VIVE LA FRANCE!
Now there’s a strange thing! Recently returned from sunny England we kick off this blog with a rousing tribute to the French. Apart from the fact that the dear old French have fabulous food and superb wine, a lifestyle that is so much more civilised and a language that is rich, creamy and sleek, we must hail their glorious attempts at bringing down the system or at the very least, standing up for what they believe in and what they deem to be right. So, where are we going with all this?
Safely back in the enveloping arms of our adoptive protector, it is time to have a rant. How delightful the British countryside was and wasn’t the weather pleasant during our brief stay there last week? We satisfied our family obligation bit, got around to see as many as we could in the time we had and stocked up on all the essentials that we have difficulty finding out here. We headed for Bluewater Shopping Mall where I know we can get most of the items on our shopping list and have a splendid lunch at Jamie Oliver’s Italian gaff. Well, that was a disappointment to start with. Where once upon a time we used to find such delights as rabbit meat and hams hanging from the rafters, we now find a menu of pizzas and burgers. Oh dear! How the mighty have prostituted themselves to the greater masses. I can see those fat lips flabbering about, saliva splattering everywhere in a desperate attempt to disguise an annoying lisp, “Yeah, well mate, bish, bosh, bash, it’s what da scoffers want, innit”. No offence Jamie but your money’s gone to your head pal!
No, this is not the matter for a rant and rave.
It beggars belief that every single day this traffic jam stretches both sides of the Dartford Crossing as the lemmings queue up to pay their two quid to the fat controller. Thinking back, there are not many occasions when I can recall there being no queues at this tunnel/bridge – maybe 3am perhaps? As I understand it, and I’m not saying I am totally correct here, the point of the toll was to pay for the new bridge. I reckon this was paid off years ago so it begs the questions; why are you lot still paying a toll? I suspect there’ll be reasons such as upkeep, maintenance, repairs, improvements, etc. I doubt whether ‘a bloody good income’ is mentioned though?
I cannot understand why the masses patiently queue to give their £2 or more to a machine or an over officious knob in a box. You all do it with that quintessentially British quiet reserve. YOU MUGS! It looks to me as though you are paying for the privilege of being stuck in a queue – you’re paying for the inconvenience. In any other circumstance, if there was a queue stretching for miles and miles in both directions, immediate action would be taken by the Police, The Highways Agency or the Government to alleviate the problem. But oh no! Not this queue. The people are waiting to hand over their hard-earned cash. And I’m pretty sure a large proportion of it ends up in the government coffers, despite anything that might be said to the contrary. I am downright sure this would not happen anywhere else. In any other country, in any other society, the people would rise up and say NO! Eastern block countries are always demonstrating against oppression (Georgia, Poland, Ukraine, etc.) the Far East stand up for what they believe in (Tienanmen Square, Thailand, Malyasia, etc.) and the beautiful French love a ruck. When the French get upset they block the ports with their little fishing boats, block the roads with their lorries and cause havoc in towns with their tractors. It causes us grief as we are often inconvenienced by these actions but what aggravates us most about it is – WE WISH WE HAD THE CLACKERS TO GET UP AND DO IT! Sadly, we don’t. So we patiently sit and wait for hours and hours in the heat, in the fume filled atmosphere of a hot, sunny day, to pay our money to the toll man so we can go about our daily business and get on with our lives. If we were French we would block the darn crossing until we got what we wanted. If only we were French…
Of course, I don’t need to rise up and take action because I am languishing in the desert heat with brand new four, five and six lane carriageways with barely a vehicle in sight. However, I call on my fellow Brits to stand up and be counted. Bring back the spirit of the Poll Tax protests and use your vehicles in a most peaceful way to say, NO MORE, NEVER AGAIN, AND STOP MUGGING US OFF!
By the way, I too was sat in the horror show that is the Dartford Crossing traffic jam on quite a few occasions during my visit to dear old Blighty. I can only think that this daily routine for most has dumbed down their spirit to a state of complete submission. Prove me wrong, why don’t ya?
Vive la Angleterre!