From October 2002 till October 2009, I lived and worked in London where I started this blog so my family and friends in Belgium were able to know what I was doing in London (although they didn't follow the blog).
In October 2009, I returned to Belgium (forced by circumstances) and now I live in Brussels, capital of Europe. I finally start to get used to my life back in Belgium, the country where I was born but I never really loved.
(12q) Why I'm not a "gilet jaune" (yellow jacket)
I'm NOT a gilet jaune (yellow jacket). Yes I sympathise
with people who find it increasingly difficult to pay bills, including
electricity and fuels to warm houses and drive cars. Still, I don't agree with
that what they ask, i.e. cheaper fossil fuels. Indeed, unions should finally
start talking reality and that means climate change is real and other energy
forms are needed that will create jobs while indeed, those jobs should be where
the products are sold and not in developing regions where people are underpaid
while here products are still sold too expensive for many. But I accept that
many of these demonstrators are not violent thugs although some are too stupid
to understand that violence is no solution and use it while also opponents
infiltrate to cause troubles so the gilets
jaunes will be blamed.
I'm not a gilet jaune
However, I could
agree when they would demand subsidies for the less well off to help with the
insulation of their houses and installation of solar panels and even other
renewables. Yes, not those who earn sufficient to invest in their own
properties should receive financial support such as tax reductions or even
money; they should be proud they can contribute to society by not claiming
money for everything they do.
Yes, the financially
weak should receive help. As they earn not much, tax reductions for them are
useless but grants are not. This doesn't mean only poor people need support
because many rent a house so can do little to change their home, also middle
class can receive help for certain projects, and depending what they earn
either may have to repay it (partly) or not.
Of course, this cost
money and thus, as mentioned higher, tax reductions for the wealthy and big
companies are not necessary although this doesn't need to exclude everything.
But, if everyone would pay their taxes fairly, taxes can be reduced as low as possible
because I too am against unnecessary high taxes. In this way, the wealthy can't
become too rich as they have to spend money while now too much money disappears
out the economy into their pockets. Indeed, helping many poor is cheaper than
refusing tax incomes from companies, the rich and even certain middle class.
PM May's plan to allow immigration based on skills and wealth was to be expected. After the two golden decades that started under PM Major and continued under PM Blair, the decline continues. Under these two PMs, people from poorer areas were stimulated to follow higher education and to achieve this major investments were done in education in general, including new schools.
Also major investments at universities resulted in collaborations with overseas universities, many foreigners (including from poorer countries) moving to the UK and top research.
Also free healthcare via the NHS whereby major investments resulted in good equipped (new) hospitals, good healthcare professionals and reduced waiting times.
Also a house for everyone was promoted and thus people could buy a property, improve it and sell it naturally more expensive to buy a larger house and repeat the above. This resulted in more expensive and now difficult to buy properties, certainly when houses and flats were sold…
Former USA President Barack Obama hit the hammer on the nail when he spoke at a Democrats fundraiser event. Democrats should stop mourning the loss of the presidential elections 2016 and start to say what they may do when in power. Analyse why then Mr and now President Donald Trump won the elections and find solutions that are better and include almost everyone in society. Otherwise, those "who are" today will be those "who were" tomorrow as the recent N.Y. democratic elections demonstrated when the main candidate lost from an inexperienced "socialist" Democrat. Still, whatever solution, some people will have none of them except the most extreme.
Therefore, politicians should stop to listen to and talk with almost exclusively only (multi)millionaires and billionaires to hear their solutions, i.e. more tax reductions for the rich to stimulate the economy and more penalties for those who don't work, including seriously ill people. Those wealthy have eve…
As usual in May, Belgium Pride took place in Brussels. Indeed, as you notice, in Brussels Pride is early, but again, just like last year we were lucky with the weather: sunny although a little cold (but then, what do you expect in Belgium in early May?). Pride was quite fun. I met up with Kurt and Jethro and we had a nice day. I wore something different from what I normally wear: a pink shirt with green bow tie. It suited me although I say it myself but otherwise I would have worn it.
Of course, there were many people, and some of them were interesting: either in drag, with strange clothes or bare chest. Unfortunately, most were in ordinary clothes: t-shirt and jeans, not worth taking pictures off. I show a small selection of the people. Excuse me the strange way of placing the photo's but I mostly can't place them in the position I would prefer them to be. I was lucky to be able to dance with a few of these people. I also spoke with two guys having fun, one from Israel, the o…