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Sunday, 02 March 2014

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Why not do as the Japanese did to the League of Nations? Simply say, "Up yours Jimmy" [whatever the Japanese equivalent is] and walk out.

Mightn't be polite but it would be bloody effective. And what are they [the Eurocrats] going to do? Invade?

Been tried before but since 1066 without success. Can't see all those fine Brit Regiments [those that are left] making it too easy.

How goes that old cry? "Steady the Buffs"

Just the ramblings of an old Monarchist. My Commission sits framed on my wall. Signed of course, as they all are down here, by HM's local rep.

Keep the faith Duffers.

Back in the day, I spent a lot of my service career in and around NATO. Sometimes the conversation turned to "Der Tag". And in particular, who would turn up if the Russians attacked. We all thought that the Americans would turn round and find that the only people with them were the British, Canadians, and possibly the Danes.

The British government is going to spend years in futile argument, instead of getting on with running the country. The Germans are both allies and enemies, depending on the situation. The French on the other hand, are just enemies.

We should have a new EU policy - stick it to the French!

"Been tried before but since 1066 without success": apart from 1688 you mean?

Anyway, if we do (please!) leave the EU we really must leave NATO too. I see no point being dragged into Eastern European confrontations.

G'day BoaE,

"The French on the other hand, are just enemies"

I had a good friend, a Lt.Commander, who came to the RAN from the RN who always referred to the French as "the old enemy". And wasn't it Lord Raglan at Balaclava who had to be reminded that the Frogs were now on his side?

I think they, the French, still feel slightly miffed where the Brits are concerned as a result of Agincourt and Crecy, not to mention the odd battle during the Napoleonic fracas.

My ancestors were Breton and had to leave that lovely part of the world in a hurry due to a small religious difference with the then French King and his church. You can't help retrospective good luck at times.

G'day DM,

1688 or the "Glorious Revolution" was not an invasion but an invitation for William and Mary to replace the Stuarts. Which, unsurprisingly, they accepted. Once again to do with religion as was my ancestor's departure from Brittany.

Big difference.

Oh dear God, can this be true?
"The good news is that as a condition of giving up their nuclear weapons, the Ukraine received security guarantees from Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S." The UK? Three men in a boat, and we're going to guarantee the Ukraine. My giddy aunt!

Even the French had more sense than sign up for that.

"My ancestors were Breton and had to leave that lovely part of the world in a hurry due to a small religious difference with the then French King and his church."

See, those bloody immigrants have been coming over here taking our jobs and our women for centuries!

To be more serious, I bear no particular animus against our European neighbours and even if they have made a mistake I can understand why the French were determined to cuddle Germany up close and smother them with the love that dare not have a name! But that's all past now, France is broke and Germany is all-powerful - and deserves to be, given their own efforts since the war. The EU is indeed "a German racket" and we desperately need a proper *statesman* to take a cold, clear look at things and drive us towards a sensible arrangement with this German bloc. Not the least of our political considerations should be making 'nicely-nicely' with Putin's Russia as a counter-weight to German hegemony. However, back in the (un)real world of Cameron's dreamland, if given the chance after the next election, he will no doubt get a benign nod from the 'Empress' to change a few regulations here or there and will then in 2017 bring them back in 'triumph' to flog them to us as though it was a very fine, one owner, late, low-mileage Bentley! If you buy it then best of luck - suckers!

Oh yes, it's true, DM, but fear not, we have a very fine brigade made up entirely of senior officers surplus to requirements who we can happily despatch to Ukraine where they can repeat the old Blackadder line -"Ah yes, suicide, the sort of thing the chaps do so awfully well!"

"See, those bloody immigrants have been coming over here taking our jobs and our women for centuries"

Spot on Duffers. After winning over the ladies with our Celtic charm to ensure the survival of the species we only hung around for about 250 years and then came south [voluntarily I hasten to add]. Just a bunch of fly by nighters really.

"1688 or the "Glorious Revolution" was not an invasion but …": oh come off it, that's the sort of self-congratulatory tripe one expects from Americans. An army of 15,000 invaded with the encouragement of traitors to their king. Happily England surrendered with almost no resistance so there wasn't much bloodshed there.
The traitors were wise: the king was a bloody menace, only too likely to foment civil war. He'd turned out not to be a clever bugger like his grandfather James but an ass like his father Charles. The opportunity was seized for a large transfer of power from the monarch to the English and Scottish parliaments. All excellent stuff - but it was still a successful invasion, however damaging to our amour proper that might be.

Oh Christ! I suppose all praise of France is likely to prove false.

1997 Charter on a Distinctive Partnership
between the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukraine:
14. NATO Allies will continue to support Ukrainian sovereignty and independence, territorial integrity, democratic development, economic prosperity and its status as a non-nuclear weapon state, and the principle of inviolability of frontiers, as key factors of stability and security in Central and Eastern Europe and in the continent as a whole.
15. NATO and Ukraine will develop a crisis consultative mechanism to consult together whenever Ukraine perceives a direct threat to its territorial integrity, political independence, or security.
16. NATO welcomes and supports the fact that Ukraine received security assurances from all five nuclear-weapon states parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT, and recalls the commitments undertaken by the United States and the United Kingdom, together with Russia, and by France unilaterally, which took the historic decision in Budapest in 1994 to provide Ukraine with security assurances as a non-nuclear weapon state party to the NPT.

Oooops, better start digging in, DM! Although, of course, it's all "Words, words, words."

Any misbehaviour from you, Duffers, and I'll tell you how the first series ended.

Oh, no - as bad as the last Aussie Test match was it?

To AussieD. I have English and French friends in Brittany. The Bretons don't see themselves as primarily French. They often spit when they see a car with Parisian plates! The people in Normandy are much the same, Normans first, French second.

Oi, Duffers, where's that promised rant "Contra Ferguson"?

Crikey, BOE, they sound just like the Jocks!

More than three minutes have passed, DM, so you will have to remind me - 'contra Ferguson'?

You had promised a measured appraisal, or perhaps a hysterical denunciation, of Dr Ferguson's telly show The Pity of War.

Oh God, I haven't viewed the recording yet - I will do so immediately and hope I don't zizz off in the middle of it!

For a minute I thought you were talking about the ex-Dictator of Man United and I wouldn't dare so a word against him! Anyway, I'm off to watch the recording . . .

Er, um, I don't quite know how to tell you this, Headmaster, but when I went downstairs to watch it I couldn't actually find the recording! This is because, I regret to say, I mixed up the titles and because I was recording another WWI programme I must have assumed that was Ferguson. Naturally, the 100 lines will be on your desk first thing tomorrow!

That's the Bad news, the Good News is that I did watch a recording of a film called 'Traffic' which was terrific!

You didn't miss much - unlike the Max Hasting's one, this was a rant.

"the ex-Dictator of Man United": ah, Sir Odious. His last signing, Mr Moyes, has so far proved rather a disappointment, except for those who like broad comedy.

That's a shame, BOE, because I seem to recall that his book "The Pity of War" was rather good.

Take it you're not a Man U fan, then, DM?

Being older than fifteen I am not a "fan" of any particular team.

P.S. I thought Ferguson's show superior to Hastings': it featured a little debate rather than just a sermon.

Me, neither, DM.
And I am exceedingly irritated with myself for the cock-up with my recorder - not least because I can't blame anyone else!

Och, try i-player.

Yes, I suppose I really ought to try these latest gadget-thingies but I know it is always a short cut to the whisky bottle via a loss of temper!

dearieme. I thought Ferguson was smug and he probably agreed with Hastings who was right. I did enjoy listening to Ferguson but only that.

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