The tip for this post came in an email from AMDG. Dymphna was the first to look at the email, and called me in to show me the offensive portion:
Paul Goossens, EU-journalist at the Belgian press agency BELGA: “the Irish, a nation of parochial traditions, penny-pinching misers, catholicism and alcohol”
My response was, “But I don’t see the problem. Facts is facts.”
I had to duck a swing from her shillelagh and retreat up the stairs. She shouted after me, “This isn’t true! We are not either penny-pinchers!”
She’s right, you know. Mr. Goossens is mixing up the Irish and the Scots. I guess all those Celts look alike to the Duvel-swilling Wallonian burghers of Brussels.
Members of Vlaams Belang, who are well-acquainted with accusations of racism and hate speech, decided it was time to give the Eurocrats a taste of their own medicine. The text of their complaint can be found in a press release on the Vlaams Belang website:
06/17/2008 :: Complaint by Vlaams Belang against racist hate speech at Belgian Centre against Racism
The victory of the ‘no’ in the referendum on the Lisbon treaty has left politicians and journalists frustrated. Whether one supported the ‘yes’ or the ‘no’, if one says that Europe is built upon democracy, one should respect the outcome of a democratic referendum, but this is obviously not the case.
Paul Goossens, responsible for the European section of the official Belgian press agency BELGA, has written in the newspaper ‘De Morgen’ on 14/6/2008 that the Irish are a nation ‘of parochial traditions, penny-pinching misers, catholicism and alcohol’.
Vlaams Belang defends freedom of expression for everyone, but a majority in Belgium has decided that there has to be a ‘law against racism’ that makes incitement to hatred based on ethnic origin a crime. This law makes sure that anyone, writing such a thing about Moroccans or Turks in combination with their religion and the alleged use of drugs, faces a criminal procedure.
Therefore we have decided to file a complaint against Paul Goossens at the Centre against Racism in Belgium because of incitement to hatred against the Irish people. If one proclaims laws against ‘hate speech’, they should be applied to all.
– – – – – – – – –
The Vlaams Belang will also send a letter to the Irish embassy to apologize for these inappropriate remarks in order to underline that the people of Flanders are very positive towards Ireland, and to point out that we in Flanders, too, hope to be soon no longer a ‘province’, but ‘a nation once again’!
Frank Vanhecke, MEP
Philip Claeys, MEP
Koen Dillen, MEP
We’re not subject to EU’s anti-discrimination and hate-speech rules here at Gates of Vienna. So, just for a change, I thought it would be fun to cite some of those rarely-mentioned racist stereotypes of various Northern European groups. Besides the Scots, the Irish, and the Belgians, I am pleased to insult all the:
- Dour Norwegians with their smelly fish;
- Stupid hulking blond Swedes;
- Beer-sodden porn-loving Danes;
- Cowardly Frenchmen with their body odor and stinky cheese;
- Humorless Germans obsessed with order and hygiene;
- Whey-faced Dutchmen who live in windmills and mince around in clogs;
- Leek-eating, vowel-impaired Welshmen who sing like castrati;
- Money-grubbing Swiss in lederhosen yodeling down the valleys;
- Finns herding their reindeer into the sauna;
And last, but not least, my own reviled ethnic group:
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestants, who can’t hold a tune or clap on the beat to save their lives, who cook tasteless and boring food, dress like scarecrows, and bray loudly and arrogantly in English at foreigners.
Yes, I guess that about covers it. Are there any Gates of Vienna readers left unoffended?
Hat tip: The Flemish Republic, via AMDG.