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Anorak | French Bulldog

French Bulldog

by | 16th, January 2007

small_171139_1_1168937295.jpg“ALLO, HELLO,” says the headline.

The Sun wonders what life would have been like had Great Britain and France been united under a common crown.

It could have happened. Records in the National Archive claim that 50 years ago French President Guy Mollet requested that France be allowed to join the Commonwealth.

“Monsieur Mollet raised with the Prime Minister the possibility of a union between the UK and France,” says the document.

And in an instant the Mirror is off in a reverie. It sees Thierry Henry, football’s D’Artagnan, clad in a nylon England football shirt. It’s a vision shared by the Sun.

Why Henry should be in an England short and not the colours of Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland does not concern the Mirror as the country’s finest raises his hand to salute a goal and send the crowds watching on a jumbo monitor town in Auxerre into paroxysm of excitement. “Hoorah!” they cry.

And while the French smash up the town centre and get wasted on industrial strength lager and dayglo alco-vins, the Mirror’s Brain Reade snuggles up to his wife Angelina, “resulting in a mouthful of armpit hair”.

Any union between France and the UK would need to be a two-way street. For Thierry Henry refulgently striking the ball in a German’s onion bag, one anachronistic tabloid writer would have to marry a woman with hairy armpits.

But such is life as it might have been. “Sacre bleu!,” screams the Mail in place of the more traditionally British “F*****g hell!”. “What if Britain and France really HAD become a single nation?”

The Mail raises the Union Jacques flag and, as with the Mirror, salutes the Angle-French football team. Again the Scots, Irish and Welsh are left out. No Henry for them. But the Northern Irish can rejoice as the Mail despatches the French Foreign Legion to West Belfast.

Oh, what might have been. But the then British Prime Minister, Antony Eden, declined the offer. Back in 1956 who could have foreseen a Thierry Henry, British sporting failure and, as the Sun notes, one year later France would untie with Germany in the Common Market?

The United Kingdom would not get a French twist. The Queen would not get to be overthrown in a glorious revolution, her head removed and replaced with Tony Blair’s smiling visage.

Regrets? Non, je ne regrette rien…



Posted: 16th, January 2007 | In: Tabloids Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink