The French disease

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The Independent Online

Zut! serious twinges of discomfort are afflicting the punditry industry. All those grave, slightly superior articles contrasting the unruly French with the civilised British and noting the unsophisticated inability of the étatiste system over there to accommodate legitimate protest have choked slightly over copie-chat activity by farmers in Cheshire.

Zut! serious twinges of discomfort are afflicting the punditry industry. All those grave, slightly superior articles contrasting the unruly French with the civilised British and noting the unsophisticated inability of the étatiste system over there to accommodate legitimate protest have choked slightly over copie-chat activity by farmers in Cheshire.

Where will this Gallicisation end? Are we about to witness blockades all over the land mounted by burly, heartless men with moustaches? Will our students, whose protest has for so long been confined to the price of pies in the union cafeteria, take to the streets shouting about liberty? Will Mr Tony Blair be forced to withdraw in a fast car to, say, Frinton-on-Sea?

Watch out, we caution, for the following danger signs: 1) Shrugs; 2) Sacha Distel; 3) Existentialists; 4) Peter Mayle; 5) Guy Ritchie remaking Gigi; 6) Accordions; 7) Very long novels; 8) Euros; 9) Better weather; 10) Suspicious amounts of soft cheese. Sorry? M Distel is already here, and about to star in a musical? Good grief, it's later than we thought! Citoyens, Citoyennes: aux armes!

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