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"How many divisions does the Pope have?"

Or rather, how many aircraft carriers does the EU have? One, perhaps.

I make the point as the latest outbreak of clear blue water between Sego and Sarko concerns building a second aircraft carrier for the Marine Nationale. Sego would rather spend the money on education, whereas the Gaullists rather like the idea, and there is already co-operation text us and the Gauls on the design etc. A fairly run of the mill tale of military expenditure so far, but there is a sting: The UDF (Bayrou's mob - the somewhat wetter wing of the Gaullists) want the EU to share the cost.

Supposing the EU did decide this was a great use of its money, I could foresee a potential difference of opinion between a Gaullist President and an EU Foreign policy commissar as to how it should be deployed, with the distinction at its prospective sharpest if the Gauls wished to be steaming around Tahiti or Reunion for whatever reason, and the EU had other priorities. What I imagine would happen is that if the EU had plans for the use of the carrier (let's call it the Giscard), and the President did not, it would suddenly become unsuitable and unavailable, just like a certain gin palace was in 1982, even though at the time of commission the public was told that it would be serve such a purpose during wartime....

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Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 3:07 pm

lets go the whole hog and pay the fuckers to sit at howme drinking wine and copulating with other people spouses.
I fucking hate the french  

Anonymous verity said... 3:17 pm

Well, I like them very muchand I would still be living there if the cost of living wasn't so staggering.  

Blogger istanbultory said... 4:16 pm

PH is quite right re: les Francais. one of the compensations of living in Turkey is that there is at least a far distance between myself and that wretched country. The Turks are wonderful Francophobes.
But Sarko is right on the need for a new aircraft carrier (although it should be financed by nobody other than the French). The current one- the Charles De Gaulle is falling apart by all accounts.

It shouldn't be forgotten that among Blair's many sins, his revival of the idea of a European defence and security policy is one that receives scant attention. Successive Conservative and Labour governments rejected any proposal that might weaken the continental commitment to NATO. But then TB got involved....
In 1998, Blair announced that Britain would support the establishment of a European defense force (after years of resisting it).This is what he said:
"...to make European defense a reality, we Europeans need to restructure our defense capabilities so that we can project force, can deploy our troops, ships, and planes beyond their home bases and sustain them there, equipped to deal with whatever level of conflict they may face..."
So its not totally shocking that some politicoes on the continent might think that the EU really should pick up the tab for their defence spending by invoking "Europe".

See here: http://www.international.ucla.edu/article.asp?parentid=1707
And here:

Anonymous Anonymous said... 5:25 pm

I can see our tone after parking up the Royal Navy because of lack of money ,go and say yes we will help, how far do you think he would get if he did that.  

Anonymous Diogenes said... 1:42 am

I am trying to think of something that I would rather have my taxes spent on than a shiny new French aircraft carrier....

Got it....

Solid gold urinals in Belmarsh  

Anonymous Geoff said... 6:12 am

The MOD already squander huge amounts of money on an integrationist Buy-Rubbish policy in preparation for the upcoming Euro-Army rather than buying cheaper and better stuff from the USA.

We can't even design and build these two new Carriers that the UK Navy have been promised without a large degree of French collaboration (they find that quite easy, historically, after all).

When we get them we won't have any planes able to fly from them because we will have decomissioned our Harriers, not allowed to buy ideally suited kit from the USA and are just basically hoping that a couple of Belgian mechanics can knock something suitable together in their garage.  

Anonymous "verity said... 11:43 pm

It's not France's fault that we have a legally brain dead prime minister who thinks the world begins and ends at his mirror.

It is now becoming accepted - except I've been saying it for 10 years, that Tony Blair is actually Tony Dim. He just isn't very bright, and his raw hunger for being famous and admired makes him easy to manipulate.

That said, Croydonian will be disappointed to learn that David Cameron wants an elected police commissioner - hang on, calm down, Croydonian! AN elected police commissioner for the whole country - 60m people and counting.
And so we've said why not replace the police authorities with a single elected police commissioner ... not a police chief - he or she wouldn't run the police - but they would be the chief focus for public accountability."

Dear God.

A QUANGO POLICE COMMISSIONER! http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6371785.stm

David Cameron serves as nothing except a warning to the young not to smoke dope.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:52 pm

V - You can't go getting my hopes up like that...

It's like swimming through glue sometimes, isn't it?  

Anonymous David Allen said... 2:01 pm

Elected Police Commissioners? fantastic? How about elected judges too? Now that would transform the crime figures more than 101 new criminal justice bills....  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:07 pm

David - absolutely and at council or maybe ward level for sheriffs, and at magistrate / county court level for judges. It is one of my major hobby horses.... After all, the Law is supposed to serve the public, not vice versa.  

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