Tweets of the Week: Animal Idioms, Racism Debate, Recovery Council

What on earth is a pig in a poke, in EU institutions diversity is broke and European Council discussions are far from a joke.

This week we are supported by CEPI, the voice of the European Paper industry more about them later on.

The latest Brexit updates took a turn for the surreal this week after British PM Boris Johnson said the EU must “put a tiger in the tank” and European Council chief Charles Michel responded that the EU would not “buy a pig in a poke”.


Diego Velaquez was perplexed: Hey Twitter, can you explain this pig idiom to me, he tweeted.


John Brown reckons Michel has clearly been given a dictionary of English idioms and is making the best of it.


Laura Shields said he had displayed a fine grasp of English idiom, but

unfortunately most Brits don’t know what ‘buying a pig in a poke’ actually means.


Jack Parrock agreed: File this one under: “Things people can use to say Brussels doesn’t connect with citizens’”


I’m a native English speaker who teaches clear writing and I haven’t got a clue what he means, said Gareth Harding. Better to master basics of simple writing than show-off using little-known, archaic expressions lost on most people.

But the Council President’s spokesman rode to the rescue explaining that “to put a tiger in the tank” means to speed up.

While not buying a “pig in a poke” means we won’t just speed up. We have to remain focused on content and consequences.


Our sponsor this week is CEPI. Find out how the European forest-based industries are having a positive impact on the climate by following them online.

The Black Lives Matter movement finally reached the European Parliament on Wednesday with a debate on racism and discrimination.


The EU institutions must live up to their own motto: united in diversity, said 

MEP Samira Rafaela.


Currently, there is no reflection of society in either the Commission or the European Parliament added fellow MEP Evelyn Regner.


One tweeter accused Commission President Ursual Von der Leyen of using platitudes to describe the EU’s alleged anti-racism when the Parliament is almost exclusively white, the Commission is exclusively white and the Council is exclusively white.

The only non-whites in EU institutions are mostly cleaners or security staff.


Discrimination was highlighted even further when one of the European Parliament’s few black MEPs, German Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, told the plenary she was harassed and intimated by police at Brussels Gare du Nord just the day before.


Her group the Greens expressed solidarity with their MEP, saying she committed no crime. “Yet she was approached because of the colour of her skin. Such attitudes make clear that racism is all around us.”


Finally this week, the European Council video-conference will focus on the recovery fund and a new EU budget.


It’s grants v loans: round 1, tweeted Jim Brunsden.


Does anyone remember when the June summit was gonna be all about whether Poland would be on board with the climate neutrality goal for 2050? Asked Beatriz Rios.


And Peter Teffer is suffering from EU-jargonitis: when random letters of magazine titles remind you of the EU budget.

That’s it for this week, join me again next Friday for more pokes and jokes in the Brussels Bubble Twittersphere. 

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