Sacre Bleu! The french love England and are moving there en mass

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Sacre Bleu! The french love England and are moving there en mass

Turns out the French are secretly coverting the English manner and the freedom of expression.

In the book (which will be published in English next year) the author waxes poetic on the joys of living in Britain.

He writes of superior baguettes (made by English hands with English flour), our lovely climate (“You never get a completely grey day like in Paris”), the charming locals (“Shop assistants that actually smile at you!”), a more varied intellectual life and a capital city more conducive to love than a moonlit stroll by the Seine. London, concludes Levy, is everything Paris was 40 years ago.

Times Online More on the site

Like Témoignage, this slice of Franco-bashing shot straight to the top of the French bestseller list. At 400,000 copies it is already the highest selling novel of the year. But it has sparked far more vicious invective than Sarkozy’s book.

Apparently it is one thing to brand the French as workshy, petty snobs who need to get the Anglo-Saxon work ethic, but questioning their ability to produce the world’s best pastries or doubting their supreme prowess as lovers is out of order.

As Peter Mayle wrote of the British invasion of Provence, this is the French response. “There are 300,000 of us in the UK now and it isn’t like we all come here just to get a job. It is more than economic. It’s about open minds. You may look uptight with your trench coats and umbrellas, but you are really very relaxed — more relaxed than we can ever be,” says Levy.

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Because of that, when you land here you feel as if you can do anything. The French try to restrain the attractiveness of England by saying it is only for jobs that we should come, but they should forget that. England is the land of opportunity. It is just like America 100 years ago.

Your culture here is really much more high. Your planning laws, for example, allow fantastic new buildings to be made. They are a sign that the whole country is progressing — 99% of Paris doesn’t even belong to the 21st century. Paris is like a dead city with no progress while everything here has the buzz.

Even your television is wonderful and has a very sophisticated tone. Coupling, The Office — so clever, so funny. And I am absolutely the biggest fan of Nigella (Lawson). She is as beautiful and smart as any French woman and much more natural.

Humour and ego fight to occupy the same place in the brain. In England the humour is always more likely to win and in France it will always be ego. The best thing about this for England is that it makes this country more civilised than France. If I was as polite to people in Paris as I have to be here they would spit at me in the street,” he shrugs Gallicly.

But more than that, humour and civility have made your communities less divided. Last week again you all worried that multiculturalism has failed, but I think the opposite. All over London, all over England, people are getting on with it better than in most countries. The UK should be proud of its multicultural communities.

I watched the race riots in France last year. It looked like the place was falling apart, which was not true. But integration has not worked as well there as it has in England. Part of that is because of economic problems but part is because of attitude.

Are you saying the French are more racist than the Brits? It is not racism. It is arrogance and it is very widely spread. In the bad neighbourhoods and in the political classes people agree that things have to change but no one wants to do it.

By netchicken: posted on 7-9-2006

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