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Monday, October 18, 2021

Netflix and threats to kill!

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Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics.

Do you know what Europe needs? Don’t answer that as we already know … it’s a Netflix-style streaming platform all of its own!

That’s according to a document from the EU’s Slovenian presidency which suggests that EU capitals and the European Commission should look into setting up a European online streaming platform — presumably to show nine-and-a-half-hour films in Czech about snow, live coverage of Strasbourg plenary sessions and made-for-TV versions of Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton’s sci-fi books.

Now, this is all well and good but is Netflix really the model to aim for? It has, after all, just released “Diana: The Musical” which contains the following actual lines:

Sung by the paparazzi as they chase the Queen of Hearts: “Better than a Guinness, better than a wank / Snap a few pics, it’s money in the bank.”

At a cello recital that the People’s Princess finds dull: “The Russian plays on and on / Like an endless telethon / How I wish he were Elton John!”

Diana’s already got a pirate-themed kids’ playground and a fountain in Hyde Park that looks more like a drain. Hasn’t she suffered in death enough!

But you can see the EU’s reasoning here: Netflix is one of the pillars of modern life along with social media, which made Monday’s Facebook/Instagram/WhatsApp outage all the more terrifying (though I didn’t notice as I spent the evening on MySpace).

But if Netflix content is bad and Facebook is out of order, what’s left to fill the hours? How about watching some harmless sport instead. Except no, because sports stars can become crazed right-wingers!

Former Dutch international footballer (that’s football with a round ball, not an oval one since the Brits won the POLITICO Europe “football/soccer battle” of 2016) Bryan Roy — who played for Ajax, Nottingham Forest and Hertha Berlin — has been convicted of threatening to shoot Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Roy replied to a tweet calling on Rutte to resign by saying that the PM would “get a headshot soon” and as a result, the ex-footballer was placed on probation for two years and given 80 hours of community service.

The news came days after Olympic swimming gold medalist Klete Keller pleaded guilty to being part of the right-wing mob that ran riot at the U.S. Capitol in January. Keller was wearing a Team USA jacket when he entered the Capitol, proving beyond doubt that over-exposure to chlorine can have a debilitating effect on the brain!

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Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

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Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“She’s behind me, isn’t she?” by John Burridge

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor

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