Mark Dolan: Macron's latest outburst isn't a good look for France

Mark Dolan: Macron's latest outburst isn't a good look for France
Dolan mono macron
Mark Dolan

By Mark Dolan

Published: 18/09/2021

- 20:58

Updated: 18/09/2021

- 22:41

'You win some, you lose some'

Oh dear, Emmanuel Macron appears to have landed himself in the French onion soup. After a planned collaboration with the US and Australia to provide the technology for multiple diesel powered submarines, the Americans have yanked the deal away from them, and the Aussies have said au revoir.

They have opted for a partnership with the United Kingdom for the production of far more sophisticated and up-to-date nuclear powered vessels. The French diesel solution would require the submarine to come to the surface once every 24 hours, not great when you're hiding from Chinese or Russian aircraft.

As long as they've got enough Weetabix on board, the British vessel can lurk deep in the sea without resurfacing, for months on end. I think you'd call that a no brainer. Look, you win some, you lose some.

France has a great legacy of engineering and manufacturing output, but they have fallen short on this occasion. In the end they received null points. This news has been met with fury by Mr Macron, who could barely keep his hands off President Joe Biden just a few weeks ago at the G-7 conference.

Don’t feel too bad Emmanuel. You've been dumped by Biden, but it could be worse - he could've forgotten your name. Now the sensible reaction is for the French to examine how to improve their military industrial output and drag projects like submarines, kicking and screaming into the 21st century. But for Mr Macron, this is personal.

He sees this as humiliation for France, and as a result he has withdrawn the French ambassadors to the US and Australia, by way of protest. This is unprecendented and not a good look for one the great European nations of history.

Can you imagine the international reaction if Britain made a move like that? Boris Johnson would be public enemy number one in diplomatic circles. So the French President is not happy. He's got a frog in his throat, he's hopping mad.

The technology in France is moving at a snails pace and the deal is garlic bread and buried. I sympathise with the French and I think the way this has been handled badly. But we are the beneficiaries of this international soap opera, and we are now the leading actors. This deal will generate hundreds of highly skilled jobs it, will boost the economy and it is a vote of confidence in global Britain.

Diplomatic and political forces would've made this impossible whilst we were members of the European Union. And whether its trade deals with countries all over the world, a nimble footed and independent vaccine rollout, or this bilateral agreement on security, this deal is good news for America, good news for Australia and good news for the UK.

Looking at the bigger picture, the real victim of all of this will be China. This deal for new subs will sink their imperial ambitions in the Far East, and make the world a better and more secure place. And surely that’s worth a glass of champagne. We have a regular item on the show in which we reflect on celebrities and public figures who are going through a tough time and we call this item “we feel your pain”.

A couple of candidates today and I've already got a lump in my throat. First up, globetrotting former Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Whitehall’s answer to Judith Chalmers, a man so tanned from his recent long holiday, he makes Donald Trump look positively pale. Well Mr Raab has been demoted to justice secretary. In fact he's been given three jobs, in what is ultimately a triumph of quantity over quality.

He is also lord Chancellor and Deputy Prime Minister, a role so nominal and insignificant, they haven’t bothered having one since Nick Clegg. Deputy prime minister is a job as thankless as being Victoria Beckham's singing teacher or Sean Rider's dentist.

Look Dominic Raab is a talented and clever guy and thought to be an assiduous and even workaholic minister. But it was a poor misjudgment to stay on holiday as the crisis in Afghanistan began to play out. He responded too readily to the siren calls of the sun lounger and the all-inclusive holiday buffet. I suspect he now has a touch of indigestion, as he hands the keys to Chevening, the country house that goes with Foreign Secretary, over to Liz Truss.

Perhaps she’ll let him have the use of it, every other weekend. Meanwhile the appointment of Gavin Williamson to one of the top offices of State was a great example of equal opportunities and positive discrimination.

Appointing an education secretary with no identifiable brains or common sense, was a ground-breaking move for inclusivity. I've interviewed him a couple of times – he’s a nice guy and probably unfairly vilified by the media - but yielding to the teaching unions over school closures and masks in the classroom rendered him about as useless as a broken ruler.

And that's before we get to the A-level and GCSE grades fiasco. Oscar Wilde would say first time round in the summer of 2020 was unfortunate, but for it to happen again a year later, is downright careless.

He's now going to spend a lot more time with his family, and may God help them. So Gavin and Dominic, let me just say, on behalf of all of our viewers here at GB News, and indeed our panel – let’s bring them in on this - it's been a tough week, and we feel your pain. Hashtag pray for Gav and Dom.

You may like