Posted on September 2, 2005

Brussels Paper: “Why We Hate the British”

Brussels Journal, Sept. 1

The Left on the European continent consider Britain to be an American stooge and a Trojan horse within the European Union intent on undermining the welfare state. Their opposition to the “Anglo-Saxons” has developed into a genuine hatred of the British, as became apparent last Tuesday in a diatribe in the “left-liberal” Brussels Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen. Here is a translation from the article entitled “Waarom wij de Britten zo haten” (Why we hate the British so much):

“The Huns are back, and they speak English with a variety of invariably common accents. No other nation manages to spoil other people’s holidays so thoroughly as the British. They do that all through the summer everywhere the sun shines with their unique mixture of wantonness and arrogance, their pathetic addiction to drink, their bad taste, and actually just their ugliness and thickheaded presence. There, that is a relief.

“With melancholy we think back to the days when the Dutch were most in evidence, with their caravans, their noisy children and their legendary stinginess. Or the Germans, who once on holiday, seemed to forget who had lost the war. Our northern and eastern neighbours are discerning aesthetes compared with the born hooligans from the other side of the Channel.

“Luckily it is easy to recognise a Brit on holiday. A clean shaven head with a much too big and cheap pair of sunglasses; a sunburnt bull’s neck; a set of disgusting tattoos across his torso if it is not covered with a football shirt of Manchester United, Chelsea or Celtic Glasgow; a half liter of beer always on hand. The lady in the company divides her attention between the whining children and the curtain that she got mixed up with the tops in her wardrobe while packing. Anyone who has seen a British couple on holiday understands why the English papers are filled with dramatic stories about binge drinking, obesity and teen-age pregnancies.

“The trend of hooligan tourism is not new. The British have singlehandedly ruined the Spanish island Ibiza, in Greece they wrecked Faliraki and with all the British drinking and fighting Corfu is well on its way to disappearing into the sea like the mythical city of Atlantis. What is new is that the British who stay behind in and around London seem to be aware that something is wrong. The British quality papers run almost weekly stories on how their countrymen carry on in southern Europe. An Ibiza club owner is allowed to relate how the British destroyed the tourist industry with their drink and drugs abuse. There are reprints of front pages from Greek newspapers that show Brits licking whipped cream of the bosoms of their summer girlfriends on the beach.

“We need a solution. How about that the British tell the rest of the world in May or June which beach or island they intend to wreck this year so that we know where to keep away from? Are the Brits going to Majorca or Crete this year? Then we are off to Sicily or Cyprus. Then everybody will be happy.”

Following the publication of the anti-British article Rob Verreyken, a member of Parliament for the Vlaams Belang party, lodged a complaint against De Morgen with the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR), a tax-funded government quango that under Belgian law has the competence to prosecute for discrimination and incitement to hatred.

Last year Belgium’s biggest party, the Vlaams Blok, was effectively banned by a Belgian court following prosecution by the CEOOR. The court ruled that the party was “racist” and as a consequence, according to article 3 of Belgium’s infamous Anti-Racism Act, everyone “belonging” to the party or “cooperating” with it (in whatever capacity, even without having committed criminal acts himself) is punishable with imprisonment for one month to one year. After being disbanded the Vlaams Blok politicians established a new party, the Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest).

To prove the “racism” of the Vlaams Blok the Belgian court quoted from 16 texts published by the party between 1996 and 2000. Though many of these texts were, as the judges acknowledged, not necessarily untrue (in fact some were official statistics on crime rates and social welfare expenditure), the court ruled that they had been published with “an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred.” One of the texts, which dealt with the position of women in fundamentalist muslim societies, was written by a female Turkish-born VB member from Aalst who had herself been raised in such an environment. The court said the party published this story “not to inform the public about the position of women in the islamic world, but to depict [non-indigenous people] as unethical and barbarian.” Moreover, the court said, the VB always talked about Muslims in “generalising” terms.

The Belgian court did not clarify how one can be a criminal by telling people the truth, but that hardly mattered as the real reason why the party had to be banned was political. The Vlaams Blok was a curious alliance of Libertarians and Socialists, Conservative Catholics and anti-religious Secularists, pro-American Atlanticists and anti-American Europeanists, who agreed on only two topics: their opposition to multiculturalism and their struggle for the independence of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking northern half of Belgium.

The banning of the Vlaams Blok was applauded by De Morgen, which apart from being a “left-liberal” paper also defends the unity of the Belgian state and opposes Flemish secessionism. According to Rob Verreycken the language used by De Morgen to describe the British is more generalising than the way in which his party talks about Muslim immigrants. He suggests that the anti-British article was written ‘with an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred’ and not at all ‘to inform the public about the British, but rather to depict them as unethical and barbarian.’ Verreycken said:

“Imagine if someone of the Vlaams Belang were to write a similar text entitled ‘Why we hate Muslims so much’ with similar stereotypes about the behaviour of Muslims and how their women dress. Picture the outcry and indignation of the Leftist crowd, led by De Morgen.”

Verreycken calls upon British citizens to follow his example and lodge complaints against De Morgen for its 30 August article at the CEOOR’s email adress: If the civil servants at the CEOOR decide to prosecute their friends at De Morgen (which is highly unlikely as the Left always applies two sets of standards) the Belgian courts could declare the paper a “racist” organisation, which would make everyone “cooperating” with it (in whatever capacity) punishable with imprisonment for one month to one year.