Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 21 March 2011

L'Union fait La Force

The continuing inability of Belgian politicians from the two languaphone communities to agree means that the Kingdom of the Belgians continues with a caretaker government. This continuing crisis, or crises, highlights the role of the King in holding the country together, and means that those who want to destroy the country inevitibly attack the monarchy.


The Belgian Royal Arms

Image: Wikipedia

My own suspicion is that the two communities threaten secession in order to get what they want, but if the point was finally reaches of making achoice they would remain together. Despite being created in its present form only in 1830-31 Belgium has amuch longer history as political unit under Austrian and before that Spanish Habsburg rule, and before that as the Duchy of Burgundy. It has always had political tensions from competing communities in association one with another. It is not in the interests of other European counties with lingusitic or other ethnic divisions - the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, even Switzerland - to see it fall apart.

As was demonstrated by the public show of mourning at the death of King Baudouin in 1993 support for the unity of the kingdom is not to be discounted, as well as being a sign of the respect shown to a King who was seen as a faithful steward of the difficult inheritanc ehe had received.

The Cross of Laeken is a blog devoted to supporting the Belgian monarchy, and answering its detractors. I see that it very kindly links to this blog and I have added it to the list at the side as well as the official website of the Belgian Monarchy.

1 comment:

May said...

Dear Sir, many thanks for the link and the interesting comments. I also doubt that the communities will really separate; or, at least, I doubt that it will happen in the near future. Since the politicians from the two sides seem to have so much trouble agreeing on anything else, I don't see how they could easily agree on "divorce terms", so to speak. It might eventually happen, though. Especially given all the political changes underway throughout the EU, it is hard to make predictions.