Anorak News | Square Bashing

Square Bashing

by | 16th, October 2003

‘THE year is 2012. The place is London. And the first visitors to the city are stepping off the train at Europe Station to watch the Olympic Games.

Napoleon’s Column

The stadium may only be half finished, the cross-London rail link may not go across London and the Tube hasn’t moved since it ground to a halt three years ago.

But at least London has plenty to offer the sightseer. And so it’s straight off to Concord Square to see Nelson Mandela’s Column…

Sorry, you’re confused? Well, you clearly haven’t read this morning’s Express – the paper that’s proud to be British – which alerts a grateful nation to an “EU plot to rename Trafalgar Square and Waterloo Station”.

And worse! Leading the plot is a British EU official by the name of Francis Carpenter, who has the official title of European Investment Fund chief but also goes by the name Lord Haw Haw.

Mr Carpenter (who is married to a French woman) writes in French newspaper Le Figaro – the paper that wishes it was British – that thousands of French must be insulted every day as they arrive in London.

“Our country has known countless victories over our neighbours,” he writes, “and the streets and squares named after these victories risk offending a European youth that we should be trying to unite.

“Why not rename these places to give them a more European theme?”

Obviously, we have far more of these names than the French – and, with Crecy, Poitiers and Agincourt, a few more up our sleeve – but even they have known military success in their time.

“How many Austrians and Germans arriving in Paris feel uncomfortable as they plod along the Avenues de Wagram, Iena and Friedland, or stop off for a rest on the Place d’Austerlitz?” asks Mr Carpenter.

Well, if they’re anything like the British youth (for whom Waterloo is a song by Abba, Nelson a character in The Simpsons and Trafalgar a brand of cigarettes), the answer is probably not many.’

Posted: 16th, October 2003 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink