For whatever it's worth

Tag archief: referenda

Halleluja! 2012 is over and done. Let it be.

Originally, King Billy had planned to name names and take a bunch of people down with me, but since that would be crazy (right?), King Billy has chosen instead to offer a little bit of advice to new political hot shots, who will pop up in 2013.

Well, here we go.

Truth be told first, you new political hotshots, I don’t remember all of your predecessors’ names from the glorious days of the Treaties of Nice, Amsterdam, Maastricht and Lisbon.  But as I’ve seen so far, they used to hang around the place when it was magical, I’m not so confident that those guy’s knew what they were doing. Because treaties had to be broken and referenda were circumvented.

For all who repeatedly keep telling me , “those who can’t do, can only criticize.”, I do still understand one thing. There’s an old Bunga-Bunga hot shot popping up again.  Well, at least, I fucking not am! So, again, and for the last fucking time, “I’ve seen all their shows for 20 years!”

(Wow, this feels good to write at long last!)

Anyway, good luck, you new political hot shots.  You’re gonna need it.

It’s gonna be fun at first, I swear! Just try to remember that even though a lot of these people you’ll be meeting are going to be nice to you at first, it won’t be long before they tell you all about everything you do wrong and how you destroy the gangbang show forever ever again and a again.

Then, it’s about time to spin you some outrageous tales about how you all will make the EU again a glorious bastion of diversified solidarity within Europe and the rest of the world.  As your predecessors tried to accomplish.

Once you’re past this initial “friends” point, the job is basically hanging out and play, listening to free advice and, probably the best part of all, wielding a power so great that you’ll be transformed into some sort of new god!  So, just try to pace yourself, because it’s real easy to get burned out.

This is why you’ll need to find advisors and spin doctors, and, well, plenty of others. These people have not only done incredible things for the troupe in the past, they are normal, realistic humans who really understand that it’s unfair to assume it’s the white and blue collar voter’s obligation to love every last speech and new paper you produce.

Not only will these promoters and spin doctors help you when you need it, they also tend to be pretty punctual with their calendar listings. These are the people that understand that political osmosis is not a viable means of promotion.  And they’ll  give you their phone numbers and other stuff for unexpected emergencies.

Nevertheless, do your best to be honest. Not that I know what it’s like myself, but I’d imagine that going out of your way to try and please your voters or perhaps exaggerating how much you did do or didn’t like, would make you feel kind of awful.

Besides, no matter what you do, you’re going to piss somebody off anyway. As you will be pissed off.  Seriously, you political hot shots, voters are never happy. And so am I.

Don’t take it too seriously, though. Like I write, the voters are never happy and, in many cases, these advisers and spin doctors aren’t  really concerned about critics. They’re there for you to silence those doubtful whispers that say things like, “You dudes, you didn’t care about your voters.” Or, “Maybe you should write an original speech now and then.” Or, “Ten TV appearances  a week is way too much. Go back to work.”

When these things start to drive you crazy—and I promise you they will—take a step back and remember that all-important truth about being the local political representative on the European scene: It is not your job to make this scene work!  And no matter how many people tell you that you should  help bolster their objectives or aim to make or break careers of your respected fellows, you can’t let those white and blue collar workers get to you.  Again: “You-can’t-let-those-people-get-to-you.”

Let the advisors and spin doctors hit and pave the road and just see how well they do outside the comfort of your familiar and precious boundaries.  As long as they are conducting the shows in your particular area’s of responsibilities  –and interests of course, the only simple thing that remains for you to do, is to present your honest-to-God opinion.

Godspeed,  Godspeed!  2013 is anxiously waiting! Already loaded with a host of broken promises and evaporated expectations from the past.  2014, a new election year, is nearer  as you might imagine.



Het middelpunt van de EU in the middle of nowhere. ‘No where’ or ‘now here’, Barroso?

50° 10‘ 21“ NB en 9° 9‘ 0“ OL.

Middenin in een veldje, aan de voet van  een of andere Heilige Kop in Gelnhausen-Meerholz, een voormalig  Barbarossa stadje ligt het geografische middelpunt van de Europese Unie. Niet te verwarren met  ‘Barroso’.  De laatste inmiddels ook een begrip, weliswaar omstreden, die eveneens synoniem staat voor het middelpunt van de EU. Hetgeen wellicht verklaart waarom Barroso deze ietwat afgelegen plek in the middle of nowhere nimmer met een bezoek heeft vereerd. Althans, officieel.

Gelnhausen, in de deelstaat Hessen, dat Duitsers soms verbasteren tot ‘Hässen’. Misschien omdat in Hessen ook de ECB zetelt, die niet ver verwijderd van Gelnhausen een ander bankje  voor zo’n miljard euro hoog in de lucht bouwt op een zwaar bewaakte plek langs de ‘Main’?

Een futuristische projectie van een andere soort bank

Niets is evenwel statisch in Europa. De huidige EU is niet meer de EU van 2007, vlak voordat Lehmann Brothers failliet ging. Hoewel….. Barroso was destijds ook al de bevlogen Voorzitter van de Europese Commissie.

Niettemin verlegt het geografische middelpunt zich binnenkort iets naar het Oost-Zuid-Oosten zodra Kroatie toetreedt tot de EU. Waarmee dit voormalige Barbarrosa stadje haar huidige faam als geografisch middelpunt van de EU onherroepelijk aan de wilgen moet hangen.

Mochten dan ooit nog eens Turkije en/of Ukraine toetreden tot de EU, verheug je dan op een verschuiving van het middelpunt van de EU naar ski-oorden in de Alpen in het voormalige keizerrijk Oostenrijk. Van waaruit Keizer Karel V vroeger de scepter zwaaide over een ander Europa en met succes de aanvallen van het Ottomaanse Rijk wist af te slaan.

Barroso’s visie op ‘Europa’ –hij bedoelt de EU en de eurozone, ‘Europa’ is another piece of cake. ‘Moet kunnen, nietwaar?–  blijft echter een onuitputtelijke bron voor de ‘Ode of Joy’, want als polijstgladde Europees staat hij voor niets en alles. Het enige concrete Europese project dat Barroso na twee ambtstermijnen mogelijkerwijze nog kan bijschrijven op zijn politieke CV is ‘Bankentoezicht’.

Waarbij het nog maar zéér de vraag is of hij in 2014, na twee ambstermijnen, óf zijn opvolg(st)er, voor de eerste keer op democratische wijze gekozen kan worden in een razendsnel veranderende Europese (Transfer)Unie.