Monday, November 22, 2004
Back after a break
And ready to rant, frankly.

1) Strasbourg. I spent last week taking part in the ridiculous travelling circus that is the monthly Strasbourg plenary session. The whole European Parliament ups sticks from Brussels and moves wholesale to Strasbourg; MEP's, staff, office paperwork, the Parliament gym, lobbyists, the works; all at a cost of millions a year to the EU taxpayer. This incredible, pointless waste of money revolts me on every level.

That said, Strasbourg is a lovely mediaeval town and it made a pleasant change to get away from grey, miserable Brussels and the utterly vile Belgians. Insufficient reason, however, to move to a tiny office with only one computer, in a crazy labyrinth of a modern architecture monstrosity, for three days a month at the cost of millions of euros.

2) Belgians. Hate them, hate them, hate them. I could forgive their surly uncooperativeness; their rudeness; their abysmal customer service; their facial ugliness; and their bureaucratic nanny state micromanagement of the lives of their citizens; if only they could actually get their godforsaken country to run properly.

Instead, the streets are paved with dog crap; the bloody public transport workers go on strike every twelve seconds; in spite of one million road rules they still can't drive with any degree of safety or consideration; you have to sign forms in triplicate whenever you want anything (and usually don't even get what you asked for anyway); the Police roam the underground looking for foreigners to victimise, instead of doing their bloody job and clearing away the gangs of blacks who congregate on street corners and intimidate pedestrians.

God, I'm glad I'm British (although, we have to take a huge proportion of the blame for creating this disgusting little backwater in the first place. And for rescuing it from warmongering Krauts. Twice. They'd have been far better off if we'd just let the Germans keep the damned place; at least the sausage-munchers know how to run a country properly - even if they can't cook. But German food is another rant altogether.)

3) Amsterdam. Vile, drug-and-whore ridden, filthy, hell-hole. Full of the worst kind of drunken English proles, it is absolutely the most horrible city I've ever visited. I was actually glad to get back to Brussels - and that is saying something. I was vaguely neutral on cannabis legalisation until I visited Amsterdam. Now I could not be more in favour of keeping the stuff illegal, if Amsterdam is any indication of what happens to a city post-legalisation. It has become a sinkhole for Europe's criminal classes. I can't believe I missed Wales v New Zealand rugby to visit the bloody place. And it is expensive.

4) The European People's Party. The Tories sit with them in the European Parliament. Cowardly, pro-federal quislings, supposedly the European "right"; they all voted en masse for the new Commission, in spite of the raft of prior fraud convictions, unrepented communist links, suspected financial irregularities, and histories of repeated political dodginess of the incoming Commissioners. And yet they got rid of Buttiglione because he was a Christian and Udre because she was mildly eurosceptic. Unbelievable hypocrisy.

FIVE Conservatives voted 'yes' to this crop of crooks, and only one against - in spite of an official "abstain" three-line whip. The election of the new Commission presents the utter hypocrisy of both the EU and Conservative EU policy, in a convenient nutshell.

Phew. Glad I've got that off my chest.

You know the joke about the Belgians?

They've only invented two things. One was chocolate, and the other was paedophilia. And why do you think they invented the chocolate?
Fantastic - I was laughing all the way through. Too true. Unfortunately Britain is chasing after Belgium as fast as we can...

**OC Hydroponics**
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