Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Unposted

Here's a little something from my drafts of a day or two ago. I might revise my opinion of the French if they continue a)to publish cartoons and be damned, and b) continue helping the US as this article describes. However, I have to say that if the French had just come right out and supported the US/UK over Iraq, we'd have wrapped things up in the first three months. No Turkish neutrality, a Northern front, no sympathetic Europress etc etc- maybe even no Syrian WMD smuggling- fait accompli.

Over-sporting to the French. Whatever the core characteristic of Britain you choose to look at, the chances are the BBC have distanced themselves from it. French bashing, for instance, is a national passtime we indulge in for having our generous admiration (over the centuries) spurned and disappointed. With the BBC it's the reverse: to show how sophisticated they are, French bashing is a purely unemotional and political decision, in place of a general fawning approach.

But anyway, why is is said in this article that 'France is drafting 400 troops to help fight a mosquito-borne virus spreading on its Indian Ocean island of Reunion.'


Well, fair enough, I suppose the French have paid enough in subsidy to buy the place by now, though the reality is that they have military interests there. But actually, colonial ownership of this island of almost 800,000 is a pretty big deal in today's day and age. Oh I know it's just a 'departement'- but that surely makes it part of France itself.

Another odd thing in the BBC report: the troops are said to be being 'drafted' to help the locals, yet as the BBC note they're already stationed on the island this seems a contradictory way to report. It doesn't seem so much like an international news item, more an item from the local French sponsored 'aren't we doing well' newspaper. Items like this remind me of those awful council newspapers that money is wasted on in the UK. At least the bias is clear there though- people paying taxpayer's money to convince the same taxpayers their money isn't being wasted. A sucker punch if ever there was one. Here we just have the hypocrisy of the BBC in sucking up by reporting the fairly innocuous yet apparently positive doings of a dubious colonial power.

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