Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Intellectual Conservative

The Daily Telegraph:
In his new book, A Journey, Mr Blair writes that the former US president was confused by the presence of Guy Verhofstadt at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa. “He didn’t know or recognise Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment,” Mr Blair writes. “He then turned to me and whispered, ‘Who is this guy?’ ‘He is the prime minister of Belgium,’ I said. Belgium? George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. ‘Belgium is not part of the G8’.” Mr Blair explained to Mr Bush that Mr Verhofstadt was there as “president of Europe”. Belgium held the presidency of the EU council at the time. Mr Bush responded: “You got the Belgians running Europe?” before shaking his head, “now aghast at our stupidity”, Mr Blair writes.
To which Andrew Stuttaford responds:
“Running Europe”? Well, not quite, but W’s aghastness will do nicely. In fact, very nicely.

As for not knowing who Verhofstadt was, one can only admire the president’s shrewdly selective assessment of what information is worth knowing — and what is not.
Ha ha, well, you know, I don't think I've ever known who a Belgian head of state is, mind you, I'm not a head of state meeting one at meetings where heads of state meet other heads of state and are supposed to know what's on the fucking agenda. Evidently at least two heads of state who were not George W. Bush knew what the deal was.

20 comments:

Brando said...

The more knowin' you have in your head, the less room you have for Jesus.

mikey said...

The "President of Europe".

C'mon, boy. Yer jist funnin me now, ain'tcha.

Another Kiwi said...

Why I could never be preznit: I would have told Bush that it was the Janitor and could he ask the guy to leave.

M. Bouffant said...

I had mercifully repressed most memory of just how awful Worst was.

Don't you forget!

Smut Clyde said...

I don't think I've ever known who a Belgian head of state is

Not wanting to be pedantic or anything, but I think you will find that the Belgian head of state is King Albert II, and has been for a while. Also, the Head of State of the UK is a certain Queen Betty, longmayshereignoverus.

OK, I am wanting to be pedantic.

Substance McGravitas said...

I knew I was gonna get in trouble for that, and also not mentioning that it was in the capacity as other-than-head-of-one-state that Mr. Bloody Belgian was in proximity to His Idiocy.

Substance McGravitas said...

Or "for not mentioning" if you want.

tigris said...

Ever since the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa I've been shocked by the Congo Free State.

tigris said...

Too soon?

Smut Clyde said...

Never too soon.

Tigris, did you see this Crooked Timber thread? A lot of Belgians (including, in this case, the erstwhile European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid) still reckon that the Belgian occupation and exploitation of the Congo was a good thing; and that the surviving Congolese should have been grateful for the "railways, schools and hospitals and boosted economic growth" rather than harping on about the slavery and amputations and 10 million dead.

Bloody Belgians.

The thread is quickly overrun by people defending British Imperialism (the kinder, gentler form) and includes a poem by SMcG.

Substance McGravitas said...

Following that link I get a nice empty comment box, whereas they normally close 'em.

I could end that thread with some pro or anti Zionist screed...

mikey said...

Did I ever mention that the two scariest doods I ever met in my life were Belgians?

I did?

How many times?

Oh. Sorry.

Carry on...

J— said...

one can only admire the president’s shrewdly selective assessment of what information is worth knowing — and what is not.

Ignorance is wisdom.

J— said...

Did I ever mention that the two scariest doods I ever met in my life were Belgians?

Mercenaries in SE Asia? Am I remembering right?

Substance McGravitas said...

Jean Claude Van Damme twice.

Smut Clyde said...

René Magritte and Paul Delvaux?

J— said...

Jean Claude Van Damme twice.

But there is only one Bolo Yeung.

Has Jonah Goldberg taken a position on Stallone's decision to leave Van Damme out of his recent movie? That would be most helpful.

tigris said...

I didn't, and except for Subby's EXCELLENT lyric, bleh. I guess $Nationality exceptionalism is not so exceptional.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Ha ha, well, you know, I don't think I've ever known who a Belgian head of state is

The only Belgian heads I'm concerned with are on well-poured ales.

Mendacious D said...

"The Intellectual Conservative"

Or, "I can't believe it's not Broder!"

(sorry)

WV has me in thral. That is all.