Nikki and eine kleine price of freedom
There's been a bit of information knocking around my head all week that makes me feel better about living in this grand old European Union of ours, which at least pretends to be concerned about certain aspects of social mobility.
When US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley resigned, one of the possible reasons was that she "needs to make some money" because otherwise she'd be struggling to send her kids to college on a "government salary" - so immediately I assumed that she must have about seven or eight kids, for this to be any kind of an issue.
In fact she only has two.
Several times I heard TV reporters speculating about this, and even if that is not the only reason for her resignation, the fact that it is even conceivable is really quite jaw-dropping.
The US ambassador to the UN - yes, that would be the US ambassador to the UN - or, to put it another way, the US ambassador to the UN - can't afford to send her kids to college. And reporter after reporter mentioned this, and then just moved on, like they were dealing with some quirk in an otherwise well-run system.
Over the years there have been many outpourings of eejitry from "conservative" sources, but perhaps the most spectacular of these, was the line about Ireland needing to look to Boston and not Berlin - that we should be breaking away from the grim embrace of the Eurocrats, to seek the unlimited freedoms to be found in the American way. The Brexiteers love that stuff, too.
And then you're reminded that the US ambassador to the UN - who is, after all, the US ambassador to the UN - needs to get out and "make some money" to send her kids to college.
Berlin… first we take Berlin.