If I had a column in the Delft op Zondag

(Not the real)
Delft op Zondag


23 APRIL 2017

Pollen and Politics

DELFT - We are well into Spring so my nose says. I began sneezing before Easter and have been since. It is my more sensitive side which is held in check by drugs. I refer to anti-histamines. Two pills and I am ready to take in flowers, blooming trees and grasses of all sorts. I wish there were such a pill for politics.

My personal, second-hand poll of French voters (2 respondents) dismisses the far out but worry about Mr. Macron's youth. An older candidate is the alternative, and there are assertions of misjudgment against him. Well, the Netherlands had the youth issue 8 years ago when our current Prime Minister was elected to the job. He was 42. Critics on the side, he steadily led Holland through crisis after crisis.


"An elevated train track used to divide Delft Centrum from the western side of town. The track was moved underground, a new station was built over it and now the amenities such as a new bike way. I travel that route every Monday; well done Delft."

It is tempting to sit on the terrace of a cafe on a sunny day and read fiction. The coffee is strong and the mood is seasonal. It feels some days that the worst that happens in Delft is one herd of tourists gets mixed with another in crossing. Students at the Technical University nearby invent, they do not protest. Surely they are likely moved by events, but they do not take it to the streets.

Delft is a mid to small-sized town in a chain of urbanization running along the lower Dutch coast called the Randstad. A person can see Rotterdam and The Hague from the New Church steeple. It is generally considered livable with much in its favor. That is local and can change for the worse without notice. Until it does, have another drink?

The UK's decision to leave the EU is not in the same league as France's possible departure. The society that gave the world the ideal of liberty, fraternity and equality may vote to change its mind. France might say: Let them eat cake.

If the English Channel did not exist, I suspect the Brits would have dug one. We will miss them but they have moved out of the neighborhood. France contemplates being the people next door who just built a high fence between them and you.

An EU without France would survive in some form but would lack the flavor that is uniquely French. How will we know what wine is correct with our meals? Will the price of real croissants go up? Must we change our money at borders?

America will do what it deems it must and play with fire. There are enough real fires in the world without France starting one too. Really, the EU exists largely because of France. Can it reject its own child now grown into an adult?

Fortified by allergy meds, I shall read about France tomorrow. I believe that Macron will have the votes to go to the runoff; the worry is against whom will he be campaigning. And then there is the election in Germany. First France (not France first).

G. Wiley / NLStrabo - © Copyright - All rights reserved - gwileynl@gmail.com
In memory of Herb Caen