Stephen Hill doesn't mind if the Flanby lives up to his name. The Eurozone will crash and burn just fine without him.
London cabbies are a priceless lot, the drivers of our licensed Hackney Taxi-metre cabriolets de ville: some of them offer the finest stimulating intellectual and humorous conversation in town. Take my driver this morning, off to catch the Eurostar to Paris. Born in Bristol, of a Cornish mother and a Ghanaian father, he moved to Sarf London aged just ten, and is now aged fifty-eight.
‘What does that make you, then, a Bristolian?’
‘Naw! I’m a Lunnnoner, ain’ I? Where you off to? Paris?’
Well, there’s no need for a verb if the adverb tells you all you need to know, I suppose – it could even be good grammar. Anyway, our man continued with a dissertation on the merits of French cinema, citing films I had never even heard of, until the conversation turned onto French politics, and how could anyone have ever voted for the hapless Flanby, and be in their right mind and chew gum at the same time.
‘I mean’, says our Cabbie, ‘he’s as daft as a brush, as useless as a Russian army half-penny watch! That Merkel’s got ’im by the b*lls and no mistake! But that’s so French, to get it hopelessly wrong, like that, they just love it! Set ’im up as a complete goon for five years, so that nothing happens, while they go on just being French!’
I must confess, this insight into the French national psyche had never occurred to me. So I cited the parlous state of the French economy — heading as I write to a debt-to-GDP ratio of 94.3 per cent and rising — and that something was bound to snap soon, because the euro zone was a prison trap, ‘a baited trap on purpose laid to make the takers mad’. This week the bureaucrats in Brussels are about to slate France’s fiscal policy, as it threatens the euro!
‘Naw! He’ll do nothing, Flanby, just sit there and wobble. He doesn’t have to do anything, because it’s France, and that’s why they elected him! So the eurozone just blows up under him!’
The Gallic Way Out
My knowledge of the French psyche deepens under my tutor’s expert guidance: getting it wrong is the Gallic way out – the solution to an own goal, as it were, namely the deflationary and economically-poisonous French creation called the euro, by means of the remorseless operation of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
‘But Monsieur Plan-B won’t ever leave the euro-zone – I mean that would be admitting defeat, and an end of the euro-disaster!’
‘Naw! That’s why they elected him in the first place! It was the same thing with Napoleon! They let him go on until he met his Waterloo, didn’t they?’
Well, put like that, I couldn’t argue with the historical facts, and the line of logic was brevity itself.
‘Yes,’ I reply, now definitely the wiser about how the French do, or don’t do, things. ‘It’ll be the Italians who have to break it up – it’s all down to Beppe Grillo now. The Greeks will stay in it as long as they get €100,000,000,000 a year of never-repayable debt; the Spanish are too proud to admit they got it wrong; while Flanby will just go on wobbling and waffling. There’s a touch of perfect symmetry about an Italian comedian making the bureaucratically ill-conceived euro disappear; it’s like a bad stain when you put on that new Vanish stuff — and it vanishes, Tommy Cooper-style — just like that!”
‘Naw! Our lot will never do it neither! That Cameron couldn’t do a better job of destroying the Tory Party if he tried! And I had that Clegg on an LBC phone-in the other day, and I asked him why everything took so long in Parliament, and all he could do was waffle on and on, nothing but waffle, waffle, waffle. They’re all a bunch of *rs*-wipers, that lot! No, me, I’m with that Farage! He’s good, ’e is, and tells it like it is, that the euro is just a dose of old clap! All UKIP needs now is some other big names to stand up and join him …”
I concur. A cunning plan is called for. I make a mental note to pass this Cabbie-banter wisdom on to Nigel … along with a plan.
Roll on the racists, comedians, fruitcakes and all the swivel-eyed loons! Defeat of the dreaming politico-elites is at hand. Just sit tight if your name is Flanby … Salvation is on the march, and will soon be at hand. All you have to do is just sit there and wobble and waffle on and o. C’est magnifique … mais ce n’est pas la solution, c’est la problème … Aaah! Paris in the spring … Je t’embrace!