,but more likely a sub-species of penguins..."
And which bird-brain helped you reach that conclusion,or did you arrive there all by yourself?
Submitted by Armor on Thu, 2007-10-11 15:39.
Atlantist: "The term Eskimo is considered pejorative in Canada,where the preferred term is Inuit".
and here is the end of the wikipedia sentence: ...where the preferred term is Inuit, which means "people" or "the people"
It means that from an Eskimo point of view, Europeans are not people, but more likely a sub-species of penguins. How arrogant!
Marfcrans: the ability to make the distinction between culture and 'race'.
Let's take the case of the Eskimos. What is left of their culture? Very little. They no longer build good igloos. Nowadays, they probably drink coke. They still have their Eskimo character, the character of their race, but the traditional method of building an igloo, which was a part of Eskimo culture, has not been passed along with Eskimo genes. So, even though culture depends heavily on race, I agree with you that we must make a distinction between culture and race.
As a European, I feel like an Eskimo, since the traditional society that still existed in many parts of Europe a hundred years ago has now largely disappeared. Marcfrans's idea that we can transform people of other races into Europeans by sharing our "culture" with them is absurd, as we no longer have a popular European culture in the first place. (Or maybe Africans can become European (Belgian for example) if they manage to lose any trace of an identity?) It is remarkable that even without a traditional culture, we still feel that we have little in common with third world immigrants. If it isn't cultural awareness that makes us feel we are European, what is it? We just know that we are not the same kind of people (not the same kind of inuit) as they are. I think the emphasis on culture is irrelevant.
PS: do you have any opinion about Barroso and Bilderberg?
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Thu, 2007-10-11 00:59.
"In a similar vain", I think Armor needs to be a tad more selective in the use of language himself.
"The term Eskimo is considered pejorative in Canada,where the preferred term is Inuit".
Glasshouses and stones readily spring to mind.
Submitted by marcfrans on Thu, 2007-10-11 00:31.
Do Bretons feel superior to Eskimos, or is this just an individual 'failure' of yours?
Flexibility of mind and tolerance, mon cher, is what you need, and - need it be repeated? - the ability to make the distinction between culture and 'race'.
Nevertheless, I would be more interested to hear your views on the two hypotheses I have presented, rather than further evidence of another apparent prejudice of yours.
More on Canada
Submitted by marcfrans on Wed, 2007-10-10 16:15.
A major difference between Canada and Belgium is that the relatively-small French-speaking MINORITY in Canada has achieved much greater fiscal autonomy (revenue-raising authority) and cultural respect (as measured by 'linguistic equality' in the federal government) than the Dutch-speaking MAJORITY has in Belgium. The main reason resides in different perceptions of identity. Whereas most Flemish lefties consider themselves first lefties (naive-lefties in reality) before they are Flemish, most Quebecqers are first culturally 'French' before they are lefties.
In contrast with Bollekeboy, I do not think that Quebec currently is "a socialist basket case", comparable to Wallonia, and I doubt that an independent Quebec Republic would be a "glorious" one. In a similar vain, Armor may think that an independent Quebec would be "libre". It surely would be free to retain its language, but it would unlikely retain essential individual freedoms given its naive-left cultural tendencies in recent decades.
What language is that ?
Submitted by Armor on Wed, 2007-10-10 17:20.
"In a similar vain,"
Is it eskimo language ?
I should add that if
Submitted by BollekeBoy on Tue, 2007-10-09 15:42.
I should add that if Flanders were to declare independence, I would run my Flemish Lion up the flagpole and throw a Flemish independence party too.
It appears that the only
Submitted by BollekeBoy on Tue, 2007-10-09 15:38.
It appears that the only thing keeping Flanders from becoming an independent republic is a lack of will. Anyone who wants to be independent can be these days. Montenegro recently declared independence after all. Over here in North America we have Quebec as another example of an independence movement that can't seem to close the deal. Of course Quebec remains part of Canada for exactly the opposite reason that Flanders remains in Belgium. Quebec is Canada's Wallonia; a French speaking, socialist basket case subsidized by English speaking Canada. So Quebec stays in Canada because it allows them to continue living in their socialist, welfare state utopia. There is no such advantage to Flanders remaining in Belgium, but I fear they have missed their opportunity. The longer this drags on the less likely independence becomes. As we say over here in America, the Flemish political leaders need to 'man up' and do what the people elected them to do.
AS for the U.K. being forced out of the European Union, that would be the best thing to happen to the British since 1945. I would run my Union flag up the flagpole in my front yard and throw a British independence party. God save the Queen!
Vive le Québec libre !
Submitted by Armor on Tue, 2007-10-09 16:26.
"Quebec stays in Canada because it allows them to continue living in their socialist, welfare state utopia."
In fact, French speaking Quebeckers voted for independence in the 1995 referendum. Independence was rejected because of the vote of English speakers and immigrants.
It is true that a majority
Submitted by BollekeBoy on Tue, 2007-10-09 19:07.
It is true that a majority of French speakers voted for independence in the 1995 referendum, but the vote was not even across different age groups. Young Francophones, those 30 and under, voted overwhelmingly for independence. However, due to Quebec's low birthrates since the 1960's there simply were not enough of them. Had the Quebec Seperatist Party done a better job of selling their idea to the baby boomers, there would have been more than enough yes votes to overcome the English speaking and immigrant votes. Then you would have the glorious republic of Quebec that you so desire.
Quebec and Canada, Wallonia and Flanders
Submitted by spraynasal on Wed, 2007-10-10 04:43.
These comparisons between Belgium and Canada are interesting: In Canada the French speaking often feels their future threatened by the sheer numbers of the anglo majority. So they have a strong independentist movement. But the independence of Quebec is "Center left", politically speaking.
By contrast, In Flanders, the Flemish nationalists have traditionnally considered themselves as oppressed by the French, and as a result they have often sympathized with imperialisms perceived as anti-french (Germany, in the past...American conservatives today....(?)).
The blackmail can be thwarted
Submitted by RS on Mon, 2007-10-08 18:52.
"In the event of a Flemish secession, the trade unions will stop paying unemployment and welfare benefits in Flanders, while the Belgian state, controlled by the French-speaking establishment, will stop paying the salaries of the thousands of Flemish civil servants."
This threat can be diffused by having the Flemish government assume the benefits and salaries in question. This will not be a financial problem, given that tax revenues will be flowing to the Flemish government, whose central bank will be issuing legal tender and making a market in Flemish state bills, notes, and bonds. The legislature can later make whatever adjustments in welfare and civil service policy is desirable.
In Reply to spraynasal
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Mon, 2007-10-08 05:35.
spraynasal: As an educator, I would say...
Unfortunately, this statement cannnot be verified at this time. The difficulty with the anonymity afforded by the Internet is the loss in credibility when referencing personal experiences, etc.
spraynasal: When someone makes the confusion between "accountability" and "despise for the weak", I just have a feeling of revulsion.
There is a distinction between judging people or a particular group of people to be weak and then despising them, and despising weakness in general. When an individual with a rags-to-riches story brags that they never had to accept hand-outs, the corollary of this proud statement is that there must be some shame in being unable to support oneself.
spraynasal: Jesus didn't come to support and reward the strong people, but for the weak and sinners who are lost, so there is a big abyss between social darwinism and christianity...Christians believe that no matter how insignificant you are, you are part of God's plan and have a valuable place in the world.
Which is one of the reasons that religion was labelled the "opiate of the masses". Nevertheless, both liberalism and socialism are heavily indebted to Christianity, and this influence explains their attempts at universal cosmopolitanism and support for human rights.
spraynasal: Social Darminists believe that life is a race where the ultimate law is the survival of the strongest.
Which is the state of affairs in the natural world. Attempts to ameliorate the cruelty that nature can inflict are welcome, however, to base a culture upon a sense of entitlement that contradicts nature is bound to dash many a great expectation. Moreover, life is a race, a race to one's death. Thus, the Neanderthal in Man (and in men for the purposes of this argument), seeks to survive and reproduce the best, which translates roughly into Ferraris, mansions and as many women as possible. For the unfit, religion promises a glorious afterlife which provides some degree of consolation.
Let the Walloons fund their own welfare state
Submitted by Zen Master on Sun, 2007-10-07 23:15.
It is good to see that the Flemish are getting tired of supporting the minority Walloons. The Walloons are holding the ‘weaker hand’ because they depend on the Flemish to fund their welfare state. The Flemish can continue and allow the government to collapse and then who will fund the Walloons?
Barroso must be nervous thinking this idea might spread to other EU countries.
The Walloons would severely
Submitted by spraynasal on Sun, 2007-10-07 23:57.
The Walloons would severely suffer from a withdrawal of the Flemish funding, indeed, but the economic projections say that Flanders would also lose from a breakup.
How many walloons go to spend their vacation on the Flamish coast? And how many flemish companies do public works in Wallonia?
Furthermore to have a breakup you need an agreement on borders, and as long as Flanders places its capital city in Brussels and its identity in the ring surrounding brussels, there is no real possiblity of breakup. Unlock Brussels and it would be another matter....But we still have to wait to see the flemish nationalism becoming mature enough to form a new nation. I am really wondering furthermore, if an independent Flanders would benefit to the flemish culture: It seems that the Flemish are today more educated in the flemish language than the Dutch...I am not willing to break Belgium, being myself partially flemish, but maybe that a breakup of Belgium would be in the long term a loss for Flanders...and a benefit for Wallonia.
Submitted by Norman Conquest 304 on Sun, 2007-10-07 19:46.
So Sprayanal (pooh revulsive) tell us:
“When someone makes the confusion between "accountability" and "despise for the weak", I just have a feeling of revulsion”. And then we're entitled about a poor lesson on Christianity.
Well, I didn’t know that confiscating other people’s money obtained in most cases from their hard work in the name of “solidarity”, which, in fact, is a very hypocritical and amoral slogan, was tantamount to “despise for the weak”.
Moreover, nobody referred to “the weak”, but rather to “losers” for whom the Left tends to show compassion in order to better manipulate them.
Moreover, Mr Relativitist Educator, Christianity has everything to do with accountability.
You have not understood my point at all.
Submitted by exile on Sun, 2007-10-07 19:35.
I can only hope, that Flanders finds the strength and willingness to secede from Belgium. Having seen the way Flemmish POLITICIANS were treated in Brussels, (9/11/2007) I hate to think how the rank and file are treated.
"Yves Leterme... knows that he has no choice but to succeed in forming
a government. If he does not, his political career is over."
Let him form a free Flanders government. There's a whole new career for him.
God Bless Flanders.
Submitted by Aeneas on Sun, 2007-10-07 19:04.
What I can't understand about all this talk of Brussels becoming a European Washington DC is how would such a state be possible. Where would it get its electricity, water and food from? It would be totally surrounded by Flanders. Could Flanders therefore not effectively seal Brussels off? My understanding is that even Brussels airport is in Flanders so it would not even be necessary to close the airspace of Flanders.
Can you imagine if a free Flanders state was not part of the EU, or even part of say NAFTA how a federal EU capital could exist as an enclave surrounded by a foreign country. It would be like having the headquarters of NATO in West Berlin at the height of the Cold War.
The way I see it is that Flanders holds all the cards and the Belgian and EU elite know it and are therefore trying to frighten the seperatists.
Submitted by spraynasal on Sun, 2007-10-07 19:23.
You are right in saying that a landlocked Brussels is not viable. In my opinion, the insistance of Flanders to keep Brussels landlocked, completely surrounded by Flanders, is reflecting the ambivalence of the Flemish towards their own nationalism: The traditional answer of many of the older flemish generation is that splitting Belgium is not acceptable because that would mean losing Brussels...Including Karel Dillen, the founding Father of the VB used to say "Brussels will be the capital of a prosperous independent Flander"...To come to term with the fact that the population of Brussels is not flemish has been a long, slow, and painful process...
Now the Flemish (after many years of bargaining) have agreed to admit a specific, bilingual, self-governed Brussels government on the territory of Brussels. But they still refuse to let this territory to be connected with Wallonie, even if the southern border of Brussels is french-speaking in majority!
Of course, the Brussels population would probably continue a form of Belgium as an union of Brussels and Wallonie.
If some day, the Flemish become willing to accept to recognize the right of local population to choose their constituencies, the problem would be solved. I hope that Wallonia would also recognize the right for flemish living in Wallonia to vote for Flemish parties. And reciprocally.
But the flemish nationalist are not pragmatic enough, not yet, to do that, that's one of the reason why Belgium continue to exist.
Wallonia, the country of losers.
Submitted by Norman Conquest 304 on Sun, 2007-10-07 11:17.
Here is a link to a text by Michael Medved "The Essence of Liberalism ("Leftism" in the US sense): Embracing Life's Losers"
Here is a quote from this brilliant text:
"Liberals feel an irresistible instinct to take sides with the less fortunate.
While the right wants to reward beneficial choices and discourage destructive directions, the left seeks to eliminate or reduce the impact of the disadvantages that result from bad decisions. In place of the conservative emphasis on accountability, the left proffers a gospel of indiscriminate compassion".
Compassion and accountability
Submitted by spraynasal on Sun, 2007-10-07 17:37.
As an educator, I would say that to educate is to transmit, not the idea that you are strong, but that you serve the educated to find his or her own strengths, knowledge and values. You are serving the one who need to learn, not showing off your strength.
When someone makes the confusion between "accountability" and "despise for the weak", I just have a feeling of revulsion. Jesus didn't come to support and reward the strong people, but for the weak and sinners who are lost, so there is a big abyss between social darwinism and christianity. Social Darminists believe that life is a race where the ultimate law is the survival of the strongest. Christians believe that no matter how insignificant you are, you are part of God's plan and have a valuable place in the world. I don't know if I am a christian, I am not always in agreement with the church and have doubts about everything. But I reject social darwinism and I try not to despise anybody.
I imagine some of you will again ask me what I have inhaled in my nasal cavities, but no problem, today I have only taken cold medicine.
Now let's come to Wallonia and Flanders: As long as Flemish pretend to become an independent nation without asking the local population around Brussels if they want to belong to the Flemish territory or to the Brussels bilingual territory, as long as the Flemish are not ready to accept the simple and clear law of the universal suffrage in and around Brussels, they will have to stay Belgians... and maybe pay for it...Which is not a problem for me. I am a Belgian. And a Walloon.
There is regularly a false belief expressed in this journal, that Flemish have always lost territories to French-speaking. maybe it's true for the part of Flanders in France (Lille, Calais...haev been Flemish in the Middle Age..) but in Belgium, the borders of 1962 have been made without consulting the local populations! The so-called linguistic borders in Belgium have been decided by politicians, not in consultation with the local populations! as long as this mistake is not repaired, we will stay together...Which is not a problem for me: I like flemish. And I don't receive any money from them: I am expat...
Submitted by traveller on Sun, 2007-10-07 10:45.
Congratulations, a very accurate analysis.
Regretfully the flemish people are sheep, used to be robbed and eventually slaughtered.
STOP THIS OUTRAGEOUS TAMING AND LOOTING OF FLANDERS!
Submitted by Norman Conquest 304 on Sun, 2007-10-07 10:23.
1) Ubiquitous Stevie "No Wonder" Davignon is a democrat only by name. He would do well in the party of Billary Clinton.
2) Moreover, what has this "Open Wallet" Soros got to do with Belgian unity?
3) Solidarity is a virtue and a virtue cannot be forced/commanded by institutions, however noble or justified these can be. So-called solidarity is always easy with other people's money.
4) Like unemployment benefits in France, interstate and interregional redistribution should be conditioned and limited in time. The largest contributors should have a say in macro-management of funding.
5) A state's/a region's accountability for the use of funds it receives should get the priority and as such should be the centre of attention.
Submitted by Yitzhak on Sun, 2007-10-07 08:37.
Kapitein I totally agree with you.
Submitted by Kapitein Andre on Sun, 2007-10-07 02:18.
If the Flemish nation truly wants to exercise national self-determination through a sovereign state, it will have to pay the price, including the temporary cessation of welfare and unemployment payments and civil service salaries to Flemings. Given the Wallonian and pro-Belgian bloc's willingness and ability to override the constitution for its own ends (e.g. BHV constituency, labelling the VB an "enemy of the state"), a declaration of independence accompanied by effective civil disobedience and perhaps even revolutionary violence appears the only course of action. If the Flemings are unwilling or too lazy to fight for their independence, then the Belgian state should soldier on.
fighting for independence
Submitted by Armor on Tue, 2007-10-09 15:25.
Kapitein Andre wrote: "If the Flemings are unwilling or too lazy to fight for their independence, then the Belgian state should soldier on"
Before the Flemings decide to "fight for their independence", they need to realize that independence is a good thing. So far, I think only half of them say they are in favor of independence. People do not come by themselves to the idea of independence. There need to be a public debate on the matter so people can think about it. That is where the Belgian media and state apparatus can interfere. They won't be able to prevent Flanders from breaking away if Flanders decides to break away. But they can interfere with the intellectual mobilization and the formation of Flemish opinion. They can try to keep the Vlaams Belang out of the media, for example.
The sooner the better .
Submitted by THE DOCTOR on Sat, 2007-10-06 23:44.
So the E.U. should throw Britain out , YES , super , the sooner we are free the better . We will be richer , have more trading partners , have a more liberal society and , best of all , France , Germany and Holland will have to pay a lot more to make up our lost contributions . Flanders , do not be intimidated , if the state do try to deprive you of funds , remember that Flanders surrounds Brussels and if you turn off their power and water see who collapses first .
God bless Flanders .
Bridge over troubled waters
Submitted by Bob Doney on Sun, 2007-10-07 00:59.
With all the money we'll save we could build a bridge to Flanders, so you lot can easily escape. You're sure to qualify as political asylum seekers.
Submitted by Amsterdamsky on Sat, 2007-10-06 23:23.
"A saying in the US, used when a political party is using naked power to achieve selfish ends comes to mind: "sell stock, buy guns and canned goods"."
Or leave California like I did. If europeans only knew how fucked up California is. It is only the extreme talent and entrepreneurialism that keeps the tax revenue ahead of ways Sacremento can find to spend it.
"Yves Leterme... knows that
Submitted by JimMtnViewCaUSA on Sat, 2007-10-06 23:19.
"Yves Leterme... knows that he has no choice but to succeed in forming a government. If he does not, his political career is over."
If he was elected based on a pro-Flemish platform, I wonder why his political career will not end if he caves in to the anti-Flemish and anti-democratic forces?
This article describes very well the measures intended by the "anti's". They are clearly ready and willing to play hardball. One hopes that the Flemish leaders will come up with a plan to counteract the powerplay.
A saying in the US, used when a political party is using naked power to achieve selfish ends comes to mind: "sell stock, buy guns and canned goods". It may or may not be time to act but it is certainly time to get ready.