It is reported that President Macron has offered to lend the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain as a gesture of cultural cooperation and goodwill (and a reminder of who won in 1066); that he is demanding a payment of £44 million for policing the Channel ports and, of course, that he wants us to pay an enormous Brexit bill in return for not much at all. What could Mrs May possibly offer him in return?
The French are all supposed to be,
Great experts in diplomacy,
And so they rarely give short shrift,
But come, instead, armed with a gift.
These gifts do get a lot of thought,
Are chosen ’cos they are the sort,
Of thing to take ones breath away,
But, in the end, to make us pay.
And there might be a lesson hid,
Reminding us of what they did,
When, in the past, they were our foe,
And won one battle as you know.
So Macron’s gift that he now brings,
Which may look like the best of things,
Should be regarded in that light –
Reminder of past Norman might.
No doubt his kind gift we accept,
Forgetting that he is adept,
At using such a gesture kind,
To imply that we shouldn’t mind,
To pay him many pounds and pence,
To, at Calais, erect a fence,
So migrants just cannot get through,
And end up living close to you.
What he is after, in exchange,
Is cash somewhere within the range,
Of fifty million – that’s pounds –
To pay his police to do their rounds,
At Calais through the night and day,
Which they’re supposed to anyway.
But two sides can play at this game,
With with other gifts, not quite the same,
But which remind him of the cost,
And who it was, in fact, that lost,
The last time our two nations fought.
Now here I don’t mean Agincourt,
But rather, as you likely knew:
Napoleon at Waterloo.
We should lend them that picture large,
Depicting Wellington in charge,
Of maybe history’s greatest feat:
That was Napoleon’s defeat.
Then, while we’re at it, as you know,
Our admiral, Horatio,
Also beat Boney by a mile.
At both Trafalgar and the Nile.
And if we would annoy some more,
Perhaps we could again restore,
The Eurostar, for which folk queue,
From St Pancras to Waterloo!