Monday, January 25, 2010

Bloody cheek..........................and well done.

Now as an Englishman my attitude towards France is complex, somewhat along the lines of nice place shame about the French, that's the traditional view anyway, it's of course a lot more complex than that, mostly the French I've found are charming, helpful and if they can't speak much English then at least prepared to meet me halfway in my mangled attempts to speak their language.
This amused me immensely though, not only for the cheek of it, but because compared to the UK it actually makes a lot of sense.


French Claim To Be English For Games Cash 

Council bosses in northern France have secured their latest Olympic contract by claiming to be the part of southern England the British have forgotten.Officials in Pas-de-Calais, in northeast France, are trying to rebrand the area in a bid to cash in on London 2012.
Pas-de-Calais recently signed a contract with the boxing, wrestling, judo and athletics teams of Chad to hold training camps in the region ahead of 2012.
The canoe and kayak teams of Uzbekistan and Senegal had already agreed to train in Pas-de-Calais ahead of the London Olympics.
Civic leader Dominque Dupilet told Sky News: "I consider that we are the south of England, and because we're the south of England it's normal that we would associate ourselves with this extraordinary event."
Referring to Paris' failed bid to stage the 2012 Games, Dupilet said: "Don't tell anyone, but I always thought London was better for us.
"My colleague was telling me to write a condolence card when Paris lost, but I was busy hoisting up the British flag."
Tourism bosses are launching a website in the next few weeks, which will offer advice to local hoteliers on how to cater for international tourists.
Pierre Nouchi, who owns a hotel in the area, said: "Visitors will be able to benefit from the quality of our region, the quality of the French way of life, and they're scarcely two hours from London.
"These days, if you're going from one area of London to another it takes that time anyway, what with the public transport. Here you have the quality and it's less expensive."
The idea of a Frenchman passing himself off as English may seem tongue-in-cheek, but officials here are taking the project seriously.
Now Calais itself just happens to be the last part of France held by England (Not Britain) it was given away as part of Bloody Queen Mary's dowry to Philip of Spain, then she died, we had that whole Armada thingy and we never got round to getting it back.
So, cleverly and for all the right reasons the good citizens of Calais have decided because of the Eurotunnel thing, cheap booze, better lifestyle to cash in on the Olympics and you know, I can't seem to find myself blaming them, it's a brilliant idea. They're less than 2 hours from the Olympic international stadium by train, they can get there easier than most Brits I expect, certainly any outside of London.

So, if Calais wants to be an English town albeit for a short while, well, welcome back and I'll see you soon as my last stocks of cheap booze are just about out now and I'll need some more and I'm not going to pay British prices for it.

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