Wednesday, 26 August 2009

An important anniversary

Today is an important anniversary in the history of England and Wales. It's the anniversary of the Battle of Crécy in 1346 where severely outnumbered and seemingly doomed our forces slaughtered around 14 thousand of the French for only 300 losses (both figures are historical estimates) because of the use of (predominately Welsh) longbowmen. It is also rumoured to have given birth to the famed 'V-sign', that ultimate gesture of defiance as alledgedly, the French knights had threatened to cut off the two bow drawing fingers of any archer captured so the archers waved them at the French in a symbol of defiance. As the french approached they were cut down by thousands of arrows raining on them. This tactic was also a decisive factor in the battles of Poitiers and later in the now legendary battle of Agincourt. The skill of the longbowman was also the reason that Owain Glyndwr was able to successfully stage a rebellion against English rule for over a decade (Though his men tended to use the longbow with guerrilla surprise attacks rather than conventional battles). Until the development of armour that succesfully repel these powerfully struck arrows, the two drawing fingers of a longbowman were probably the most deadly weapon in the history of warfare.

Why have I brought this up today? Well, this week we found out that our net contribution to the EU was going to increase by 60% to over 6 billion pounds (thanks Tony!) whilst the French have steadfastly refused to reform their CAP subsidies so I feel the urge to send them a little message...walk up to the Champs Elysee and flick v'd at any Frenchman I see. I may even enquire about the return of Calais and the Aquitaine while I'm there. The poiny of this story is that we never used to surrender to the cheese eating fops all those years ago, we should stop doing it now. In fact, I'd love to see an economist analyze the cost 6to our economy of leaving the EU, I honestly think we may not see an overall impact at all. So for one final flourish :-

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