Jingo Lingo

David Davis, the so-called Brexit Minister, was asked on television of Michel Barnier. He enlightened the audience by saying that he was “very French”.

A piece of masterful self-assertion in the process of the “negotiations”. Imagine the impeccably dressed Barnier, cool as a cucumber, being asked the same question of Davis.

“Il est vraiment…anglais”.

So what is there to learn of Davis’s response?

Davis is scared witless of Barnier, and rightly so. Barnier exudes the cool and understated confidence of a poker player holding a good hand but not afraid to lose one in the course of a long evening’s entertainment.

The banal uttering of Davis says more about its origin than its object. It is a real door opener into the mind and machinations of the Chef of the Department for Exiting the European Union.

A confident and sage Davis would have immediately lauded his opposite number, assured of his own standing in this meeting of minds.

But he let this slip. It was a good question. Simple but extracting. Rather like asking a Prime Minister whether he has shared prayer with a President.

The answer is tainted by stereotypical illusions of Johnny Foreigner. Did Barnier smell of aïl?

Did Davis spot a necklace of onion bulbs that everybody else missed when Barnier strode confidently to his lectern? Had Barnier enjoyed a long lunch? Did he order escargots or cuisses de grenouille?

Imagine the vice versa. Did Davis have baked bean residue on the bottom of his tie? Did he ask for Heinz Salad Cream, or insist on Heinz Tomato Ketchup? Did he order rosbif, bien cuit?

In consideration of the strengths of each “side” entering the illusory negotiation phase Davis’s comment shows the weighing scale in true perspective. Seriously unbalanced.

Appearance is not everything, of course. A Cheshire-cat grin from ear-to-ear does not necessarily reveal a chancer with no hand. The grin has to be placed in context.

This is one of the most critical few months that the United Kingdom has faced since World War II.

Go on David, knock Barnier cold with a bit of Benny Hill and his sidekick Henry Magee.

In these mad times who would bet against the former Tate & Lyle big wig becoming Prime Minister? Le papa-gâteau.

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Author: Marc Folgate

Marc Folgate's search for answers to the misery and mess.

2 thoughts on “Jingo Lingo”

  1. Comments like these make being a Brit abroad pretty embarrassing.
    I forever find myself apologising on behalf of the ignorance of half the voting public in the UK… and pointing out that I consider myself to be foremost a European, an educated, critical thinking and progressive Englishman, and an Australian.
    I happened to be born in Oxford, something I am very proud of in fact, as it is an overwhelmingly progressive, forward thinking town…
    But when it comes to our tabloid masses who get their “facts” from the Daily Murdoch, and are shamed by their own ignorance that just hearing someone speak another language in the UK brings out their aggressive xenophobia as a defence mechanism for their own laziness and lack of education, well I shake my head in bemusement, despair and heartbreak.

    1. I sympathise David. When virtually the pinnacle of government comes out with something like this I despair. It is astonishing that we are in a position that somebody who can make such ill-advised faux pas is touted as a potential Prime Minister. Astonishingly sad.

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