Missed the ‘presidential’ debates in which ‘leading candidates‘ you most probably can’t vote for, fight for a function they might not get, and your vote doesn’t really influence either, because direct influence by citizens is not the kind of democracy the EU wants? You can’t say we didn’t warn you! Did we watch it, you ask?

To be honest, we ‘forgot’ about it ourselves. Luckily, there is a highlight reel and it is gripping!

The best part was when a protester held up a banner for nobody but his preferred candidate to see and it proclaimed his worry about getting laid. #It’s our fucking future! Yes, I realise that’s horrible. It’s terrible. There’s just nothing. Nothing. One of the ‘highlights’ of this debate, apparently, is Frans Timmers, the current vice-president, saying that

“It is time we put an end to violence against women in Europe.”

When you weigh your chances between promising something stupid, and hoping nobody notices you haven’t done anything about in the past four years.

Is there anyone in favour of violence against women? And what is Timmermans going to do about it, that he couldn’t have done in the past four years while he was vice-president? Is he going to wear a presidential cape now and beat up people who were violent against women? What if those people were women? Would Super-Frans then beat up women to stop violence against women?

To be fair, the best joke this week was when the Dutch Bureau for Statistics (CBS) published a new dataset that says the Dutch trust in the European Union has gone up. Whereas in 2012, the percentage of people who said they trusted the EU was 39.20%, in 2018 it was 45.20%. Growth in trust was most marked in those still receiving daily indoctrination education: 15 to 25-year-olds went from 57.30% to a whopping 71.50%. Trust in 25 to 35-year-olds from 43.60% to 55.80%. Those who have actually witnessed the EU’s “70 years of peace” trust the least: they went from 37.20% to 39.90%, which seems slightly odd, considering 65 to 75-year-olds consistently have the lowest percentage of trust (30.70% to 31.80%).

Trust of the Dutch population in the European Union

This level of average trust means the Netherlands are in fourth place when it comes to trusting the EU. In a 2016 research into trust in the European parliament only Lithuania (52%), Finland (49%) and Ireland (42%) scored higher.

The same article also said that of all non-Dutch European citizens eligible to vote in the upcoming European elections, a quarter are Polish. Which is all the excuse we need for the Winged Hussars to arrive. Also it is Friday.