I had the continued pleasure of listening to Radio 2 quite a bit today – including the Jeremy Vine show. Hidden amongst a dreary line up, there was a hidden gem of philosophical brilliance – the “Violence against expats” bit.
Basically, it being an apparently slow news day, this was a discussion about a British family who were forced out of their house in Brittany, France as the result of what may be hostile locals. This was obviously such a high profile incident, I can’t find any links to it elsewhere on the BBC site. For all I know, the Jeremy Vine show made it up (it wouldn’t be the first time the BBC faked something…).
Anyway, the debate was pretty much as you would expect – lots of people saying there was no hostility, all the French people love the British etc. Until one Scottish woman phoned in. Now, given the BBC’s track record on faking phone ins, she may have been a plant to stir things up (she failed) but she actually seemed to reflect a common opinion I have heard elsewhere. The call came (around the 48min point if you are listening online) soon after a French journalist went to great lengths to say how the French people, especially in Brittany, are welcoming and friendly – even going as far as to specify how the French love the Welsh, Irish, Scottish and Cornish. Hmm. This was followed by the Scottish woman, who phoned in to say how wonderful and friendly the French people she meets every year are. She built on this by saying how all the English people were loud, obnoxious, drunken etc., and how she can understand why the French hate them. Continue reading