Monthly Archives: July 2018

Vassal State – Dienliches Land

The Government has published a Brexit white paper on the future relationship between the UK and the EU along with translations into other European languages.

I read the German translation, and it’s not just bad, it’s laughably humiliatingly bad.

Here is a sentence from the executive summary in English:

“The Government will have delivered on the result of the 2016 referendum – the biggest democratic exercise in this country’s history. And it will have reached a key milestone in its principal mission – to build a country that works for everyone.”

Here is the German translation published by the Government:

“Die Regierung wird das Ergebnis der Volksbefragung von 2016 umgesetzt haben, die größte demokratische Übung in der Geschichte dieses Landes. Und sie wird einen entscheidenden Meilenstein in ihrem wichtigsten Auftrag erreicht haben, den Aufbau eines Landes, das allen dienlich ist.”

And here’s what that German translation actually says:

The Government will have realised the result of the 2016 public consultation, the biggest democratic practice run in this country’s history. And it will have reached a decisive milestone in its most important mandate, the formation of a country that is subservient to everyone.

It makes Jacob Rees-Mogg’s ‘vassal state’ sound like the unintentional but inevitable consequence of a principal policy objective. Which, of course, it is.

But maybe if the first referendum was just a practice run, the second referendum will be the real thing, and everything will be OK.