As Cameron toddled around
Africa in his search for the
source of the budget deficit he pitched up shaking hands with President
Hollande of France, The Mullah of Mali, also searching for something for French
troops to do to justify the defence budget.
While Cameron has sworn to go to some expense and trouble to assist
France in Africa,
back at the EU apparently there has been a new agricultural fix. This will incur major increased costs for the
contributing states and particularly benefiting French famers who grow tobacco.
Back at home in the
those fussy health people are trying harder and ever harder to prevent people
smoking tobacco. One way is using taxes
as a disincentive. The trouble is if
effective then the tax take will decline. UK
At this point the logic begins to escape me. The question must arise, who is going to smoke all that state subsidised tobacco grown in
? Perhaps they may be all those Brit’s who have
fled the France
to become refugees in a land where smoke is good. UK
More likely it will be to supply all those smokers in far flung countries where such rules do not exist or are safely ignored. This may have a marginal effect on the balance of trade in
France and by extension Europe. It will not do much for us unless we abandon the
new wind and solar panel farms for tobacco.
The 19th Century was a time when
and Britain vied for
territories and influence in Africa. They were tempted by its riches, the scope
for relocating surplus populations and their desire to be full or even dominant
There was supposed to be an agreed truce and share out amongst the European nations in the mid 1880’s after the Conference of Berlin. This did rein in some of the greater extremes but the ambitions still existed.
This culminated in 1898 in The Fashoda Incident (see Wikipedia) after a French expedition started from
Brazzaville in the Congo and after an epic journey arrived at
Fashoda on the Upper Nile to raise the French
flag in territory the British thought they had the rights.
The media and political fuss in both
Paris and meant that war was
close and only averted by strenuous diplomatic dealing. In some ways it was a pity that it did not
happen. Conceivably, if it had the
Entente Cordiale a few years later would not have happened, maybe not The Boer
War and perhaps not the First World War. London
If the Kaiser had seized the opportunity and supported his British cousins, the Germans could have remained our best friends in
both determined to hold the French in check.
Jointly, we could have done something about the imperial ambitions of
as well. USA
One of the famous stories of the British Empire in
is that of Dr, Livingstone the medical missionary who both explored and
attempted to reach out to the Africans.
He went so deep into Africa that
communications ceased and there was a great deal of media excitement about his
So much so that a large sum of money was raised for an expedition led by an American, Henry Morton Stanley, to seek to find him. He wasn’t actually lost, just alone and ill in the interior and struggling to survive and work. It all made a good media tale with hoorah’s all round for the various heroes.
But the way Cameron is cavorting around the world suggests that unlike Livingstone he may have lost his bearings and does not quite know what to do or where to go next. The pound is down against the Euro, there is talk of a triple dip recession and the
ratings are in peril. UK
The options are running out. He must be a worried man.
It is enough to drive a man to start smoking.
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