7 Reasons the Anglo-Franco Defence Agreement is a Good Idea
Yesterday, at 7 Reasons (.org) we ran a post entitled 7 Reasons The Anglo-Franco Defence Agreement Is A Bad Idea. I discovered that we had done so while I was eating my breakfast, and it’s fair to say that I was quite stunned. In fact I, the Jacques Tati obsessed, Voltaire-reading, coffee-guzzling half of the 7 Reasons team (the one with the French name), almost choked on my croissant. “A bad idea?!” I exclaimed in a voice so high that it was only audible to very small dogs, “but it’s a brilliant idea!” And it is. Here are seven reasons why:
1. History. The most notable occasion on which we’ve had a defence agreement and a joint expeditionary force with France was the Second World War. And, as I’m sure you’re aware, we won that. Obviously it didn’t work out too well for France, what with Germany annihilating the French army and occupying most of their country, and Britain blowing up the French navy before going home to dine on powdered egg with the Americans. But we did win, so defence agreements with France are a proven success. And now that we have the Channel Tunnel, their government will be able to flee to London so much more quickly than last time. If that’s possible.
2. Cuisine. Working together will rid both nations of antiquated ideas about the other nation’s diet. They will come to realise that there’s more to British cuisine than roast beef – because we’ve had branches of McDonalds since at least the 1970s – and we will come to realise that there’s more to French cuisine than frogs legs. They’ll introduce us to soufflé: An insignificant, over-inflated tart that shrinks at the merest hint of a knife, and Quiche Lorraine: A dish that they readily share with Germans – usually as a starter – which is often followed by a generous helping of their speciality, crêpe à la guerre.
3. Wisdom. Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer: A line from The Godfather – often wrongly attributed to Sun Tzu – that’s a very wise strategy indeed. And who is the enemy in this case? Well, it’s France: The nation we’ve spent more time at war with than any other. They are l’ennemi traditionnel, and by being on board the same ships with them we’ll be able to keep a very close eye on them. Also, should a war break out between the nations, civilian casualties will be minimised as the theatre of war will be far smaller than usual; sometimes it will even be confined to the same engine room or bridge. And remember, should the enemy sink one of our aircraft carriers, they will bear half the cost.
4. Finance. Even if you’re not au fait with the minutiae of military funding it’s bleeding obvious that we’re going to save lots of money by sharing spending with France. Look at paint. All armed forces need lots of paint and, by getting together we’ll have greater purchasing power when it comes to procuring it. We’ll make substantial savings on grey paint for navy use, and camouflage paint for army use. And we’ll make even bigger savings on red, white and blue paint as we’ll need bloody loads of that now that we’ll need to paint a French flag on one side of things and a British flag on the other. The savings will be enormous. Énorme.
5. Efficacy. The measure by which all branches of the armed services are judged is their strike-capability. And by entering into an agreement with the French, we’ll increase the strike-capability of our military substantially. In fact, with the French on board, our strike capability will be the highest of any force in the world; our strike-capability will be infinity, which is greater even than the combined forces of China, North Korea, Iran, Christmas Island, Easter Island, Chuck Norris and Malta.
6. Co-operation. When Britain and France work together, the two nations have been able to affect profound and lasting positive sociological change. The channel tunnel, for example, which was first proposed in 1802 and was completed a mere 192 years later, allowed refugees of many nationalities to complete the final leg of their epic journeys of migration; fleeing hardship and squalor from across the four corners of Northern France, to civilisation in Southern England; where they were able to escape the tyranny of boules, cycling and listening to Johnny Hallyday and were introduced to the more civilised British pastimes of cricket, morris dancing, and the Daily-Mail-witch-hunt.
7. Culture. Our nations have much to learn from each other and the accord will doubtless be a civilising influence. As we get to know each other as individuals there will be a significant breakdown of prejudice and an increase in cultural exchange. We will teach the French to drink copious quantities of beer and fight with bald men in shirts at the weekend, and they will teach the British to drink copious quantities of wine and run from bald men in shirts at le weekend. We will teach the French to make popular music that will be cherished the world over, and they will teach the British how to sneer at the X-Factor. We will teach them that France is the ideal holiday destination, and they will teach us that France is the ideal holiday destination. It’s a match made in heaven. The Anglo-French defence agreement is going to be great.