Monday, May 30, 2005

Well, you voted. Now, renegociate !

It's a no.

I know some people who're laughing right now. I don't think they're friends of anyone among the "no of the left". No, no friends at all.

And now, for the great rising tide of the "people of the left"! Oh, yeah! Now, for the renegociation of the text. Sure!

I'll be sitting with the crowd of ultraliberalists laughing at you while you try, and I'll be there with a bucket full of scorn and contempt for the great names among the Socialist party who conveniently ignored the results of the internal polls in the PS. You, who scorned your party's internal democracy to support the "no" despite the votes of your affiliates, you who did so out of pure and simple political opportunism and with the single goal of the presidential election of 2007. Remember this: not only will you lose in 2007, and will Nicolas Sarkozy be elected president thanks to your despicable petty powergames, but what's more you'll fail at renegociating.

Because the other countries which will reject the treaty will do so because they believe it's far too social. Because they don't want this ultraliberalism that you claim to be fighting to be hampered by any rule, however small.

Oh, you will have a new text. And you can be certain, that that new text won't have an ounce of social flavor to it.

Now, excuse me while I go heave out the contents of my stomach, I just heard a far-left defender of the "no" rejoicing at the thought that the UK will reject the treaty as well, and claiming they'll do so because it lacks of social aspects.

Excuse me, while I go and cry over the stupidity and the low-level populism of the far-left.

You voted "no". Well and good. Now, deal with the consequences.

And don't come whining in a year or two.

Oh, I forget, the World Company CEO sends his most sincere thanks between guffaws of laughter at your stupidity.

The only thing you stopped is European integration, more power to the EU to shield us from the consequences of globalization. Don't worry, China is still rising and killing us, the US is sticking to its policies. The globalization of economy and the weakening of our welfare systems continue.

I guess, you can be reaaal proud of yesterday's vote.

Real proud.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The US is rooting for "no"

One editorial of Today's Washington Post splatters around a web page on how "no" is the right answer to the European Constitution. I'm not surprised.

Now, ladies and gentlemen of the "no of the left", care to reconcile that with your lofty delusions of having the "people of the left rise and demand--not to mention obtain--a more social text" ?

Care to tell me how you can justify your "no" in a realistic manner?

No, of course.

The polls will deliver their verdict tonight. There's still time. Think, and go vote, dagnabit! And if you're still not convinced, if you're so self-centered that you haven't thought of watching the different reactions in Europe and the world concerning the ascent of the "no", if you've been so hard of hearing that you haven't picked up the ultraliberalist and anti-Europe crowd rooting for the "no", then simply go read this.

Yes, there are many in favor of "no", and they're not social-minded people.

They're in favor of a wholly unfettered capitalist world, unbridled competition and the destruction of our social and welfare system. They stand for everything we hate and reject. They stand for the unique, unrivalled power of the US over the world in every domain.

No, they're not people who want a better world with more equality and social justice.

Open your eyes.

Go vote.

There's no such thing as a perfect world.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Enjoy the Silence

Who said there’d be scribblings of mine up this blog every single day of every single week, huh? I don’t remember signing any contract with my blood, so all expectations or expostulations will have to be reported to your mirror, or to the moon, the stars or the clouds.

I guess I’m rather tired at this moment--all right, more like exhausted and in dire need of holidays far, far away from work. That, and the one subject that’s currently being given my undivided attention is the vote in France next Sunday. Yeah, the vote.

Eu-ro-pe-an Cons-ti-tu-tion, remember?

The French will vote yes or no on Sunday. In Germany, Shroder announces early elections for next Fall, elections in which the social-democrats look like they might have to yield power over to the christian-democrats. And THAT is yet another sign that screams at me there will NOT be a way to renegociate a better compromise for the constitution.


Well, let me be honest : of course if the result of the polls is a no, and if enough countries reject the text, there will be new talks, and new negociations. And, yes, a new compromise will emerge. A better one.

But a better one for whom?

Facts: the current compromise was reached when the EU was made of 15 countries, most of those with social-democrats in power. If a new compromise must be reached, it will have to be done between 25 countries, 10 of whom belong to the newly integrated countries. Countries governed by people who believe in the lawless rule of ultra-liberal economy. And, to crown it all, in all likelihood, in case of new negociations, the Germany that would sit down at the negociations table would then be a CDU Germany, not a SPD-Grune Germany.

So, be honest. Use your brain, and tell me: what are the odds of getting these countries to agree on a text with a much more social flavor? Zero, or close to zero.

So move your asses, people, and go vote yes. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to start raving over how great it is, or over the fact that it’s so easy to read and understand. It’s not. It’s far from perfect, it’s far from containing all the essential social principles and defenses that we need as a European people. It’s far from going far enough in uniting the policies of all our countries, but it contains steps in the right direction, however small.

Precious glimmers of hope.

Small, but primeval steps. We must have them if Europe is to survive, if Europe is to be given if only the beginnings of a chance to stand for what its people believe in, to stand for our rights, for everything our parents and grandparents fought for--then we must have this text. Now, before it’s too late. Before there’s nothing left to save.

Come on, comrades (yes, I get to say that, I'm a union representative, so I get to say it :P), a constitution where there's not a single mention of God or Christianity? We MUST have it! You can be sure that with Poland now an active member, and with our dear Panzer Pope fuming at the lack of G word in the constitution, any new text would include the G word. I don't know about you, but I know I don't want to see the smallest mention of a god or a religion in the European Constitution. Europe must remain a secular zone.

A God-free zone.

We're not the US where they use the G word at every opportunity they get, and are about to bar evolution from their biology courses in school. No. No obscurantism here, no religious zealots and religious dogma. No, thank you very much. We want to be miscreants, sinners, unbelievers, heathens, you name it. We want to remain god-free.

The Constitution’s text can be perfected. It can be reviewed, and the odds of managing that are way higher than the odds of managing to renegociate a more social text. I think that what enfuriates me the most when I listen to the people who support the “no of the left”, is their argument according to which it will be easy to renegociate a much more social text on the morrow of the victory of the “no”. It’s self-delusion at best, bullshit at worst. I can only hope the people who go around claiming that renegociations will do the trick are just sincere fools, and not lying bastards.

The French people will give their verdict on Sunday. I can only hope they will think long and hard before going to the polls. I can only hope they will focus on the actual question they’re being asked, and not on all the domestic issues that rightfully anger them.

We’ll see.

… Okay, I said I was tired, and here I wrote this long post on the European Constitution. Hm. Well, I’m still tired. I think I'm going to fling myself in the arms of Morpheus for a time. So, enjoy the silence.

Enjoy it while it lasts. :P

Wednesday, May 11, 2005


It’s grey. All around. Grey and cold.

This time of the year is traditionnally known as the “Saints of Ice”, and it’s always cold like this. It doesn’t have to be rainy and windy, though. But it is. Maybe to spite this little portion of the world, or just maybe because this is Belgium and that Belgian weather is ruled by the whims of clouds. It doesn’t help one to feel enthusiastic about things.

Say, I’m not even happy that it’s likely Belgium will survive this day and that it looks like we won’t have to go to the polls before summer. The government may well not fall upon its failure to resolve the ridiculous issue of BHV (no, this isn’t the name of a supermarket company, it’s the nickname of the Brussels-Hal-Vilvoorde issue). I think the far right, fascist and racist party called Vlaam Belang (by the way, nice usurpating of a concept which means “Flemish Interests”, call your party like that, and the unfortunately-not-giffted-with-the-minimums-of-a-brain-who-are-more-numerous-than-you-might-think will automatically listen when you start spewing your hatred and your racism and your lies, just because they hear the magic words) must be fuming. Not to mention the CD&V, our so niiiiiice, not greedy, not go-getting AT ALL political party. They must be ready to throw a fit by now.

I don’t know what I despise most: a racist, far right, fascist, nazi-nostalgic party, or a so-called “democratic” and “christian” party that keeps barking as loud as it can, cavorting behind the fascists and racists in order to win more votes and come back to power.

I so enjoy watching these greedy bastards playing with people’s kinder and nicer instincts. Dangling phony messages of doom, threat, unfairness--maybe I should be fair as well, and admit that I also love the people ready to listen to whatever low-level propaganda and follow blindly whoever howls the loudest--and suptters the most, don’t we all love the traces of drool trickling down the chin of a raving extremist?

Perhaps I should also mention my undying admiration for the Flemish media and the rest of the Flemish political parties, which have ALL the same, single voice, which ALL play and push on the button of "we're the Walloons' victims, they're so bad people, they steal from us, and they refuse to assimilate and speak our language." The media, especially, deserve all the praise I'm capable to give for their precious help they're giving to the far-right, racist and facist party with their obsessive need to dangle those issues in front of the public's nose--with their turning insignificant issues into matters of state while the true social and economical problems aren't addressed. It's so easy, so rewarding to contribute to the rise of the far-right. I hope they're all proud. I hope they'll still be proud on the day when a fascist, racist and nazi nostalgic party is in power on the Flemish side. I know I'll be asking for political asylum in France on that day.

One day, maybe, I’ll gather enough energy to review the whys and wherefores of the Flemsih obsessions and fantasies toward the French-speaking part of the country. Maybe I’ll take the time to explain calmly that, while the Flemish people were suffering under the whip of the rich, French-speaking bourgeoisie (we’re talking 19th and early 20th century here), the Walloon people (who at the time were NOT speaking French but the various Walloon dialects, depending on the region where they lived), were ALSO suffering under the whip of a rich, French-speaking bourgeoisie.

Will the Flemish part of Belgium one day realize that its own bourgeoisie used the French language as a way of social distinction between classes, just as it was the case on the Walloon side, and that if the Flemish children of those days were forced to speak French, the ones forcing them to do so were THEIR OWN. Not the Walloon people. As the whims of history go, the Walloon dialects all but disappeared, and French became the unique tongue spoken here.

If I could speak candidly to a Flemish politic or journalist, I would tell him this: really, people, instead of blaming all the suffering of the times, all the feelings of inferiority of the times, the arrogance of the bourgeoisie of the times on the French language, why don’t you get real, get yourselves a brain, think, and place the blame where it should be: on the shoulders of your OWN bourgeoisie, and leave this country alone? And, while you’re at it, please, keep your obsessive needs for revenge for your own companies and bourgeoisie, for your parents and grandparents who punished you and bawled out on you.

The future looks dreary enough as it is, we don’t need to have far-right nationalists and fascists in power to add to the fun.

Friday, May 06, 2005

"Our Economy is the Healthiest." Yeah. So What?

Originally, I wanted to title this post "Shouganai ne", Japanese for "it can't be helped". I also considered "Sigh" and "Yawn" to emphasize the fact that the elections result in the UK are no surprise to me, even if I hoped things would turn out in another fashion--if I hoped that people might open their eyes and see beyond the narrow path that their field of vision is reduced to. But then, watching a debate on TV, I was once more forced to hear that absurd sentence: "and of course one of the strong points of his campaign was centered on the fact that, thanks to his governing the country, its economy is the healthiest, the strongest."

Oh, great.

Companies are well and good, thriving even. That's so nice to hear.

Tell me, how are the real, normal, common people's lives affected by this healthy economy? How have their lives become better?

They have not?

Oh, that's so bad.

How have their jobs become more stable, more secure? How has it become more difficult to fire people? How have those who've lost their jobs been insured that they will keep getting help until they can find a job THAT MATCHES THEIR RESUME and not whatever trash thing that gets tossed their way?

They have not?

Well, really, that's too bad.

How have people's wages and work conditions grown?

Much worse?

Really, really, that's too bad.

How about the essential pillars of society that are Education and Health Care?

They're the worst around? Worse than in all those countries that are belittled because their economic growth is weak, much weaker than the UK's?

Oh, that's so bad.

This is for Mr Blair and all the believers in the almighty supremacy of economy: your mantras and dogmas are no good. Your economy is no good, serves no purpose if people are forgotten and sacrificed on its altar. Economy is useless and worthless when all it does is strengthen the differences between classes.

When it serves only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

When people are made to serve it.

When people are dumped and are marked with the label of "drifters".

When men and women are trashed like garbage, flushed out like excrements by a society that rejects them once they've ceased to be useful to it.

So, a healthy economy? Yeah. Sure.

Remind me again, what does it matter to me?

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Go, LibDems! Go!

On Thursday, citizens from all over the UK will go to the polls. I hope they kick Tony Blair’s ass all the way to the Shetland Islands and beyond.

As luck would have it, Thursday is a legal day-off--wait, it’s a day-off here, not in the UK. Ah, that means that getting as many people as possible to take the time to go to the polls and do their duty won’t be as easy as I had first thought. Can anyone tell me why those coutnries that keep bragging that they’re the greatest democracies in the world keep maintaining a system in which voting isn’t compulsory, and in which they organise their election day on a weekday? How can you exepct a big voters' turn-out when you tell people to go vote on a day when they’re supposed to be working, and when their boss isn’t gonna give them the day off or the morning off or two hours off to do it? And just how can you honestly pretend your democracy is the best when it’s based on a system as crappy as that, pray tell?

Ah well, I’m not going to continue along those lines, otherwise this post is going to be miles long, and I’m gonna be whining for hours on end (not to mention make myself a lot of enemies).

The point of this post, as its title so subtly indicates, is to get anyone of British nationality who’d stumble upon it to get themselves moving and voting Liberal Democrat.


You can do it, people! There's a life outside of Labour and the Conservatives! There's more to the political spectrum! The Liberal-Democrats exist, they’re not demons out of limbo--at least they weren't last time I checked (but then, maybe I am a demon out of limbo, and maybe I'm also hell incarnate).

LibDems are the one, real altervnative to dear old lying Tony.

And, once again, yes, you may vote for them. Don’t worry, it’s not dirty, you won’t be sent off into hell once you get out of the polling station. If enough of the british people vote for the Liberal-Democrats, then they will wield enough power to be a major influence, they might even enter a majority and then have a say in decisions. Please, enough with this stupid reflex of thinking there are only two parties. It’s not so.

Government coalitions WORK.

They truly do. Take it form someone living in a country where no single political party has ever been in power alone, where coalitions are a habit as old as the country itself. No, government coalitions don't exist to herald the coming of the next apocalypse, I haven't spotted riders lately, not even around the Vatican. So you're safe. Go ahead! Nothing bad can happen, the Conservatives won't gain power. all that can happen is Labour beinf gorced to build a coalition with the Liberal-Democrats. And that, I swear, would bring a lot of interesting new things in the so well ordered British political life.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and turn them into a power to be reckoned with.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and take your destiny in your own hands, stop bowing to traditions and habits.

Vote for the Liberal-Democrats, and prove that things can change.

Prove that YOU can make things change.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Where Threads of Gold Shine in the Night

It's 20h50, and the phone starts ringing. I hate the phone, I truly do.

Spitting out a curse, I reluctantly go to pick up the fucking thing. In the privacy of my rather pissed-off mind, I wonder who has the gall to call me on a Sunday evening. Just as my dull, reflex welcome sentence fades, the sound of music registers in my mind.
And people's voices.
They're singing.

Two thousand miles away, on a small island of the dodecannese, Easter is being celebrated in the village of Olymbos. The women have donned their most beautiful, colorful dresses--ancient clothes that belong to a centuries-old tradition. Above the dresses and the aprons, they wear coins of pure gold, threaded and woven with the costumes' delicate fabrics.

Night has fallen there.
The moon is glittering over the sea, its white light challenged by the happy fires of a small village set atop the cliff.
Challenged by the warmth of voices singing.
Challenged by glimmers of gold as women dance in the village's central tavern.

It's dad on the phone, and he remains silent, allowing me to listen to the faraway songs and music for a few, infinitely precious moments--allowing me to share the warmth and the celebration, all the way on the other side of Europe. It's magic, a priceless gift.

I listen.
I feel the vibrations of voices and music.
I close my eyes.
I can see the tavern, I remember it from my visit, all those years ago.
I can see the musicians and the dancers at the center of the taproom.
I can see the walls and the windows, and the night outside.
I can see the wood and straw chairs.
The bouzouki resting on the men's thighs.

I'm happy.

It's moments like these that make living a wonderful thing. It's moments like these which warm your soul and allow you to regain strength to face tomorrow.

On a small island of the Dodecannese, they're celebrating Easter. The village's name is Olymbos. The island is Karpathos.

Thank you, Dad. Thank you, Mom. I love you.

In Greece, when a child is baptized, at the heart of the orthodox rite, his godmother presents him to the Four Winds and requests the protection of the Four Elements for her godson. It's Easter in Greece, in Karpathos, and the moon watches over the celebration in Olymbos.

Over the sky and below the Aegean Sea, the ancient gods are smiling.