Sunday, March 8, 2009

The story of Willy Claes ...

... or: What Indians and Belgians share

1. The story of Willy Claes

Willy Claes making his statement to the international press.
(NATO Photo 785Kb Ref. no.: 15167/34)

This is a story of a Belgian politician who had made it to Secretary-General of the NATO. Within the first year investigations took place in Belgium about the bribes given by Agusta (an Italian helicopter manufacturer)to the SP (Socialist Party) he belonged to.
Despite nobody was asking for his resigning on the international scene (see:, he was victimised under local Belgian pressure (see:
Finally, he resigned on October, 20th 1995. This lead to a new search for a successor (see
The man later was convicted in Belgium for "passive corruption", something which sounds to me like having the same value as "visual pollution".

2) What Indians and Belgians share ...

the feeling that they are UNDERDOGS ...

Waste Management !

One thing Indians can learn from Europe: Waste Management.

I know how they do it in Europe and am ready to consult you.
Here are some of my advises, for free:

- Organise your economy in such a way that consumption is the only value which counts. Then, tell other countries very clearly that this is definitely not the way to go !
- Make yourself as quickly as rich as possible at the cost of other countries and once you cannot handle the waste anymore, let them become independent. But don't forget to keep the ties alive - you may still be able to sell something there in the future;
- Organise your society in such a way that soon 50% of the population is or overstressed or not fit to take part in regular economy. To the overstressed ones you can sell pills. The 25% waste you can hand over to the State to manage;
- Leave your wife and your kids behind whenever you have the chance to start a new family with a more beautiful wife and smarter kids. Pay some alimentation so that your ex-wife handles the waste-management for you;
- If you can afford it, do the same thing twice or trice.
- Whenever you face an economical crisis: try to outsource it !
- Lock up your physically and mentally disabled family members in state-organised institutions: waste management when officially organised is clean, cheap and you will not be bothered by the visual pollution anymore;
- Send away your parents when they become too old to be placed at the right side of your personal economical balance sheet;
- If you still suffer from remaining waste, there's an out-of-the-box solution which solves everything: Social Mobility.

Of course, all this management costs money.
No worries: if you find you are paying too many taxes, then you can always move to a country where they manage their waste in a lesser professional way ...

"Les enfants du Borinage. Lettres à Henri Storck."

In 1933 the Belgian filmmaker Henri Storck created a documentary about the "Borinage", the area in Belgium where coal mining was going on. In those times this part of Belgium was well-doing and attracted lots of workers from the Dutch speaking part of the country.
In 1999 again a documentary was made about Charleroi, a city in Belgium in the center of the same "Borinage".

Indians very often are shocked to see that Slumdog Millionaire is showing poverty in India. They don't like it that the world sees again the cliche of the "poor India".
Well, I myself also don't like to be seen as a "walking wallet" in India.
It is reducing someones identity to the amount of money he has or not has. And as always every stereotype is a generalisation ... it stands as long as you are not confronted with reality ...

So I invite both Belgians and Indians to watch the following movie about Belgium:

I refer the Belgians also to the yearly report published by Acco Publishers: Armoede en Sociale Uitsluiting - Jaarboek 2008, which follows up the evolution of poverty in Belgium. No literature to become very optimistic of !