Monday, May 30, 2005

My Referendum Rhapsody

55% Non, 45% Oui... Vive la France! Vive la nation de Moliere! Vive le peuple Francais!

Like many others, I have mixed feelings about the French. On the one hand I find them bleating, mendacious, arrogant, selfish, sour-faced, pompous, sneering, odious, humourless, self-important, cowardly, craven, hypocritical, pig-headed, self-pitying and absurd. And very annoying. And yet on the other hand I adore their country - its gorgeous landscapes, that cavalcade of a cuisine, the sense of an ancient way of life and culture, remarkably well preserved in the face of modernity. To make things more confusing, sometimes I suspect that the latter virtues are curiously related to the former vices.

So, likesay, I have mixed feelings about the frog-eaters.

But not today! Today I have unreserved admiration for our deliciously prickly cousins across The Sleeve, as they have booted into touch that egregious and repellent document, the European Constitution. In fact I am so pleased by this result it has caused me to meke a bit of a spectacle of myself. I heard the news about this wonderful victory for Les Nons in a Montreal cybercafe. I was sitting in this cafe, yesterday afternoon, when I read the rumours of the first exit polls - and I confess I cheered so loudly some concerned cafe staff rushed over. And everybody else stared at me like I was bonkers. But fuck that, who cares! A happy day indeed. I'm still grinning now.

Anyway. To finish off this post, I thought I'd link to a fascinating blog about the French result... here

For those that can't be bothered to check it out, here's the gist. EUpundit is a well-respected blog about European Constitutional affairs. The author is an EU academic, of German provenance I believe. It would seem from the tenor of his post that, as a Eurocrat of sorts, he is just a tad annoyed at the French result, but maybe I am over-interpreting. See what you think - here is what he says today:

French Reject EU Constitution International reports that the French exit polls indicate that the French in their referendum are rejecting the EU Constitution by a ca. 55-45 % vote.

Our view on the EU is that people get what people deserve. If the French do not want to be in the EU, it is their free choice.

But they must take the consequences, and we see this as the demise of France in the long run in the modern age.

What one should now do is to remove the French from all EU offices and positions and take away all their EU gratuities and subsidies.

The EU does not need France.

Also, and most importantly, the over-preponderant and objectively non-essential use of French in the EU should start being immediately reduced and be replaced with English. English is the world language and there is no need for so much French to be spoken in the EU. Indeed, it would be a good idea to move the "capital" of the EU out of French-speaking Brussels. The center of the "real Europe" is more in the direction of Berlin. French is a language of minor importance worldwide, representing a people whose majority apparently do not have the European spirit and who are apparently still lost in primitive and long-outdated foolish nationalism.

We also certainly see no reason for continued EU subsidy of French agriculture, especially by Germany and the UK. Let France face world food markets without EU subsidies and see how they do.

As far as the EU Constitution is concerned, the correct solution now is for the remaining countries to get together and to throw France out of the EU, with the EU remaining as only those countries who approve the EU Constitution. Any other country rejecting the EU Constitution in the future should also lose its memberhip rights.

Then those countries wishing to be in the EU would be unified, without worrying about stragglers like France.

Of course, the economic tariffs to be placed on non-EU countries and countries such as France by the EU should be severe. There has to be a strong penalty for this kind of disloyalty to the cause of a unified Europe.

What do you think? Has this Kraut got the hump, or what?


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