Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Euro scandals and ‘bollocky EU bureaucracy’

Two scandals fight for the top headline in this evening’s news.

Bogdan GOLIK (pictured), Polish MEP for the radical farmers union Samoobrona, has been charged in Brussels with raping a French prostitute.

Apparently, she was in his room when, it is alleged, an argument took place over the wearing of a condom. When she refused to do it without one, Golik used force.

When leader of Samoobrona, Andrzej Lepper, was asked for a reaction to the story, he leered at the reporter: “So how is it possible to rape a prostitute?”

What charmers these guys are. Allegedly.

The other scandal involves a ‘joke’ script for a speech by Tony Blair to the EU when he comes to Brussels this week to try and do a deal on the 2007-13 budget. Written by Britain’s Ambassador in Warsaw, Charles Crawford, and emailed to Downing Street, it’s not very complimentary to the Poles.

The juicy bits of the email include:

Mes chers amis and, in particular, mon ami Jacques, it gives me great pleasure to be back here in Brussels, home of the bollocky EU bureaucracy.

Here you breathe the sweet smell of Belgium’s unique brand of corruption, which it has generously bestowed on the rest of Europe.

I welcome to the table the representatives of the new member states, who joined our community in May last year. It hasn’t been long but you have already adapted well to the ways of the EU. You are now displaying a rudeness and ingratitude it took the likes of Portugal and Greece years to develop. With your unpronounceable names and incomprehensible languages — why don’t we all just speak English? — you may have some difficulty understanding this but let me say it plainly. We in Britain have thrown open our doors. We’ve created more jobs for Poles and Czechs than you could have dreamt of under your five-year plans. And what do we get? Not a word of appreciation but a sniffy thumbs-down for my budget plan…

You can imagine the panic that gripped the Ambassador’s residence last Sunday morning when he read that email in the Sunday Times.

The British Embassy finally scrambled out a statement saying that the email was ‘a joke’.

And I must say, it is a bit of side-splitter. He’s in the wrong career!

The Polish Foreign Office has invited His Excellency for a cup of tea with milk, and to discuss the differences between Polish and British humour (In Poland when someone refers to ‘English humour’ they often mean that something isn’t funny).

But many Polish politicians have been on television saying that this shows up the arrogance that the British government have for the Polish negotiating position on the budget.

The email must be a joke, of course. Polish MEPs are never 'rude and ungrateful', are they? They are all perfect gentlemen. Even Bogdan Golik and his boss. Allegedly.


michael farris said...

On the memo, thanks for the link to the original, I was only familiar with bits and pieces of the Polish 'translation' that seemed to try to make it more offensive than it was.

But what exactly is the back story behind this? I'm missing something, who really (I mean really) wrote this?

beatroot said...

Crawford wrote the email and sent it to his mates higher up the diplomatic chain. Apparently he does this sort of thing all the time.

The naughty scamp!

michael farris said...

how did a newspaper end up with it then?

beatroot said...

I think it was leaked by someone in the Foreign Office, thereby screwing up Blair's attempts to get an agreement on the budget.

michael farris said...

okay, that's understandable, a leaker with a grudge (against ....?)

The thing of it is, though, that there is a fair amount of sense in what he says (fatal mistake in politics - being concrete and right instead of wishy washy and talking in meaningless abstractions). A quick superficial survey of the boards at gazeta wyborcza finds a lot more support than criticism for crawford.

Bicyclemark said...

that was the most exciting thing to allegedly come out of brussels since Tin-Tin.

SugarDayFox said...

Wonder why Hungary was left out from the unpronounceables list :)...
I feel conspiracy lurking around here.

beatroot said...

You must be right, Roka. It's a conspiracy against slavic languages. Shame on them!

But Mike, the main part of the reported comments was the 'rude and ungrateful' bit. Just what has Poland got to be grateful to Britain for? They seem to think that letting it in the EU was some act of charity - instead of what it is - using Poland and Poles has some kind of client state and a source of cheap labour and a good place to outsize companies to reduce costs.

Crawford is the 'rude and ungrateful'one.

michael farris said...

I'd say Crawford isn't so much rude and ungrateful as rude and condescendingly arrogant (a fine but important distinction).
And two points:
a) The parts I agree with are the sheer dead weight Chirac's France has become, a major liability for any group of nations it's a part of.
b) The Polish government (not just this one, but the last several) should be deeply ashamed that they've done so miserably in terms of job creation. The Polish electorate is at fault too and should be ashamed for doing stupid things like electing the ducks and giving so many fools and charlatans a place in the Sejm.

beatroot said...

I agree about job creation by the Poles...lamentable is the word, I think.

But we can't just keep blaiming the French...the UK budget draft has been rejected by everybody, not just the French. and the Uk is only huffing and puffing cause it has to...if it doesn't keep hold of its out of date rebate then the press will come down on them like a ton of bricks. But that rebate was won in 1984 when the UK was the second poorest EU nation, and the CAP accounted for 70 percent of the budget. Now that budget is under 50% and the Uk is the second richest nation.

So why should Poland and all the other poor countries take a cut in investments they thought they were goi8ng to get just because Blair is desperate not to be seen as weak?

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