Friday, May 29, 2009

Vive la France!

The rebuff to the Queen by the organisers of this years Normandy commemorative events has brought a sharp rebuke from Steven Glover in The Mail.

A diminutive egomaniac, the stain of Nazi collaboration and why the French can't forgive us for saving them in the War.

Actually, I think Glover is being a little harsh on the French. Yes, it is true that Sarkozy is a short arse with a big ego. Yes, a considerable number of the French - particularly those in authority - were a little too willing to assist their Nazi conquerors and yes, it is true that the French ruling elite won't ever forgive us for coming to their rescue - but I don't think it's fair to lump all the French in with that.

I've travelled a lot in France over the decades and the overwhelming response of most French people I encounter in the rural districts and provincial towns is immense gratitude to the sacrifice of the British servicemen who rescued their nation in both wars- particularly in Normandy itself.

You only have to visit the immaculately tended war grave cemeteries to see how important it is to the people of France that they recognise and pay tribute to the men of our nation who came to help them in their hour of need.

Glover makes the mistake of assuming that the views of the still, predominantly, Gaullist ruling and metropolitan elite are the views of the majority. I don't believe they are. I love France and the French people, but I keep well away from its over rated and exceedingly snobbish (and liberal left) capital.

I prefer to keep to the rural districts and smaller towns where I've always found they reserve a warm welcome and considerable hospitality for British visitors. They are extremely parochial and incredibly conservative (even by my standards), but still very welcoming.

Just because the French ruling elite can't show their gratitude, don't assume that is the same for French people in general.


Sue said...

I expect their "political classes" are much the same as ours.

Totally out of touch with what real people think!

Anonymous said...

Glover goes over the top...again. Shame, as the points he makes are valid enough.
Isn't it this awful government's fault in the first place? Mr U-Turn had previously decided not to officially support the anniversary so no official invites went out. A bit of pressure from the press and the realization he was, yet again, going to look a complete arse and the rest is history.
Spot on about France and the French though - lovely people and a beautiful place - except Paris which outside of the touristy bits is a shithole made up of a series of racial ghettoes - a bit like Londonistan.
I wonder how most of the British would have coped and reacted under Nazi rule? I'm sure the trains would have been packed with Jewish people and children aren't you?

Rachel said...

Trains packed with Jewish people .. not bloody likely. That was in 1940 - when the country had courage and principles.

Today of course - it may be a different case.

Stan said...

The French political classes are as out of touch as ours as you say, Sue - but that's not the reason for their hatred of the English which goes back a long long way! And even while our soldiers were fighting to free France from the Nazi jackboot, de Gaulle was contemplating the day when he would join forces with Germany to defeat the "Anglo-Saxons".

Yes, ranter - I think our government carries a heavy responsibility for failing to insist that our Head of State attend the Normnady events - but what do you expect from a bunch of Marxist republican wannabees?

I'd like to think we wouldn't have been as co-operative as the French if the Nazis had successfully invaded England - but I don't know. Thank God we never had to find out! The nearest we got to it was the occupation of the Channel Islands where there was little collaboration, but also little resistance either - even when they did start deporting the CI Jews.

North Northwester said...

I think that a deeper message is here- and to distinguished between rulers and ruled is pretty much Conservatism 101, I think.