We have the Taj Mahal and the Swiss have their banking laws. It’s that simple. For those blokes, proud as they are of their pralines and passwords, anyone casting aspersions on their codes of honour rightfully deserves an Alpine tumble. And if the said detractor happens to be a German, well, what better way to exact revenge than drive all over the cynic in a new set of wheels made by… you guessed it… the French.
Any hapless tourist who’s been to Switzerland is familiar with the quick juggling between French and German signboards. So, when the German finance minister Peer Steinbrüeck snapped at Switzerland for its reluctance to de-cloak its banking laws, the Swiss Defence Minister promptly traded his swish Mercedes S-Class for a Renault Espace minivan, with familiar dexterity. Of course, since no European spat is complete without winking at the Americans, Steinbrueck had earlier compared the fear of the Swiss with that of native Indians fleeing the cavalry at fort Yuma. Those secretive bankers, in turn, plucked the ultimate historical insult to hurl back, comparing him to a Nazi.
Now if only international relations could be that simple. We could then promptly disinherit the Karachi halwa, dump truckloads across the Line of Control and be done with it. The Pakistanis could then launch a counter-offensiive with flying discs of pirated Bollywood films. Or we could bombard our way into Aksai Chin with canon-launched toxic Chinese toys, while simply asking those well-worn Nikes and Reeboks to re-trace their steps to Yankee land. Only to get hit by software eggheads in return. Now that should take care of the brain drain.