France. Wednesday. 1st June. Jacque Chirac was forced to appoint a new Prime Minister yesterday after Monday's disastrous vote on the EU Constitution met with a resounding non'. The result has badly affected the French President who had campaigned tirelessly for a yes vote in the referendum.
"I want a oui'," Chirac pleaded in his last television appeal, "in fact I'm desperate for a oui' so, please, people of France, help me!"
But, despite the President's last-ditch pleas the French nation was for the first time in its history, not prepared to capitulate. Across the English Channel in London the news was greeted with horror.
"I'm stunned," said a furious Tony Blair outside Downing Street, "Yet again those silly frogs have gone and ballsed everything up. I don't understand - France has such a proud tradition of giving in when it comes to foreign intervention in their affairs. Through the ages they've bravely surrendered when faced with the Romans, heroically backed down against the English and they threw in the towel to the Germans on two separate occasions last century alone. Why they've suddenly decided to stand up for themselves and not be dictated to I simply cannot fathom!"
The poll does indeed mark a shift in attitude from the French and shows them moving away from cowardice towards a less subservient stance. As recently as two years ago the French were still running away from fights by refusing to participate in the invasion of Iraq,
"We're not going if there's going to be any sort of violence," said Chirac at the United Nations in New York early in 2003,"one our troops might get hurt or lose his beret."
The comments angered George Bush who responded by taunting Chirac over the security counsel's floor, "Cowardly custard! Fraidy cat!" Bush shouted, "you're not allowed in my gang cos you've got no backbone!"
The vote now moves to Holland where the people are thought to not really care about the outcome,
"Hey, whatever, man," said one Dutchman, "everything's cool and groovy with me. As long as I can still smoke my weed and sleep with pretty blonde girls afterwards I don't really care"