Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It belongs to us anyway...

In archives released to public view yesterday it was revealed that shortly after the second world war the French Prime Minister Guy Mollet had discussions with his British counterpart Anthony Eden with a view to France becoming a part of the British Commonwealth (as strapped for cash as it was) and even for Britain to have sovereignty over the French with them adopting our Queen as their head of state.

A couple of things spring to mind within a few seconds of reading that, the first being that France must have been in a parlous state to view Britain as the answer to all their problems, Britain as the great provider in 1956 was a non starter struggling as we were to come to terms with the $4.3 billion loan from the USA and Canada which was negotiated in 1946 to help rebuild this bombed-out shattered country - but as was revealed last week, part of the loan arrangement was that the British pound be freely traded on the foreign markets, and within three months of shit-kicking from the US Dollar the pound was almost worthless, it is estimated that almost a third of the Dollar loan was spent just in propping up the Pound on the money markets.

Its acknowledged now that there was a wider conspiracy in the US Senate to finally stick the boot into the Commonwealth of Great Britain and they saw an opportunity to do us once and for all and at the same time to ensure that the US economy would dominate for generations to come, as it still does, ironically it was the British Commonwealth that was viewed enviously by our Gallic neighbours and sowed the seed of the European Economic Community in their minds.

But in 1956 the French wanted to be British and what a shame that we didn't let them in, I'm sure Eden probably had more on his plate, like taking sweets off ration for instance (just in time for my birth) and the French suggestion was met with a polite, but firm, "Au revoir Pierre, or Guy, whatever".

But of course we had been there before, Britiain has owned considerable parts of France for some time - see the bit on the map (above) on the Atlantic coast from where it joins Spain almost right up to where the sticky-out bit starts ?

Thats Aquitaine that is, and it was British for, oooh, about 300 yars from 1152 until 1453 when France nicked it back - Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine it was who divorced her French husband to marry Henry II of England who obviously only had one think in mind from the marriage - a quarter of France.

Their two sons Richard and John became arguably the best known kings of England for completely different reasons, anyone who has watched Kevin fekkin Costner in "Robin Prince of Thieves" will know of how Richard was the good guy who went to fight in the crusades against the nasty muslims leaving his brother John to look after England who turned out to be a right bas'tad though...actualy, maybe "Robin Prince of Thieves" didn't cover that part of the Robin Hood storyline...anyhoo, it wa a shit film.

So, where were we...

Ah yes, we've owned big lumps of France in the past, during Henry VIII's reign we were always fighting France for bits of French territory and we owned a big lump around Calais for some time - and if we weren't fighting them then we were marrying them for exactly the same reason, the Kings of England, France and Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries were right two faced bas'tads, signing treaties with each other one day, marrying their daughters the next, then declaring war on them at the weekend, even Henry Kissenger would have had his work cut out in those days.

So whilst it would have been a nice idea from Franglais to have been formed in my birth year its for the best that we were kept apart, its one of those things that should really never happen, for the same reasons that siblings aren't allowed to marry, it just doesn't feel right somehow.

For more plain history for adults who didn't pay attention during history lessons at school, you could try the fledgling "plain history" pages on jerrychicken.co.uk.

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