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Remember the lady in the funeral selfie from yesterday, Helle Thorning-Schmidt? Prime Minister of Denmark? Well, it turns out, before she had that gig, she was a member of the European Parliament.

Presumably that’s where she met and married Stephen Kinnock, who worked in and around Brussels before taking a gig with the World Economic Forum — one of those institutions that gives conspiracy nuts hives.

His qualifications include being the son of Glenys Kinnock, former Member of the European Parliament, former Minister for Europe and former Minister of State for Africa and the United Nations.

Her qualifications include being the wife of Neil Kinnock, leader of the UK Labour party from 1999 to 2004 1994 to 2007. Actually, that’s pretty much it. That’s all of her qualifications right there.

Oh wait, ‘scuse me, beg pardon, I misspoke. That should be Baron and Baroness Kinnock.

In the bad old days, they called this guy, the guy in the picture with the shiny boots, the Uncle of Europe. Because every throne in the West was sat on or next to by a child of his mama. That didn’t work out so hot.

But don’t you worry, the modern European ruling class is totally different — Neil Kinnock’s dad was a coal miner, for cri-yi. I’m sure it’ll turn out much better this time.

p.s. You may remember Neil Kinnock as the man from whom Slow Joe Biden borrowed a few colorful phrases — and bits of personal biography — in his 1988 presidential run.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: December 12, 2013, 12:30 am

It’s informative articles like this one that remind me of the day, as a very young boy, my father took me to the baseball park to see professional baseball.

I will never forget the guys selling stuff to the crowd.

‘PROGRAMS! Gitcher PROGRAMS! here. Cain’t tell the players without a PROGRAM!’

Comment from Oceania
Time: December 12, 2013, 12:54 am

Sounds like this thread is going to be about Australia!


In NZ 1:4 Maori are born without a fathers name on the birth certificate, because it is usually a close relative. It is causing a real scene … because genetic testing databases are indicating that many Maori reproduce from Incest. Don’t breed with a Koon. They are almost always defective.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 12, 2013, 1:42 am

We made a serious mistake bailing out the Frants in doubleyou-doubleyou-eye.

Comment from weasel tablet
Time: December 12, 2013, 1:45 am

Watching a program on Henry VIII. Dude weighed 400 pounds when he died…

Comment from AliceH
Time: December 12, 2013, 1:46 am

In one of those internet coincidences, I was just reading about old Edward VII in a parenthetical about Biarritz.

He apparently caused a minor scandal in 1908 by not wanting to return to London, asking Asquith to come to Biarritz to “kiss hands”.

“Kiss hands”, I subsequently learned, is a term used “to refer to the formal installation of Crown-appointed British government ministers to their office.”

No mention of “Uncle of Europe”, though.

Comment from mojo
Time: December 12, 2013, 2:25 am

Eddie got in trouble because Victoria wouldn’t let him do squat of an official nature, for decades. He was bored, probably, and started raising hell. Scandal after scandal.

Idle Hands, and all that.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: December 12, 2013, 3:16 am

Watching a program on Henry VIII. Dude weighed 400 pounds when he died…

In America, even poor people can die fatter than the King of fucking England. That’s something.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: December 12, 2013, 9:39 am

Europeans hold a permanent fascination with hereditary royalty and have been revising that to more modern conditions. Americans largely (but not completely; see the Lees of Virginia, etc.) rid themselves of that sickness, but have been steadily and purposefully been re-infecting themselves with the disease. Partly out of nostalgia for the vanished heriditary royalty and the desire to be more European (it’s more hip!) and partly out of the romantic view of the old family-run mobs (see Kennedys, Gores, Dodds, Pelosis, Clintons, etc., etc., etc.)

There’s a lot to be said for the idea of random drawings from the registered voter pools to select (sentence) the loser to a term in congress. Seems like we could hardly do worse.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 12, 2013, 12:47 pm

Helle Thorning-Schmidt seems to have that problem common in politicians—paying taxes.

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 12, 2013, 7:41 pm

…the Uncle of Europe. Because every throne in the West was sat on or next to by a child of his mama.

Grandchildren, actually, or he’d have been the Brother of Europe.

He was:

Father of
– Queen Consort Maud of Norway
– George, Prince of Wales (later King George V)

Uncle of
– Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany
– Crown Princess Sophia of Greece (later Queen Consort)
– Tsarina Alexandra of Russia
– Crown Princess Marie of Romania (later Queen Consort)
– Queen Consort Victoria of Spain

Second cousin (through his father) of
– Tsar Ferdinand of Bulgaria
– King Albert I of Belgium

Brother-in-law of
– King Frederick VII of Denmark

Uncle by marrriage of
– Crown Prince Christian of Denmark (later King Christian X)
– King Haakon VII of Norway

It does not appear that he was more than distantly related to the crowns of the Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, or Austria, nor at all to the crown of Serbia.

But that’s still pretty good coverage.

It should be noted that Euro royalty wasn’t quite as inbred at this time as it had been. Some upstarts got in during the Napoleonic Wars. Many royals were descendants of Marshal Bernadotte, adopted as King of Sweden with his French commoner wife as Queen. Others descended from Napoleon’s stepson, Eugéne de Beauharnais, who married into the Bavarian royal family.

…leader of the UK Labour party from 1999 to 2004.

Where’d you get that from?

Kinnochio was Labour Leader from 1983 to 1992. Having lost two elections, he was then replaced by John Smith, followed by Margaret Beckett and then of course Tony Blair, who served 1994 to 2007.

Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 12, 2013, 7:52 pm

Poor old Eddie only reigned for 9 years because Victoria hung on for so long. I wonder how old Chuckles will be when he finally gets the crown. He’s 65 now.

Comment from Mojo
Time: December 12, 2013, 10:34 pm

Then there was poor old Maximillian of Mexico…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 12, 2013, 11:09 pm

I musta read the wrong line in the Wikipedia sidebar, Rich. Thanks. Feexed.

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