I've recently been perusing English language blogs that have the word Romania in them for research/laughs. It's quite remarkable how many of such things are written by American missionaries. What are all these people doing here? I have no objection whatsoever to people who have their own beliefs and faith, but I think the idea of travelling half way round the world in order to attempt to shove it down someone else's throat is, how can I put this delicately, fucked up.
Anyway, before I launch into my full-on anti-missionary rant, I'll take a deep breath and share one (non-missionary, but possibly just as bad) I came across yesterday. This was not a blog set in Romania, but from a Conservative county councillor from Kent, one Kevin Lynes. I don't have a great deal of time for tories, I have to say (this is a bit of an understatement), having grown up politically in the dark days of the Thatcher government, but that doesn't mean all people who are conservatives are necessarily scum, just deluded :-)
Anyway, Kevin, who seems to like to go by the name Kevin, which presumably is Tory party policy these days, in deference to "Dave" (he might go the whole hog and try "Kev" I suppose, but for now he's opted to sit on the fence between old and new Toryism and gone with Kevin. Probably quite wise. Keep your options open and all that), writes of a meeting he had with Prince Radu, the son in law of "the current King Mihai" (he's not really the king, fact fans, he's just a bloke, but let's not let that interrupt our enjoyment of Kev's insightful comments). Apparently Romania has been robbed of its national identity (as far as I can tell, this means it has been robbed of its monarchy, which I would contend is not quite the same thing). Mind you it can't harm to have people, even people like Kev, looking out for Romania, so while I'm taking the piss a fair bit, the outcome is probably not, in the grand scheme of things, a waste of time. But there were two bits of the commentary which really cracked me up (well one cracked me up and the other made me laugh in that kind of tragicomic-head-in-hands type way).
The laugh out loud bit was this: "I felt compelled this weekend to send an email to the Prince’s office to thank him for taking the time to talk to us and to commend him on his vision document. Within three hours, even with the time difference, he had replied warmly and personally to thank me for my message."
Even with the time difference? It's an email, Kev. It's not affected by time differences. Honestly. It doesn't sit in a queue waiting for the clocks to catch up, it just goes. You're going to have to trust me on this.
The other bit was this "He fundamentally could not understand why the European Parliament can discuss the shape of bananas ad nauseam, yet cannot bring itself to debate the theft of a national identity.".
The old bananas line! I thought it had died out. For those unfamiliar with the Euro-Sceptic arm of British politics and media, there was (is) this obsession with the idea that the EU tried at some unspecified point in the past to define how straight and how curved a banana could officially be. Now, I have asked many people who have said this to provide evidence that this debate actually occurred, but so far none of them have actually done so. Now the EU is very hot on documenting things, and you can be quite sure that if it really did come before the European parliament that there would be very clear and accessible records of such an event. Despite this, I have yet to see any evidence of this incredible, fantastic, self-parodic event. I would like to hazard a guess, just a hunch you understand, that IT NEVER FUCKING HAPPENED.
Aren't you glad, that given the implosion and incompetence of New Labour people like Kev are going to be running the country soon. We'll soon sort those Eurocrats out!