Belgium as a failed state

#1
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/07/17/dl1703.xml

A sarcy opinion piece in the Torygraph indicates that Belgium is now a 'failed state', and their government has now resigned again. Of course, the only reason they had a government after the last set of arguments was so that someone could ratify the Lisbon Treaty; now that's done, they can go back to arguing with each other again.

Seeing how we respond to most other failed states, can we expect the British Army to go in to prevent civil war? Or will we leave it to the French and Germans :roll:

Maybe we could just sit back a giggle a bit while hoping the contagion doesn't spread.
 
#2
This is one area that I feel it would be right for us to interve. We should set up a fire base at.....Waterloo and advance on the European Parliamet under a barrage of artillery and thus liberate all of Europe (again) from a dictatorial regime.
 

Alsacien

MIA
Moderator
#5
Cuddles said:
I wonder where we stand on a civil war in Belgium under the treaty of London(1839)?
Belgians fight?
Too busy getting pi22ed on strong beer, eating chips and fiddling with kids to have the time...
 
#8
Mr_Deputy said:
[q

2. Despite being the 'crossraods of Europe' the language in this guide was the local dialect ie Flemish so you'd most likely know about the road works anyway if you lived locally!!
.
err, that will be Dutch then, the native language of the overwhelming majority of people passing through that area...
 
#9
Why not just let them break up?

North goes to the Netherlands, south to France and Brussels can go to hell :)

Or of course Brussel could become something along the lines of the Vatican but with EuroMPs instead of priests? An independant European capital not part of any single country and getting dosh from all 25 nations.

Best not say that to loud or some noseinthetrough MP will find it a good idea.
 
#10
Steven said:
Why not just let them break up?

North goes to the Netherlands, south to France and Brussels can go to hell :)

Or of course Brussel could become something along the lines of the Vatican but with EuroMPs instead of priests? An independant European capital not part of any single country and getting dosh from all 25 nations.

Best not say that to loud or some noseinthetrough MP will find it a good idea.
Brussels would then be a prime target for a the first terrorist attack in history to get a round of applause
 
#14
rockpile said:
This is one area that I feel it would be right for us to interve. We should set up a fire base at.....Waterloo and advance on the European Parliamet under a barrage of artillery and thus liberate all of Europe (again) from a dictatorial regime.
Tried and failed. I formed part of an advance party that parked up at the naval base in Ostend.

We snuck ashore under the cover of broad daylight - only to run, screaming back to the ship after catching sight of one of the tarts sitting in the window of a knocking shop just outside the main gate. I swear she had to be Photoshopped to look like that - even though neither Photoshop nor PCs had been invented at the time.
 
#15
Alsacien said:
Cuddles said:
I wonder where we stand on a civil war in Belgium under the treaty of London(1839)?
Belgians fight?
Too busy getting pi22ed on strong beer, eating chips and fiddling with kids to have the time...
In WWII the Free Belgians were as dogged and courageous in the defence of their country as the French, let us not forget that.
 
#16
Cuddles said:
I wonder where we stand on a civil war in Belgium under the treaty of London(1839)?
From what I have read the Treaty of London (1839) only requires the UK to protect Belgium in the event of an invasion. If they choose to fight each other then let them get on with it.
 
#17
Just been out there this week, Brussels, nice enough place but I never could bring myself to trust any country that can't make its mind up what language to use:

Flemish
Walloon
French
German

Nice chocolates though
 
#18
dogs_bollox said:
I'd leave it to the Germans ...... they've had several excursions into Belgium :D
My guess is that they will enter via the ardennes ..... again.

D_B
It did take them a couple of days last time, though I believe that 36 hours of that was given over to weapon cleaning.
 
#19
pyrogenica wrote:
Code:
Just been out there this week, Brussels, nice enough place but I never could bring myself to trust any country that can't make its mind up what language to use:

Flemish
Walloon =  [b]the French-speaking region!![/b]
French
German

Nice chocolates though
But the Belgians are not alone - let us assume that one day you are suddenly worth considerably more than you are now, where in Switzerland would you like to open your numbered bank account?:

The northern bit = German (in a very difficult dialect - Swiss TV News broadcasts in Germany (SAT3) have sub-titles!!))
The western bit = French (more or less BBC French, I am told)
The southern bit = Italien (also with a strange dialect)
Somewhere in the middle = Romantsch (only to be found in one valley, a curious blend of Romany & Latin, so I am informed!).

Speaking the nominal/official language of your own country is also not without it`s own problems sometimes. I can distinctly recall acting as an interpreter for a Londoner when stationed in Scotland in the `60s. Here in Germany, people from Hamburg and the northern areas can have extreme difficulty understanding Swabians and Bavarians - especially the rural ones.

Language is actually the blinder being played for a shed-load of other problems - almost all of them to do with money and its distribution. The Flemings are creaming it in, the Walloons not - basically because they never moved with the times.

Most enlightening is a drive from Luxembourg to the Channel coast. Luxembourg - mostly modern and up to date. Then you enter an area that doesn`t seem to have changed much since the 20`s/30`s. Just south of Brussels you start driving through modernity again!
 
#20
As someone who lives in Flanders but works in Brussels I have a somewhat strange perspective of how the two sides (ie Flemish and Walloons survive). Both hate each others guts but both also admit after the usual 5 rounds of slagging each other off that neither can live without the other. The Flemish have more people and the commerce, the Walloons have more land and energy sources.

The problem is that since 1831 (the creation of Belgium), the Walloons have always been topdogs. onlyin the last 10 years or so have the Flemish reversed this status quo. It is only the monarchy - who are adored by both sides - that is really keeping the country together. In Belgium - and I have experienced this first hand - you can insult a Belgian's wife, sister, and region, but you do NOT insult the Royal family. A refreshing change.

Also, much was made in foreign (ie non-Belgian) press about the break up following the 180 odd days of no federal government. Everyone still paid their taxes, all the schools stayed open, the bins still got collected (weekly I might add) and no-one noticed any difference...life went on as usual. This may be because most power is devolved to the the Flemish and Wallonian governents which will explain why the roads are better in one aprt of the country than the other - funding is different. For example, one out of every 7 euros in Flanders goes into education. In Wallonia it is one in every ten - hence Flemish schools are, on the whole, better than Wallonian. It also explains why in Flanders they can speak Dutch, English German and French whilst in Wallonia, they speak French and a bit of Dutch. Different regions, different priorities. As per Scotland and England.

As for Flanders joining Holland and Wallonia joining France...they don't want to. France had aan unofficial vote as to whether they would take Wallonia into France..yes they said. Most Wallonians said no to joining France, the same for Flanders joining Holland. One of the reasons is religion (holland is protestant and Belgium is catholic), the other is, I think, pride. Belgium fought hard to become independant from Holland and has never wanted to be French.

Two seperate countries with an independant city state of Brussels? Never. Both sides want Brussels.

It don't think they will spilt for the pure and simple reason is that if it did it would open the flood gates for Scotland, Catalonia, Basque to split and will cause grief for the EU - they will have to make a decision.
The Belgians can be bloody minded but not THAT bloody minded!
 

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