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Saturday, 28 December 2019

Economic Dream Team and national dishonour

Why has the Netherlands been so successful? A large part of the place is below sea level, built on reclaimed land, it has no natural resources or mineral wealth, no source of energy, no great natural agricultural advantage and they speak a language that sounds like hawking phlegm. Yet their per capita GDP places them amongst the wealthiest in the world, and in terms of economic freedom they're at the top of the index, along with Switzerland, the UK, Ireland and Iceland. Their courts are un-corrupt, they have a monarchy and a proud history of plucky adventuring, once even sending a fleet of ships up the Thames to destroy the English fleet.

The answer of course is trade, commerce, secondary processes that add value, shipping and above all wide horizons that allow the Dutch to punch above their weight. Chemicals, petroleum refining, electrical engineering, banking and a scientifically productive horticulture and intensive agriculture sector all make the best of the Netherlands' greatest asset - the Dutch. They even enlisted cannabis and prostitutes into the tax economy.

The fact that the Netherlands seem firmly fixed within the EU is our loss and the EU's gain.

In response to the EU's veiled threats to block UK financial services from operating in the EU post-Brexit, a suggestion has resurfaced to form an FinAlliance between the UK, Switzerland, Singapore and HK. It's perfectly feasible, and it must worry at least 26 of the 27. But imagine what such an alliance would be if it included the Netherlands.

Again, the reward of the deserving has been fouled and besmirched by the awards of honours to the undeserving, those deficient of either exceptional merit or great worth to the nation. Sally Davies, chief health fascist, Alison Saunders, failed and vindictive prosecutor and Melanie Dawes, Jonathan Jones and John Manzoni are either failures or unknown mediocrities and none of them has a place in our national pantheon. The system stinks. Until we clear this meretricious trash from our honours system, the truly deserving will be devalued and befouled by association. 


Stephen J said...

I was surprised when I worked indirectly for a Dutch firm just how involved it was in the world. There cannot be a city in the Middle East that did not include the input of Ballast Nedam during its construction.

Regarding honours, the best thing about what I have heard so far is that Nigel Farage is not amongst them, that would have been a dig too far from the Johnson government.

DeeDee99 said...

Perhaps we should invite the Dutch to join the UK :)

The Honours System is corrupt because those nominating are corrupt. The Establishment swamp badly needs to be drained. But a man who appoints Nicky Morgan to the House of Frauds within days of winning a General Election isn't going to do it.

JPM said...

The people of the Netherlands are amongst the foremost in the world for multilingualism - perhaps partly because of their own unpopular language. Those of the UK are at the other end.

If you think about that, then I think that your main questions are answered.

DiscoveredJoys said...

It's interesting to read the Wikipedia article "List of people who have declined a British honour". Well known people (mostly) who decline for various reasons including

"the honours system is a Ruritanian charade that helps to prop up the top-heavy monarchy."
~ J G Ballard

Now I'm not in favour of abandoning the monarchy until we have worked out what will replace it... but political legitimacy no longer rests with the condescending progressive bureaucratic establishment. It is passing back to the people. Until the pendulum swings back again; we should make the most of it.

Mark said...

Regarding linguistic skills, I think it was at Tim Newmans a while back.

How many Americans are learning another language. About 20% I think it was. I can't recall the other example used (but a country well known as an exemplar of multi-linguism). How many are learning a language OTHER THAN ENGLISH. Again it was around 20%.

Learning another language is hard and for most of the world that other language has to be English for the many historical reasons that should be obvious.

If the worlds lingua Franca was Dutch, we (and the Americans and everybody else who needed to) would have been taught it from an early age.

Then there is that well known hotbed of linguistic skills, Japan.

The main challenge the Dutch will have going forward will be the Euro of course. Denmark leaving will be a hell of a lot easier.

As for Ireland in the Eurozone, well that will provide us with entertainment in the next few years.

John Downes said...

Elton John CH..
Just disgusting.

Johnny Howson said...

Un-corrupt Dutch courts? Geert Wilders?

JPM said...

Learning another language isn't that hard, Mark, if you have learnt how to learn them.

The Dutch have.

The Scandinavians are another such group of peoples.

Onassis attributed his success to learning languages, which he taught himself partly by listening to international calls when he was a telephone engineer, incidentally.

Mr Ecks said...

Piss off Cheese--translation software is about to make all that irrelevant.

Learning a language might stave off dementia but that is too late for evil Marxist dross like you.

Anonymous said...

DiscoveredJoys has pointed us to the list of people who refused an honour, but most of them are left-wing arseholes who did nothing to deserve one in the first place. I wonder if I would have the nerve to turn one down (not that I've been offered one, or ever deserved one) because that would be the equivalent of tattooing 'left-wing twat' on my forehead - but the alternative of acceptance is to join a group of underserving twats. It's 'twat if you do, or twat if you don't' isn't it?

Mark said...


My point was that the dutch, scandinavians et al, don't really have a choice.

Speak Dutch or Swedish and you can get by in - well the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Not any criticism of these places, just a statement of fact.

My linguistic skills are distinctly lacking, but I have always found wherever I've been that english and the simple courtesy of at least asking people in whatever (a few phrases are certainly easy enough) has been more than adequate.

If somebody takes umbrage at my lack of language skills as they are perfectly entitled to do on their turf of course, then a simple apology and good wishes sorts it.

I have no intrinsic interest in languages and recognise that my good fortune, being born in God's chosen country, means I don't really need any.

I don't wish to live anywhere else.
As ecksy points out, language S/W may well render all this moot before too long. The language reading phone app I've found very useful on more than one occasion.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Holland is flat and wet is a considerable advantage in agriculture.
Rotterdam is another key strength, German industry lacks domestic hub ports, and Rotterdam’s key position in European trade flows helps to build financial services etc
The polder model is also a key factor - the Dutch place a very high value on the team, like the Japanese, because it was essential to fight the sea and establish communities.
They will always be too closely integrated with Germany to embrace Euroscepticism, the Benelux / Dm currency bloc will re-emerge when the euro fails and will work well.

Bill Quango MP said...

It’s no secret that English is the foremost language of the globe. Thanks to the vast reach of the British Empire and American Superpower cultural expansion.
People need to know English.

So it should be of no surprise that native English speakers don’t rush to learn another language. Why would they?
Plus English is the easiest main language to learn after Spanish. Making other languages harder for us, than they are for non English speakers.

That was a fact long before the EU and Brexit, JP.

Jack the dog said...

The Italians say that if you see a Dutch man laughing, somewhere, somebody is crying.

Span Ows said...

the Dutch have a long rich history very entwined with our own. Empire, piracy, banking, protestants etc. they are basically the same people but not so many Frisians crossed the water as the Juets, Angles and Saxons etc. We should encourage them to LEAVE and join us.

Languages aren't that hard when you know how to learn them: for the last 50 years at least UK teching of langauges in school has been complete pants: with a few simple tweaks of the curriculum 100% of school children could have at least one other language by the time they reach the 5th form.

Smoking Scot said...

The threat against the City of London is so much horse twaffle. Anything worth squat in the financial space already have subsidiaries registered and running in the EU. Who presses the button and where is irrelevant.

Nor do I see any move by, say ABN.AMRO, to shut their office in London. The French, Dutch, German & Italian banks are here because of their multinationals and their diaspora - and Sandanter has been cherry picking our undervalued retail outfits for decades. They too will have their say - and rightly too.

The one's most affected will be outfits like Gina has. They offer wealth management across the block simply because they're registered in an EU state. She and her kind can't afford to lose HNW individuals from, say, Germany, but can't afford to open a physical presence there. Hence her ire.

Re FinAlliance, yes it may be feasible, but these things are right buggers to get right. China, Russia, Iran, Turkey and a bunch of others are trying to get rid of the Dollar as a reserve currency and the clearing systems dominated by the West.

Good in theory and justifiable IMO, but it'll take quite a while before they can set up a comprehensive shadow system.

Agree about the Netherlands; those guys are very good. Have an account with what was Amro Bank for over 40 years and their investment arm is cheaper and better than anything the Brit Majors offer.

And I loved the way they handled the (hostile) takeover bids that - in the end - royally screwed the Royal Bank of Scotland.

But no Raedwald the Dutch won't bite the hand that feeds them, though they know damned well it comes at one hell of a price.

Nick Drew said...


@ it has no natural resources or mineral wealth, no source of energy

Just ... the biggest natural gas field ever discovered in Europe, onshore or offshore (and a plethora of smaller gas fields): so bouneous and so cheap to develop, it has produced gas for 60 years, a surplus so large the Dutch have exported energy to almost every country in Western Europe

the entire Dutch economy has been based on it since the 1960's: the phrase "the Dutch Disease" refers to a bloated welfare state funded by so much natural wealth that the populace becomes totally addicted (a bit of a problem, since the gas in question is now being rapidly phased out, following serious earthquakes caused by to 60-year production binge)

hmmm ...

JPM said...

Nick, this is a site by a Leaver for Leavers.

Anonymous said...

JPM - Take the hint and sod off then you cretin.

Raedwald said...

Nick - mortified. Who knew?

Why have I never once heard of the Groningen gas field?

Nick Drew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nick Drew said...

Perhaps the Dutch are a little coy about their "accidental wealth"?

(and their neighbours too polite to harp on about it??)

"That which comes easily to us, we like to claim as a virtue"
- Nietzsche (of course)

Raedwald said...

heehee. Apols for delay - after 48 hrs I have to release comments manually. It stops all that vietnamese viagra spam on old posts.

Billy Marlene said...

The Dutch are regarded as, erm, ‘careful’ with their money.

I remember telling the joke ‘why do the Dutch drill a hole in the side of their fridge?’ ............’to check the light goes out when they close the door’.

She didn’t quite get it. She thought it was a bit of advice.