Smoke & Mirrors

I don’t normally talk about life inside the “Brussels Bubble”, the world occupied by EU lobbyists and the like. Mostly because I am well aware that it is boring to those outside its sometimes claustrophobic confines but also because this blog is about non-work life, the city I find myself trying to come to terms with.

However, two events over the last few weeks have got me pondering. The first is an alleged ‘black operation‘ by tobacco companies against anti-tobacco lobbyists. If you are a policy geek, as I am, this is interesting not only for the potential scandal in its own right but also because this is the kind of thing that goes on in ‘serious’ political capitals and I am still sceptical that Brussels actually deserves this label.

The second is the car-jacking and murder of a British expat in the city a couple of weeks ago.

The two are not linked except by the fact that multiple conspiracy theories have rapidly sprung up around both stories. Theories that are being repeated and picked over in every bar on Place Lux and Place de Londres. The sad fact regarding the second story is that street robberies and car-jacking are fairly common in Brussels. It’s a rare expat who has not been pick-pocketed or burgled. Often cars are stolen to order; it happened to a friend outside her own home a few years ago.

I can’t help wondering if all this speculation is a reflection of the reality that Brussels is often pretty boring…

PS You will be, I’m sure, thrilled to learn that Remedial Wife received a pain au chocolat yesterday morning en route to London with the Eurostar. Things are looking up and a twitter campaign is not necessary afterall which is just as well because although Remedial Wife is now on Twitter (@RemedialWife), true to her name, she has yet to work out how to do anything….

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