Le double jeu

By August 21, 2015February 18th, 2021No Comments

Once again, we’ve been done up like a hareng-fume (that’s French for kipper): RICHARD LITTLEJOHN has low expectations the French will keep their side of the bargain in new Calais agreement


21 August 2015

Home Secretary Theresa May travelled to Calais yesterday to sign an agreement with the French designed to halt illegal immigration to Britain. How’s that going to work out, then?

If every other treaty France has ever signed is anything to go by, it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on. The French will always, always put their own national interests first: whether that involves sucking up to Saddam Hussein and to the mad mullahs of Iran in exchange for cheap oil, or shovelling migrants across the Channel.

International solidarity? UN resolutions? EU laws?


And you know what? Good for them. At least they try to do what’s best for their own people, as we know from bitter experience.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, here’s an extract from a column I wrote in the Daily Mail, back in …well, see if you can guess.

‘Why can’t we be more like the French? So concerned are we at being seen to do the right thing, to play the international diplomatic game, to be ‘good Europeans’, that British interests always come last.

I’ve always had the greatest admiration for the way in which the French look after themselves. At home and abroad, their strategic and economic interests are paramount.

Compare the British and French attitudes to Europe. They fashioned the EC and the Common Agricultural and Fisheries policies to serve their own ends.

When French and Spanish fishermen come to blows, the French send gunboats to defend their fleet. When our fishermen come to blows with the Spanish, our Government sends the Navy to arrest British fishermen.

French riot policemen stand back and watch as farmers burn lorries full of British lamb. When an unpopular directive comes out of Brussels, the French ignore it. We make it a criminal offence and send in teams of inspectors to enforce the law.

The French approach is both pragmatic and democratic. French ministers know that if they try to impose unpopular laws there will be riots in the streets. The French get a better deal out of the Common Fisheries Policy because their fishermen are prepared to blockade ports and burn down buildings.

Can you imagine the reaction if the French government announced that from October 1 it would become a criminal offence, punishable by a 50,000 franc fine or prison, for apples or meat to be sold in metric measures?

There would be civil disobedience on an unprecedented scale. Town Halls would be razed to the ground. Paris would grind to a halt under the weight of ten million demonstrators. The government would fall.

Yet in Britain, the imposition of metrication backed by draconian penalties is sneaked through without so much as a debate in Parliament. While the French government acts on behalf of the majority, the British authorities are obsessed with the rights of minorities, however wrong-headed.

In France, when anarchists try to prevent the building of a new TGV railway line, they are dispersed with ruthless efficiency.

In Britain, when New Age layabouts block motorway construction, the police negotiate with them politely and make sure they’ve got enough to eat and drink.

France is the most politically incorrect nation in Europe. The government there recently announced plans to deport a planeload of illegal immigrants every day.

In Britain we import a planeload of illegal immigrants every day, give them welfare benefits and a council flat and legal aid when they are caught shoplifting. We are a soft touch.’

Have you worked out when that first appeared? It could have been written yesterday. The only give-aways are the use of ‘EC’ and ‘francs’. In fact, it was published in the Mail on Friday, September 8, 1995 — almost exactly 20 years ago, before the EC morphed into the EU and the euro replaced most of the currencies on mainland Europe.

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