Sunday, April 22, 2007
I am English, therefore I mistrust the French and I am, of course, entirely indifferent as to whether they elect Seg Sark or Nick Royal to run their country. My problem is that, after ten years in which the British have endured the most managerially incompetent government of modern times, our case against the French is weaker than it has ever been. We used to say you couldn't drink their water and their toilets were vile. But now they're both okay and their hospitals and trains have become as good as their food and their wine - all infinitely superior to ours. The British quality of life is dismal compared to that of the French. One can evade this awkward little fact by saying, as many do, that France is wasted on the French. Or one can insist, as many also do, that France is heading for an economic meltdown. But the French made France and we've been wishing that meltdown on them for at least 20 years. In my blood I still feel there's something very wrong with the French, but, in my head, I know there's something very right.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:14 am