A brief history of British isolation
To listen to some of the hysterical comments following Cameron’s actions last week you’d have thought we’d never been in this position before
To listen to some of the hysterical comments following Cameron’s actions last week you’d have thought we’d never been in this position before…
1066 - Hastings
Following a 250-mile march from Yorkshire to Hastings, Harold and his exhausted army are defeated by the Normans and Britain is invaded.
“This is just the sort of close integration we need”, says Sir Edward de Milliband, picking his way through the English dead and having the wizard notion that a big book detailing all the wealth in the nation could raise some really serious taxes.
The inhabitants of Hampstead, a rich enclave north of the city of London, pour onto the streets and courageously form a ‘Welcome to our Noble Invaders and Folk-Craft Organic Hemp Weaving Collective’.
Nikolas Clegg and Vinny Cable, two clerks from Tupping Street market, rush to London Bridge, prostrate themselves in joyous welcome in front of the invaders, and are subsequently trampled to death by the horses of the jubilant and rather cocky 4th Battalion Cherbourg Light Cavalry.
1415 - Agincourt
Henry V inflicts a massive defeat on far superior French forces.
Facing odds of 5-1 Henry makes a decent side-bet with Guillaume Hill and with some inspired tactics and a lot of Welsh archers, devastates the cream of French nobility.
On hearing the news, Father Ashdown, the Abbot of the (Particularly Non-Silent) Order of Franciscus, sends a message to the King which reads “This is just the sort of behaviour that is really going to upset the French. I’m afraid that this wipes out 40 years of hard fought diplomatic gains”.
On receiving the note Henry sends Ashdown a tray of 3 dozen Frenchman’s tongues with the implicit message to shut the hell up.
A few months later Henry marries Catherine the daughter of the French king and, after 72 energetic hours in the marital bedchamber, sends Father Ashdown a rude etching with the inscription “How’s this for integration?”
1588 – The Armada
The massive Spanish fleet is spotted in the channel. Knowing the strength of the wind is kind and that the Commander’s ship is called the “Mañana”, Drake decides to finish his game of Crown Bowls and then treats himself to a few dozen flagons of ale, a fried goat liver and chips in the old town and 3 hours of rough and tumble at Mrs Murgatroyd’s Legs Akimbo Go-Go Bar and Laundry.
After being unable to strengthen their invasion force at Calais due to bureaucratic oversights and communication difficulties (thereby formulating a modus operandi for all future European joint ventures), the Spanish are harried out of port by English fire-ships (all unknowingly over-insured by an early branch of Santander).
The Armada is chased up the North Sea and over 50 ships are wrecked in a storm off Ireland.
At home Lord Oakushott is incandescent with rage. “This is the worst Foreign Policy mistake of my lifetime. You stupid, stupid people. Where the hell will I buy my chorizo now?”
Simone Hews, an inconsequential courtier, considers this to be the greatest threat to European Integration for a hundred years. “The French will never trust us again”, he says, betraying a knowledge of Foreign Affairs that only serves to strengthen his inconsequentiality.
1805 - Trafalgar
News reaches London that Nelson’s Navy has comprehensively trounced the Franco-Spanish forces, sinking some 22 ships with no losses to the British fleet.
Ye Sun amends its front page to “F*** ORF You Frenchies!” thereby immediately bringing the Lord Chamberlain’s office into being.
Later, when asked what he would have done to stop Napoleon’s forces, Lord Williband replies “Well, I wouldn’t have started from here”.
To which some wit in the crowd shouts “What? Islington?”
Adrian Moss is a screenwriter and a chapter-contributor to "Prime Minister Boris and Other Things Which Never Happened..." He Tweets at @akmoss
Read more on: Adrian Moss, David Cameron veto on EU, battle of agincourt, battle of hastings, the armada, battle of trafalgar, British isolation, Is Britain going to be isolated from the EU?, ed miliband, and Labour spin
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