Envy, greed, ambition

My dear friend,

´Kick against the traces´? No, I did not know that expression. I guess it´s a fusion (I believe it´s called ´contamination´ in linguistics) between ´kick against the pricks´ and ´kick over the traces´. I understand what you mean though. As a matter of fact the Dutch have even more reason to kick over the traces, as they are pouring more money than anyone else into the European experiment. That is, per capita. Now, before you raise objections, it was a Brit who told me this – and they always speak the truth, as I´m sure you are happily willing to corroborate. 😉

Without wanting to sound like a pallbearer to Trump I am convinced that in large part the media are (I am sorry, I cannot get used to the English/American habit to treat Latin plurals as singulars) to be blamed for the explosive growth of cynicism in our modern society. As a rule of thumb, good news is not worth reporting. A gory story about corruption and nepotism, however, is bound to boost ratings. We should probably be worried about the fact that we allow media to ´bully´ lawmakers (backed by public opinion) with sensational stories into ruling out future excesses – making the innocent time and again suffer for the guilty. Rules, rules, and more rules – rules and laws that cannot be upheld. For lack of manpower. But who cares? The next scandal is beckoning.

But I am getting myself sidetracked… Yes, my friend, I agree, there is a lot of corruption going on in Brussels – or anyplace for that matter where concentrations of power are to be found (Paris, Berlin, London, The Hague, New Amsterd… uhh, York, Hong Kong, Pomarão). To err is human, I suppose – as well as greed, envy, ambition. Therefore, people that happen to be a little further from the dripping pots (and have no friends at court) may easily fall prey to social media trolls (or ´Kremlin gremlins´ as I have come to call them in my blog posts) who are playing these very human sentiments… to the beat.

Mind you, I am not accusing your borough of being fertile ground for populism – y´all are far too clever for that. And when you say the European Economic Community, which the British people voted to join in 1975, ´over the years transitioned into the ghastly dictatorship that it is now´, you may very well be right. But when you claim that ´nobody in the UK voted to join a European Union, that was imposed on us later´ I beg to differ. Your government may not have called a referendum on every issue since 1975, but I am pretty sure that (supposedly) democratically chosen British representatives did have a significant say in all later EEC/EU decisions.

But, when you ask me ´why there have to be tariffs in the first place´, I cannot begin to answer that, for I haven´t got the foggiest. As we say in Portugal: That is too much sand for my lorry (´É areia demais para minha camioneta´)! You will have to ask someone cleverer, I´m afraid. Try John Maynard Keynes 😉

All the best,


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