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True, if impolite

Being colonised by Britain was the best thing to ever happen to Australia
Britain’s former colony is a prosperous, stable, modern country – something that cannot be said of many places settled by France

But then being impolite about France is the national sport, no?

23 thoughts on “True, if impolite”

  1. Dennis, Pointing Out The Obvious

    You can make a convincing argument that France itself isn’t prosperous, stable or modern.

  2. Perhaps some of the problem is the possibility they attempted to civilise people who are fundamentaly un-civiliseable. Us Brits did too – look at Pakistan…..Palestine…..Ireland……

  3. Would I rather live in Oz or Quebec? Not a very tricky question. But would it be tricky for a frog?

  4. I’d take Martinique over Jamaica or Reunion over Pakistan. Addolf is right, sort of. Martinique and Reunion must constitute … er … nearly 0.5% of the total land mass / population of the ex French empire.

  5. That place from Death in Paradise is French, strikes me as even more dangerous than Midsomer.

  6. After France entered the American Revolutionary War on the side of the United States and declared war on Britain, a British force invaded Saint Pierre and Miquelon and briefly occupied them, destroying all colonial settlements on the islands and deporting 2,000 colonists back to France.

    In 1793, during the French Revolutionary Wars, another British force landed in Saint Pierre and, in the following year, again deporting the French colonial population, and tried to establish a community of Anglophone settlers.

    The nascent British colony was in turn attacked by the French Navy in 1796.

    The Treaty of Amiens of 1802 returned the islands to France, but Britain reoccupied them when hostilities recommenced the next year.

    The 1814 Treaty of Paris gave the islands back to France, though the UK occupied them yet again during the Hundred Days War in 1815.

    France then reclaimed the now uninhabited islands, in which all structures and buildings had been destroyed or fallen into disrepair.

    The islands were resettled in 1816. The settlers, mostly Basques, Bretons and Normans, were joined by various other peoples, particularly from the nearby island of Newfoundland.

    Quite the colonial hokey-cokey.

  7. Of course it’s the best thing that ever happened to Australia.

    Of course it’s the best thing that ever happened to Australia. It means @Boganboy is there instead of here.

    …and the average IQ in both countries has risen!

    How’s that for a double win!

  8. prosperous, stable, modern country – something that cannot be said of many places settled by France
    England was colonised by the French. Just saying.

  9. Thank you JG!!!

    Slightly more to the point, I’d argue that the abos had an excellent means of discouraging invaders—–oops asylum seekers.

    Since the abos were hunter-gatherers, when the invaders landed, all they had to eat was witchetty grubs, and they had to find these for themselves. This meant the coloniser had to provide huge subsidies until agriculture could be established and the convicts—-oops immigrants could feed themselves.

    As for the Brits seizing the lot, Oz was a substitute for the US as a place for dumping the convicts. And after the US revolted, the Brits had endless troubles with the aggressive Yankee imperialists trying to grab Canada. So the UK didn’t want to repeat its error of having a land border with anyone else at all.

    They also had problems with the local settlers who wanted to be allocated convicts as free labour, with the government paying for their support. So there was an incentive to establish a new convict settlement when the problems in the old one became too acute.

    Of course towards the end of the 19th century, Britain’s naval supremacy was diminishing. So the Germans were alas permitted to seize the north east of New Guinea. To the disgust of we Aussies.

    But by that time, British sovereignty over the mainland of Oz was established. Though one suspects that those abos still wandering through the spinifex looking for a rabbit or a kangaroo to bash on the head might have disagreed.

    We thus were in a position to develop the perfect society. Which we had when I was a boy. But unfortunately imbecilic innovators have now introduced all these horrid changes. Culminating in the appalling idiocy of the Greens.

  10. @ bis
    England was colonised by the Vikings (several times): the Duchy of Normandy was inhabited by “North Men”, ruled by the descendants of Rollo a.k.a “Rolf Ganger”

  11. I don’t think the dukes of Normandy swore allegiance to the French crown until around 1200.

    Give me William the bastard any day over macron the cunt.

  12. What I know about Saint Pierre and Miquelon is that they negotiated a maritime exclusive economic area with Canada, but drew it wrong so it a) goes in the wrong direction and b) finishes 50 miles short of the high seas, so it is, appropriately French, a cul-de-sac.

  13. The island of Hispanola is divided into a French side — Haiti — and a Spanish side — the Dominican Republic.

    You can see the advantages of one versus the other literally from outer space. From orbit. One side is practically desert. The other is lush green tropical rain forest and farms, not much different from Jamaica.

  14. @Pouncer
    If you look on Google Earth, the dividing line between the two vegetation regimes is actually the frontier. It’s not as if Haitians got the short end of the stick with their end of the island.
    Opinion of a Dominica when asked how things were back home at the time of the Haitian earthquake; (in Spanish) “How should I know. That was in Haiti. Never been there. They’re all animals over there.”
    On the other hand, from someone was in Haiti after the earthquake when the NGOs turned up.
    “Bloody awful here. Can’t get a decent hotel room, a table in a good restaurant or an attractive hooker for love nor money. They’ve taken over everything.”

  15. The incomes per head of Saint Martin (French) and Sint Maarten (Dutch) on the same island is an excellent example of why being colonised by the Dutch was preferable to being so by the French.

    Which is in part the essence of Britishness – prepared to believe there are better systems than ours for arranging society, for higher incomes, just that none of them are French. And why the Great British modern liberal gets confused about the small boat migrants – they must be genuinely persecuted because they’ve passed through France.

  16. France is nice for a holiday, enjoying the sunshine, wine and cheese, but you’d have to be crazy (as a Brit) to want to live their long term.

    A Year in Provence?

    I’d rather spend 12 months breaking rocks in Wormwood Scrubs.

  17. “Which is in part the essence of Britishness – prepared to believe there are better systems than ours for arranging society, for higher incomes, just that none of them are French.”

    Next time some smart aleck asks what it “means” to be British, I’m nicking that.

  18. I recall a friend from Singapore being surprised at how familiar the average Briton was with the history of the Malayan Emergency until someone explained to him that it was remembered, not because the British had won, but because the French had lost in Vietnam.

  19. My wife met a middle-aged Malaysian years ago who said that her mother admired the British.


    “Because she could remember the Japanese.”

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