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We don't hate you

Reader comment on item: Londonistan Follies
in response to reader comment: Why do they hate us?

Submitted by tim conway (Australia), Jun 13, 2006 at 20:46

It's a fair point, the Brits are pretty insular and can be negative about Europe. It's not so simple, we don't have the same perceptions about Scandinavians as we do about the French or the Germans or the Dutch, so when you say 'us' I'm not sure that's accurate. Octavio, we dislike each of you individually ! Not sure in that respect we are much different from other Europeans. I don't get the impression there is much love lost in Paris and Berlin for the Brits. It's a bit schizophrenic, the average Brit loves German cars, French food and wine ( God knows why given the current state of French cooking) , and dreams about living in a converted farmhouse in the South of France, but doesn't trust French politicians, and thinks the European Union squanders our taxes on subsidising ineffficient farmers. Quite right too, no? All those greedy fat cats in Brussels.

The EU was established after the war as a means for Europe to move on, a noble aim, the 2 principal countries being France and Germany, and in return for German products the French would have their agricultural sector propped up. We were late in getting in on the program, the French and Germans were already nice and cosy, and we've being playing catch up ever since. We think of 'Europe' much as we think of the Eurovision Song Contest. It's a bit of a joke, the music is terrible, there's so much to sneer at, England never wins, the Scandinavians are always voting for each other, but it's compelling viewing and we have to tune in.

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