Happy Christmas, voters.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels this week are considering fresh impetus into cross-Europe deployment of a single European swearword (SES), which has been slow to catch on since its adoption in 2007.
In a draft report of the initiative seen by BM ('Towards an SES - a Mid-Term Review - lessons learnt') the EU sets out its "disappointment" at the lack of progress.
EU governments five years ago settled on the expletive "kuñardocz" as a way for citizens to air grievances in a harmonised fashion across the bloc's borders.
But take-up has been sluggish, the draft summit conclusions find.
"At a time of financial crisis, with protests and anger at austerity measures now a genuinely 'European' phenomenon, it is regretable that national differences in expression are hampering the process towards catharsis" the document states.
Setting out a Strategy for a Roadmap towards a Scoreboard for SES Implementation, the report suggests funding one of those snazzy promotional videos, for which the EU institutions have such a great reputation.
Souvenirs bearing witty slogans in all the EU's languages are also to be made available, showcasing uses of kuñardocz.
These will include t-shirts and reinforced baseball caps saying "Keep Calm, Kuñardocz!" in Greek, and a toy 'tickle-me Barroso'. If you rub his belly, he'll reply with a limited vocabulary of 'Jobs' 'Growth' 'Stability' 'kuñardocz' and 'I got a Nobel, do you?'.
Extra cultural funding will also be made available to dub existing national swearwords out of films and TV shows.
Oh it's so easy to be critical isn't it.
So here we go.
Just noticed, on the 20-meter high banner on EUHQ celebrating (humbly) the EU's Nobel Peace Prize, the EU's slogan of 'United in Diversity' may have been overlooked.
The EU institutions commissioned the roll-up fresco off of Le Monde's signature cartoonist, Jean Plantureux ('Plantu'). You can even add the central 'dove' motif to your twitter or facebook profile pic.
Amid the clamouring dozens of adoring (white) European faces, there is one lone non-white character, lovingly depicted thusly:
Haiku black-belt Herman van Rompuy has been waxing lyrical again.
His latest 17-syllable masterpiece is entitled 'Autumn end November':
"The night has fallen
The bare branches can be seen
Even more lonely."
For poems on autumn, the likes of Keats and Prevert are a tough act to follow .
And thanks to serendipitous timing, this is how pomme de terre @euHvR's effort appeared in BM's twitter feed, right next to some perhaps appropriate further reading from Prospect Magazine:
As EU leaders meet to trade tired old horses for their respective glue factories, here's a guide to how it works:
David Cameron has been standing in front of the mirror pulling his 'Churchill' face again, imagining somehow that his patronising faux-familiar rhetoric compares favourably with the rousing words of Britain's famous wartime PM.
There's an exciting new addition to the blogosphere.
|SPOT THE DIFFERENCE - WHICH IS THE BIGGER LOAD OF BALLS?|
It looks like it took Tory MEP Marina Yannakoudakis around 17 minutes to realise she'd sent out the wrong statement.
The European Parliament this week held up the appointment over a new European Central Bank board member because he lacked the apparently-requisite other X chromosome.
At 12.20 today Yannakoudakis fired out a press release "praising" the EP's decision "to approve" his appointment.
Realising the error, 17 minutes later our inboxes rang with her raging "condemnation" of the gender politicking.
|Marina, indicating how many |
press releases she had pre-prepared
Following (justified) accusations of 'getting a bit serious' (from @hughbs on that-there twitter), here's something less weighty:
The former commissioner Dalli
Was said to be getting too pally,
With a maker of snus
So Barroso let loose
And he bowed out without a finale.
|Talk to the face David|
|TO THE FACE DAVID, TO THE FACE|
|DAVIIIID, TO THE F. oh nevermind.|
Dalli may claim his rights of defence were breached, while Barroso's lawyers could argue the toss over whether those rights applied. It's potentially a political ousting that wouldn't be out of place in an episode of The Thick Of It.
(a rework of an old favourite, first overheard several EU reforms ago)
David Cameron is trying to renegotiate Britain's membership of the EU. François Hollande and Angela Merkel are getting increasingly infuriated with their British counterpart.
Suddenly, a genie appears and gives them one wish each.
Hollande, in frustration, says "block ze channel tunnel."
So sure enough, the genie blocks the channel tunnel.
Cameron, in defiance, says "build a wall around the UK."
So sure enough, the genie builds a wall around the UK.
Merkel says to the genie, "what's this wall like?"
The genie says, "it's about five meters high, five meters wide, and nothing can get through it."
"fill it with water."
A moral tale
Joe loved balloons. Until one day he made a really big balloon, and inflated it so much that he got carried away.
The ultimate model is the people choose.
Sometimes the people chosen by the people choose.
Sometimes the people chosen by the people choose who the people get to choose between.
Most of the time - and this is key - the people the people chosen by the people choose have to have been chosen by the people in the first place.
But when the person that is chosen by the people who were chosen by the people who were chosen by the people wasn't even chosen by the people nor even by or from among the people who were chosen by the people, that kind of takes the biscuit.
Hope that's clear.
Next week: cricket.
When your ducts are outdated, the increase in content can create blockages.
The solution? More fibre, natch.
Europe's commissioner for telecoms stuff passed that message on this week over that there twitter, giving momentum to an "I WANT FIBRE" campaign.
Neelie Kroes (@NeelieKroesEU)
Pls RT what a good idea: if you want #fibre - start demanding it ... "I want fibre" campaign facebook.com/pages/I-want-f… #FTTH cc@FTTHCouncilEU
Fibre enables fast and instant streaming.
There must be more related telco networks bum gags. Any takers?
What the EU needs in this time of crisis is more speeches.
So here is BM's reply to pomme de terre Barroso's grand 2012 State of the European Union
cut-n-paste job address to MEPs this week.
The accent, as you ask, is from a pre-Carolingian Low-Frankish dialect.
Full text below. No embargo...
So EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding has made a case for her boss, commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, to have yet another term, in an interview with Brussels EU info site Euractiv.
That would put him at the helm for 15 years.
More importantly, it could secure her an incredible fourth term at the commission's top table, having first been nominated to Brussels by her native Luxembourg in 1999.
A put-up job between them?
|Reding gets her instructions ahead of her Euractiv interview|
It didn't take long after the 'news' broke that the European Parliament's Brussels HQ ceiling is falling in for French factions of the institution to propose decamping wholesale to Strasbourg, as they do every month at ever increasing cost, and with ever decreasing rationale.
Not sure that's what the 'Single Seat' campaign had in mind.
Wonder what the boss thinks?
Even the Berlaymonster, a 1600 year old relic born in the dying days of the Roman Empire, has been on Twitter since the beginning of this year.
But it took until now to finally lure the European Commission's president, or 'pdt' ('pomme de terre') Jose Manuel Barroso into the world of online comms.
The 'news' was announced at the EU journalists' daily briefing. In fact, it was the only announcement of any substance. It was also tweeted vigorously by pdt Bozo's team of twokespeople.
He got thousands of followers within minutes.
And he rewarded them with this pearl of 140-character wisdom:
"I am delighted to join all of you on Twitter. Let's build Europe together! JMB"
BM rather hopes there'll be an improvement. Perhaps whimsical updates on the lack of sandwich options around the HQ Berlaymont building. Or 'LOLZ' about visiting dignitaries' halitosis.
Follow pdt Bozo on @BarrosoEU.
Or follow BM on @Berlaymonster and rest assured, BM'll will pass on anything he says worth recounting.
"140 characters? That's more than in the whole commission! Oops, was that to everyone?"
The 'Monster is no alien to attempts to depict the EU village through the prosodic arts. Previous efforts by BM and readers have managed, variously through sonnets, haikus and limericks, to sneer poetically at our political masters and mistresses over the years.