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What a wonderful day to bash France

…on Waterloo Day, of course.

Addendum

15 comments to What a wonderful day to bash France

  • Jacob

    Strong article !
    This should be the quote of the day:

    “… this month’s referendums and opinion polls demonstrate a widespread loss of faith in the old Europe. From left and right it is seen for what it is, a defunct coalition of romantics and mafiosi. “

  • Barry Arrowsmith

    Possibly true, but the situation, as now evident, could have an outcome that I for one would find distressing.

    Having a moderately chauvanistic take on history I’m struck by the number of occasions throughout the centuries when an over-weening power has arisen in western Europe and the almost equal number of occasions when the Brits have forged a coalition to bring it down. And a reasonable case can be made that in many instances the sticking point came when restrictions to the freedom to trade (world-wide as well as in Europe itself) became intolerable.

    Could this be yet another example in the making?
    All well and good, you may say. But there is a grave danger that Blair could end up as a hero. Argh!
    Marlborough, Wellington, Pitt, Churchill …. Blair?!?
    Tell me I’m hallucinating, somebody.

  • Ted Schuerzinger

    Tony Bleah a hero??

    Haven’t you heard his comments about how Britain is at “the heart of Europe”? (If he’s referring to the EU, he really means “the anus of Europe”, but that’s another story….)

  • JEM

    Now that our relationship with France has reverted to its traditional millennium-long condition, can we be assured that before the Channel Tunnel Rail Link is finally completed in a year or two, the Eurostar London terminus at St Pancras will be renamed to align it more closely politically, historically and emotionally with the name of the present terminus south of the river?

    Trafalgar, Salamanca, Vittoria, Blenheim, Crecy or Agincourt are just a few of the most obvious candidates history has so bountifully provided us with. A rather more modern choice, from 1940, might be Mers-el-Kebir…

    Would not the choice of name make a particularly fine subject for a referendum?

  • Bernie

    “… this month’s referendums and opinion polls demonstrate a widespread loss of faith in the old Europe. From left and right it is seen for what it is, a defunct coalition of romantics and mafiosi. ”

    I think this is an almost true analysis. I do not believe the “no” votes and opinion polls reflected a loss of faith in the “the old” Europe but merely with Europe. The writer still dreams of a European something.

  • Nothing less than the return of Calais will assuage the deep insult upon our nation by Chirac.

  • Verity

    Froggies!

  • Duke of Wellington

    “Up Guards, and at ‘em!”

  • JEM

    “Up Guards, and at ‘em!”

    Indeed.

    The Iron Duke also once remarked that, “We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France.”

  • JEM

    “Up Guards, and at ‘em!”

    Indeed.

    The Iron Duke also once remarked that, “We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be, detested in France.”

  • If we are really going to be beastly to the French,let us just remind them that we rescued from the Germans.

  • rosignol

    One of the more amusing jokes about ways to discourage another war in Europe is that the next time, the loser will have to keep France.

  • Gary Gunnels

    …and the almost equal number of occasions when the Brits have forged a coalition to bring it down.

    You mean like when the English lost the Hundred Years’ War? :)

    …Crecy or Agincourt…

    Well, you can win a few battles and still lose the war.

    Of course, in 1918, during the German offensives of that year, it was the French sending divisions to the BEF’s rescue after it nearly collapsed.

    I always get the impression that Britons are poorly schooled regarding history, and that what schooling you do get is essentially nationalistic clap-trap.

  • Gary Gunnels

    rosignol,

    Well, most European wars since the high middle ages were never over France, or for the seizure of France; indeed, most European wars have concerned either the low countries, what is now Switzerland, and northern Italy; that is the boundaries of the former Holy Roman Empire.

  • HJHJ

    Gary,

    I don’t particularly like many of the silly Anti-French comments on this board.

    Nevertheless, your grasp of history is very shaky. The hundred years war is just a term for a series of wars – and you can look at it in many ways. It was all fought on French territory and so, at best, France could claim it as a draw.

    English/British policy since then has generally been to oppose the rise of any dominant power in Europe and to trade freely. In this it has generally been successful. Many despots have been defeated by British actions and of this most British people are justifiably proud and most Europeans should be thankful.

    In 1918, although the French fought well (and of course, the US takes considerable credit) it was British breakthroughs which led to the Germans signing the armistice. Lloyd George was a brilliant war leader and, more than any other factor, his organisation of British military production (which was far greater and more efficient than that of any other party) was the key factor that ultimately made the victory possible.