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Illisible is French for impenetrable, as in the new European treaty is illisible pour les citoyens.

Valery Giscard d’Estaing has claimed in an open letter to Le Monde that the European constitution and the current treaty are essentially the same.

At least, that is what my epolitix bulletin is telling me and it’s also Giscard d’Estaing’s (which bit, if either, should one use? I am never sure) own headline. The Tories are crowing – the headline is presumably the only bit Conservative spokesman on Europe Mark Francois (is that really his name? or did no-one want the job and it has been shared out between an appropriately titled collective?) looked at before issuing the dire warning that G-D had sorti le chat du sac. Predictably le chat is now peeing all over the Sun.

Not many people in the general scheme of things will read the letter (in translation here) which is a shame because it has the effect of revealing the Conservatives to be shouty pop-eyed plonkers. This is because it has been written from a French – and an avowedly pro-European – perspective and its three main points make incongruous bedfellows in UK politics. I paraphrase:

1. The European constitution, you know, he has been, how you say, picked apart behind closed doors by a bunch of Eurocrats and his main provisions tagged on to previous treaties as amendments. This means, er, zat ze French public will not understand it, and if zat is ze case zen ze British public definitely won’t.

Cue Little-Britain style vomiting at Shouty Plonker HQ: Outrageous! The British People are being froth froth froth icky-icky-fertang!

2. Ze essential elements of ze treaty are ze same. It still makes for more effective, democratic institutions. It still gives more legislative power to parliament. Pas d’inquiete, it will get us some way towards escaping from ze current mess.

Ha, try and get in through the back door would you, with all your talk of less bureaucracy and giving more legislative power to the European parliament. It’s all a plot! Froth froth, oops, one of my eyeballs has fallen out, where’s my assistant? TARQUIN!

3. However, ze major difference is zat all consitutional language and symbols of political unity have been removed from ze treaty. And ze British can opt out of pretty much whatever zey feel like in ze most serious concessions ever offered in a European treaty. Pfah. C’est la vie.

Pick up that eyeball, and- Oh. What did he say? NOT LISTENING NOT LISTENING LA LA LA.

Typical of the rotten Frenchies not to stick to the Tory party line. They’re just so damn contraire.

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