Plan G, the EU, and the Commonwealth: a summer story

The scene: a couple enjoy their summer holidays, on the beach in Brittany. 

J – Mais oui, c’est bien lui, regard – it’s him, I’m sure! Là-bas sur la plage, dans ce petit maillot de bain…mais qu’il est rouge comme une tomate – ou plutôt un rosbif! Just like all the Englishmen on the beach!

F – Ecoute, chérie, j’en ai marre maintenant. First you were seeing Valérie everywhere, then you thought Ségolène was following us… really, just relax and stop imagining things!

J – Coucooouu! Daveed! {Et sa femme, regard} – Samantha! Comment vas-tu Daveed ? Mais, oui, viens dire bonjour !

F – NON, Julie, qu’est-ce que tu fais?!!…  {Oh god it is him, merde!} … Daveed, mon brave!

D – Oh, er …Bongiorno! François – what a shock. I mean surprise. What a pleasant surprise, great to see you. Sam… you know François, and have you met Ség…Val… ermm.. well anyway you are looking well, and wow! I see those stories about the French abandoning topless sunbathing were wide of the mark, eh?!

S – David!! Stop staring, now!! {bloody French actresses, shameless…}

D – Yes, anyway – but I thought you two were… I mean the papers said…

 Ah ben, oui… how you say – ‘it’s a bit complicated’, Daveed. To be honest, it’s been a bit of a difficult time. You know, that feeling of not being loved, being under-appreciated, not getting the respect you deserve…

D – Oh right, so Julie wanted to be ‘official’ then – to move into the Elysée?

F – Quoi? Non, non, non, mon frère ! I was speaking about myself and the French people. I mean have you seen my approval ratings lately? They just seem to have fallen out of love. It’s outrageous really, being cast aside for a younger woman, that Marine just waggled her hips and they were all besotted. Honestly, is there no loyalty any more?

S – Outrageous, I agree – some people have no loyalty do they, I was just saying to so my friend Valérie the other day.

D – SAM! Really! Sorry François, I don’t know what’s got into Samantha… ever since I promoted a few women into the Cabinet she’s been like this. Keeps complaining about being stuck in the kitchen instead of on the Downing Street catwalk or something…

{mind you, François, you’ve fallen on your feet this time, you old dog, she may not have the brains, but wow, not bad!}

F – {Ah, oui, t’as raison Daveed – I’ve had enough of the brainy types!}

Et alors, Julie thought we should come here to Bretagne for a holiday. Something about ‘Nos plus belles vacances’, I think it was from one of those little films she watched, n’est-ce pas ma chérie ?

J – I didn’t watch it, I acted in it! {Imbécile!!} And you should watch it, you might learn something.

F – But what brings you to this pays magnifique de Bretagne Daveed?

D – Oh just a break as well. To tell you the truth I needed to get away, I wasn’t feeling too appreciated back home either. And I wanted some time away to plan my re-election campaign for next year.

F – Ah oui, exactement! I have been doing the same thing, planning my triumphant re-election! Julie, are you ok, you seem to be choking?

J – Ungghhh – cough – heummm, excuse me, must be something stuck in my throat…

F – Well, maybe it won’t be so easy for either of us eh, Daveed? We are both how you say – under a cloud – whilst that woman Merkel just floats above us all – maddening! Have you had any bright ideas then, any brilliant new policies?

D – Gotta say I agree with you about that woman François. I’ve had just about enough to be honest. Lording it over us with her election results, putting her foot down about Juncker, and then to cap it all they won the bloody World Cup again as well! We really need to do something about the Germans. But I can’t think what.

S – Oh Dave babe – but what about that idea you were talking about this morning honey, you know, that Plan G thingy – go on, tell François!

D – Sam! That’s private – you shouldn’t be listening in to my strategy meetings with Lynton. Besides, Plan G was just something I came up with, it’s not really…

F – Daveed, mon frère – we are all friends here, non? Tell me your idea, this Plan G.

D – Well it just came to me the other day. I was watching the Commonwealth Games on the telly – I’d asked Alex for tickets but he told me I’d need a visa to cross the border to Scotland so it seemed easier to watch it at home. Anyway, the great thing was, we were winning all these medals! I mean, hundreds of them! And there were no Germans there to beat us on penalties, no Nico Rosberg to pip us to the chequered flag, and most of all, no Angela Merkel in the grandstand doing that smug thing with her hands while Germany triumphs again!

So I started thinking, you know, well why not invite a few more mates to come and join us, make it a really big party. I know it’s mostly ex Brit colonies, but it’s all a bit of a laugh, none of that boring Brussels bureaucratic stuff. We could invite the Swedes to join, they’re always fun… and I get on pretty well with the Hungarians so they could come too. I mean, the sports are fun, but the best bit is that we get to go these great places for the summits, not like the EU!

F – Ah oui, so you don’t like coming to Brussels for those terrible Summits either eh? Me too – I have to say, if I have to eat any more moules frites while being lectured about fiscal prudence by that woman…

D – Exactly – for Commonwealth summits we get to go to places like Trinidad, Australia, – we’re even off for a jaunt to Vanuatu in a bit, how’d you like to top up your tan on a Pacific island Julie, eh love?

S – DAVID! I won’t tell you again babe, stop drooling!

D – Sorry, where was I…? Oh yes, and the best thing is, we only have to meet every couple of years.

F – Quoi?! But we get summoned to bloody Brussels twice a month at the moment for some crisis meeting or other, ce n’est pas vrai!

D – Yes I know, the Commonwealth is really much more fun than the EU. Her Majesty does rather try to keep everyone in line, but we still manage to sneak out for some fun… and well, you’d know all about sneaking out for some fun, eh François, yeah?!


D – Soz, yeah. So… I was kind of wondering… if you’d like to join us sometime…? I mean, I know we haven’t seen eye-to-eye about things in the past, but, well, better the devil you know and all that. I know France wasn’t a British colony, but there are plenty of other members who weren’t either, like… well… Rwanda, but that’s not the point. And to be honest, the Aussies are a good laugh and everything, but maybe we need a bit of French culture to knock the edges off that Tony Abbott. Of course, the main thing though, is that you could get away from Merkel, and outflank Marine at the same time on Europe – that can’t be bad eh?

F – Waow… quelle idée Daveed! A Commonwealth Union without the Germans! Bye-bye Eurozone, welcome to the party-zone! Magnifique n’est-ce pas, Julie? You really have surpassed yourself with this!

J – Ah oui… what did you call it Daveed, your ‘Plan G’? Wherever did you get that name from?

D – Er, well, I’m not sure really, it just came to me…

J – And your friend Lynton, non? Has he been doing some holiday reading as well?

D – I don’t know what you mean Julie?

J – Well, I know I’m only an actress – not as bright as you brilliant politicians – but I do know some history… Guy Mollet… Anthony Eden…Plan G, the proposal to bring France into an extended Commonwealth to keep them away from the Germans… when was that, 1956? Not exactly a new idea, M. Cameron. Perhaps I’m not the only one here who is a little over-exposed.

Is that more sun-burn, or have you just turned a little red?




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