Bangladesh. A country with a somewhat turbulent history. As Bengal, it was a semi-independent state, but was conquered by the British East India Company in 1757. With the end of British rule in the region in 1947, Bengal and India were separated. The State of Pakistan was created with West and East Pakistan. East Pakistan split from West Pakistan in 1971 with the proclamation of Bangladeshi independence, which was followed by the nine-month Bangladeshi Liberation war.
What comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Bangladesh’? Well, for a certain generation, it’s probably the song and concert organised for Bangladesh by ex-Beatle George Harrison. Other than that, we’re all aware that it’s on the other side of the world, and most of us know that a lot of clothing used to be manufactured in Bangladesh. What comes to mind if you’re Hungarian, however, is the idea of what was once referred to as ‘Siamese twins’, a term which has now been rejigged as ‘conjoined twins’. Yes, conjoined twins, two babies born with their bodies fused together at one or more points. Potentially sharing organs, these conjoined twins can, in some cases be separated depending on the degree of fusion that affects them.
In 2018, conjoined twins, joined at the skull and brains, travelled to Budapest in order to start a series of operations to separate them. The Hungarians were the only surgical team in the world who agreed to undertake the series of required operations. The initial operation involved the surgeons separating the veins in the twins’ brains. A second operation saw the introduction of a new, Hungarian-designed system to expand the twins’ skin and soft tissue in preparation for the final operation. In 2019, the 35-strong surgical team travelled to Bangladesh to perform the final operation to separate the twins.
The 30-hour-long operation was a success, and the twins were separated. That said, they’re not out of the woods yet as the doctors from the surgical team made it clear that the girls have years of rehabilitation ahead of them.
Now, Bangladesh is not a rich country. The medical team that went to Bangladesh for the final operation took 2 tonnes of equipment with them. The vast majority of this equipment was donated to hospitals in Bangladesh rather than being brought all the way back to Hungary.
According to ‘Global Finance’, in July 2020, Qatar was the world’s richest country. Burundi was the world’s poorest, if you were wondering.
Hungary can be found in 45th place, one place behind Estonia, and one place ahead of Poland. Bangladesh lies a fair way down the table, in 143rd place, preceded by East Timor, followed by Mauritania.
So, Hungary is 98 countries ahead of Bangladesh. Hungary is in much better shape than Bangladesh, and yet the Bangladeshis recently reached out towards Hungary with an offer which should shame the EU Commission and the mess that von der Leyen made of the coronavirus vaccination procurement.
As a way of expressing their gratitude to the Hungarian surgical team that undertook to do that which nobody else felt confident to attempt, the Bangladeshis offered to donate 5,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines to Hungary.
So, we belong to a continent which likes to think of itself in very high terms. We belong to a union where arrogant politicians from countries that invented the double standard dare speak repeatedly out of turn with regard to us. A union which, when misinformed of our failings regarding democratic transparency and our judiciary, immediately recommend that our country be put on the rack. A union that dares tell us that it is our place to do as we’re told. We put up with all sorts of disgraceful behaviour within the EU, in session in the European Parliament.
We are hauled over the coals whenever the lies of the Hungarian liberal Leftwaffe are whispered into the eagerly flapping ears of the ne’er-do-wells that can be found loitering for life in and amongst the corridors of the huge bureaucracy machine. All this trouble and strife are meant to be compensated for. For all the grief we are subjected to, we are encouraged to believe that there will, in the long run, be a reckoning of sorts, when some unspecified benefits will be granted to us as a direct result of EU membership.
Well, maybe. But given the lack of quality that we can see in the EU, given the dearth of talent that is regularly supplied, should we, can we expect any compensatory benefits? Deeply unpopular failed Western national politicians, fresh from scandal, burnt-out, with sacks of neuroses and complexes in tow, are regularly sent to end their careers in the EU, something that does nobody any favours.
And von der Leyen is a prime example. She made a name for herself in Germany by fucking up practically everything she touched. As her ‘passion fingers’ ranged over the German Armed Forces, tender after tender turned into something unrecognisable and the German taxpayer was left to foot the bill.
Altogether as welcome as itching powder in pants and socks, she, for whatever reason, was convinced that it was not yet time to call time on her career. So, with the support of that other perennial hanger-on, Merkel, she was kicked upstairs to the EU.
As the leader of the European Commission she was in charge of securing coronavirus vaccines for the continent. True to form, she took off her gloves and unleashed her ‘passion fingers’ on the problem, promptly fucking everything up, over, in, out, and around.
India, licensed to produce a billion Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines for use in poor and extremely poor countries in the region, has supplied Bangladesh with 5 million vaccines to date, with another 25 million in the pipeline.
Bangladesh, 98 countries behind Hungary in the wealth tables, far poorer than any European country, nevertheless offered 5,000 vaccines to Hungary in gratitude to the work of Hungarian doctors.
Von der Leyen should be shamed out of her job.