The Belgian Defence Minister has been busy doing what he does best, defending. The only thing he’s been defending though, is himself. Defending himself against heaps of criticism from every quarter. First it was his attempt to award Joseph Kabila, President of the Congo, an honorary doctorate from the Royal Military Academy. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister, and the Military Academy itself all quite strongly disagreed with the idea. I’m not qualified to comment on Congolese politics or relations between Belgium and her former colony, but this was certainly a provocative move. One that was unanimously coldly received, until he had to rescind the offer, thus making him look simulatenously like an idiot and a jerk.
But even more indefensible is the fact that the guy chartered a military helicopter to take him to Hasselt to see Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” As everybody knows The Inconvenient Truth (spoiler alert)is that greenhouse gasses are bad, and we should all do our part to cut down on the emissions that are rapidly bringing a climate change with almost certainly catastrophic results. One thing you can do is switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Another thing you can do is not abuse your power as Defence Minister by chartering helicopters to fly you around the country, especially not to see films about the prevention of climate change. The hypocrisy and stupidity are mind-bending.
In the Defence Ministers defence the flight only produced 12-20 times more CO2 than a car journey over the same distance and only cost 2500 taxpayer euros per hour.