There a delicious irony in awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to a bunch of countries, some of whom are currently involved in one of the longest wars in European history, in Afghanistan, since The Dutch declared war on the Isles of Scilly. (Oh yes they did!) It lasted 335 years, was call the Driehonderdvijfendertigjarige Oorlog and not a single shot was fired, making it one of the longest wars but also one with the fewest casualties. The same can't be said of Afghanistan. And that this Peace Prize came on the same day that seven Royal Marines were charged with the murder of an Afghan fighter seems the most ludicrous award since French 'meal times' were awarded World Heritage status, bearing in mind that the French are the largest consumers of McDonalds in Europe.
The Nobel Committee awarded it to the EU for their “advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe”. Clearly they didn't hear about Sarkozy kicking out all the Roma gypsies because their faces didn't fit or the recent poll that showed two thirds of the French do not want foreign residents to have the right to vote or Hungary, where they are calling for the reintroduction of capital punishment and the ultra-nationalist government preaches anti-semitism. How about Bulgaria, which has failed tocomply with the minimum measures to prevent sex trafficking and remains one of the biggest culprits in the human trafficking in Europe.
|Here's a Greek policeman getting a taste of democracy right in the b***s|
|And this Roma family are definitely not having their human rights abused by the French|
The Eurodrones in Brussels are dancing in the street, a nice change from Athens where they were rioting in the streets in honour of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit. 'Get out of our country, you bitch' was one of their peaceful headlines. They hold the Germans responsible for the crushing austerity programme in Greece, that is, when they are not blaming the immigrants and summararily deporting them.
The EU got a nod for preventing large scale war on the continent, particularly between France and Germany. They seem to have prevented that by tying up what is left of the British military, and some other European countries in a pointless war against a largely unknown and it would appear, not that much diminished foe, down Pakistan way and to be honest, these days, with Germany being one of the few economies that is growing despite the current crisis, the French would probably welcome them with open arms - some might say, again.
So what's it all about? My theory is that on the whole we don't know much about Scandinavia. Some might have gone on a cruise around the Fjords but given the chance, we prefer to holiday in sunny but broke Spain or hot but bankrupt Greece. Most of our knowledge of Scandinavia comes from watching The Killing and Wallander or reading The Girl trilogy by Steig Larsson. From that we learn that Scandinavia is grey in varying shades (no, not those shades), it always rains and it is entirely populated by dour, navel gazing detectives and serial killers. So they wanted to show they had a sense of humour. And what better way to do that on a grand scale but to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the EU at a time when it is far from peaceful and involved in a long-running war. What a hoot! Hats off to Norway for one of the greatest practical jokes of modern times.
The EU isn't the first controversial winner. Last year, Barack Obama won it before the paint had even dried in the Oval Office. It seemed to have been awarded on the basis of what he might do rather than what he had already done which was precisely nothing. Henry Kissinger got it despite his involvement in the wars in Vietnam and Cambodia and of course, anyone with any sense knows that Irina Sendler should have got it for risking her life to rescue Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto but instead it went to Al Gore for his wonderful piece of fiction, The Inconvenient Truth, the only inconvenience being, of course, that most of it was rubbish.
And in the spirit of peace and democracy, there is already an argument over who should actually go and get it. Three presidents are claiming their right; Herman van Rompuy (Belgium), president of the European Council, Jose Manuel Barroso (Portugal), president of the European Commission and Martin Schultz (Germany), president of the European Parliament all clai'm their right to pick up the 921,000 euro prize. I'm quite sure that they will be rushing to pass on the 0.0002 of a euro to each of us who form the European Union. What will you spend yours on?
It's too early for this to be an April Fool's joke, so we have to presume that it is true and they really have gone and given us the Peace Prize at such an inappropriate time but then Alfred Nobel made his fortune from dynamite so we should probably expect a few explosions from time to time.
|My little message to the Nobel Prize Committee|