September 01, 2005
Yes indeedy! Margot Wallstrom is back from her summer hols and blogging again! Joy be unconstrained! Euronihilism rides again!
While cleaning and painting a big old house in the north of Sweden me and my husband discussed...
(A gentle hint if your first language is not English. My husband and I, as HRH E II has been saying for decades.)
But, but! A large house? Think of the heating bills up there in the north! Global warming! Rampant consumption! Aieeeee!
Also, think of how high the taxes in Sweden must actually be. On a quarter million euros a year she can’t afford to get the workmen in! Even on 130 euros an hour, there’s not enough left to hire a painter. Scary system, eh?
...whether we belong to the last (?) generation having learnt to regard physical hard work as a virtue. I remember my parents attitude towards laziness: it was the worst of offences to call somebody lazy…
This is actually an extremely important point. There’s a line of thinking that the reason that the much more collective (socialist if you wish) society and economy of Sweden works is precisely because of this attitude. In the words of one native Swedish commentator, looking out the window at a winter’s day, those without that habit had frozen, frozen themselves right out of the gene pool many centuries ago.
...but we debated the mindset and agreed that it is probably much wiser to apply the principle of “work to live – not live to work”
And will the society continue to work with this change in attitude?
Then all the terrible pictures from forest fires in Portugal, floods in other parts of Europe and finally Katrina – the storm hitting the southern states in the USA . Unfortunately: with accelerating climate change we will see more of these extreme weather conditions and phenomena in the future.
For at least two of these three this comment is complete and total tosh. Rampant rubbish. Partisan propaganda (but then that is what Margot is hired for, isn’t it?).
The forst fires down here in Iberia are not, repeat not, anything at all to do with global warming or climate change. They are the result of a drought, one well within recorded natural variations. But here’s the killer point. The rain down here comes mainly in the winter (what is known as a Mediterranean climate, despite being on the Atlantic) and they were indeed very light last year. However, climate change is expected to bring warmer and wetter winters. That is, climate change will STOP the problems of summer fires in Portugal.
Hurricanes? There’s some supposition that increasing surface water temperatures will increase the violence of storms that do occur, but this is, at present, exactly that, supposition. The number (frequency, if you wish) of such storms follows a decades long pattern and certainly is still well within past recorded such patterns. A caegory 5 making landfall in the US? Horrendous, catastrophic, deadly, but not, in any way that anyone knows as yet, anything to do with climate change.
The rains in Central Europe? Sorry, don’t know. But two out of three of the examples given are nothing to do with climate change. Partisan propaganda.
Chinese clothes piled up in European ports has naturally been dominating the news reporting lately. The Commission is trying to find a practical way to deal with the problem and to unblock the goods as soon as possible seems like a sensible solution in the interest of European consumers as well.
I think the important point here is that they are not actually Chinese clothes. They belong to European companies. Quite why Mandelson (who is, as we know, a complete tit) wishes to bankrupt such is beyond me but Margot does seem to be getting the right idea here. Let the clothes in. As indeed, we should let in anything else that a European decides they might wish to purchase. You know, this centuries old idea of free trade.
Here’s an idea. Margot’s office is just down the corridor from Petey’s isn’t it? Why not pop down and have a word? You know, "looks like you’ve cocked up again, Old Boy. We won’t bother to tell you how to write a resignation letter, we’re sure you know how to do that already. You know, third time lucky and all that."
Aye, it’s grand to have the lady back, is it not?
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Another reason for the fires in Portugal seems to be the increasing wealth that allows every festa to be crowned with a massive fireworks display..
Posted by: dave heasman | Sep 2, 2005 12:44:08 AM
...whether we belong to the last (?) generation having learnt to regard physical hard work as a virtue.
Arbeit machts frei.....
Posted by: Tim Newman | Sep 2, 2005 7:31:04 AM
So TEBAF's worked out that her supply of cheap, winter knickers is locked up in a bonded warehouse in Marseilles and her chum Mandy is to blame.
Shame she'll never understand that the "practical solution" she and her colleagues are trying to find is for the Commission to be closed down and for them all to bugger off back to wherever they came from.
It's not as though she'd suffer; she does seem to be carving a new career as a painter and decorator up there in Lapland. Maybe if she and her hubby started their own little business she'd learn some economic facts of life as well.
Posted by: Remittance Man | Sep 2, 2005 12:10:35 PM