Most of the Spanish press screw up and write that today’s referendum is the first in Holland’s history. Not true: constitutional referenda were held in 1796, 1798 and 1801, while Holland was occupied by … the French. Symbolic local referenda were also held in 1952 over a European constitution whose progress was blocked by the election of an anti-federalist called Charles de Gaulle.
(Simon Schama’s Patriots and Liberators is a must-read account of how French imperialism destroyed what might conceivably have provided a European mirror for the American revolution. A period quote: “The French Patriot seizes his arms and flies to the place where he can use them on behalf of the cause of freedom; the Dutch Patriot, told that his redeemers are at hand on his frontier, stuffs his pipe full of tobacco and goes peacefully to his back parlor for a quiet smoke.”)
(Update: NRC Handelsblad says ($) that the word “referendum” first appeared in Dutch in 1892.)
- Euro woes
Nice one from Steyn in the Torygraph: ‘The American constitution begins with the words “We the people”. The starting point for
- french headscarf ban based on dutch experience
NRC Handelsblad, Holland’s most respected rag, says that the French commission that advocated banning the headscarf was strongly influenced by what
- Why does the PNV hate Fujimori?
Someone just sent me a wild and wildly misleading press release (Spanish) from the PNV, the main legal Basque nationalist party.
- The better the host, the worse his accommodations
From MM: The [London Natural History Society] traces its roots back to 1858, when the Haggerstone Entomological Society was founded in June
- The oldest surname in the world
Ramón J Sender’s La tesis de Nancy is the account of an affair between strawman and strawwoman, in which Curro, Work,