Wednesday, May 29, 2024

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The intricate dynamics of food: Waffles and lasagne


Greetings to Declassified, a comedic column published every week.

We finally have a response to Belgium’s greatest food dilemma (and no, it’s not ‘What’s the deal with chicory?’). The true inquiry is which waffle reigns supreme: Liège or Brussels?

This is the previous version. These are not my own words, but those of Simone Biles, the most successful gymnast in history. Biles, who has won seven Olympic medals, shared on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: “I am still thinking about the delicious waffles from Belgium” (in response to the former US president’s excessive use of capital letters, Americans no longer use them as often on social media).

When asked about her preferred type of waffle, Biles responded with “Liege” and three drooling face emojis.

Belgian politicians do of course like to use culinary terms to describe their ridiculously complicated ways of doing things. There’s “waffle-iron politics,” whereby for every euro (or franc, for older readers) spent on a project in Wallonia, the same amount is supposedly spent on a similar project in Flanders.

One term used to describe the complex political structure of the country is “institutional lasagne.” While it is a clever phrase, it may be more fitting if it was “institutional lasagne that is tossed from a high place onto the floor.”

What term should we use to describe the European Parliament’s actions? This week, there was much excitement among headline writers in Europe when the train carrying MEPs and employees accidentally ended up in Disneyland instead of Strasbourg. Let’s be honest, the Parliament’s absurd monthly trips to Strasbourg would be more tolerable if they were instead taken to Disneyland Paris, where MEPs could engage in their usual activities (drinking? having affairs?) while riding the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (except for the Greens, who would likely object to riding a train that does not meet current emissions standards).

Returning to the topic of food, the Parliament can be likened to an all-you-can-eat buffet with a diverse selection of dishes from various cultures (“I’ll have carbonara, sweet-and-sour pork, and a hot dog all on one plate”)—however, none of them are executed particularly well.

In terms of comparing parliaments to food, the British House of Commons can be compared to an Eton Mess, while the Italian parliament could be likened to Amsterdam’s Kinderkookkafé, as it is run by children.

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“The championship finale for this year’s Dictator World Championships generated a frenzy of excitement.”

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Paul Dallison is POLITICO

I am a slot news editor.