Climate protests and France vs. Everyone

Welcome to Declassified, a weekly column looking at the lighter side of politics

All those world leaders in Glasgow for the international climate talks and the biggest protest came from a walrus!

In what may have been a lie-in to highlight the effects of climate change, Freya the walrus was this week discovered sleeping on a Dutch warship in the naval port of Den Helder. What made the discovery so unusual is that such creatures normally live several hundred miles north and Freya is believed to be the first of her species to visit the Netherlands in more than 20 years.

Asked by Declassified for comment on the protest, Freya simply said: “Goo goo g’joob.”

Speaking of COP26 protests, Freya’s fellow climate crusader Greta Thunberg made the most of her trip to Glasgow by saying of politicians and big business: “We are not going to let them get away with it any more.” Oh, and then joined in with a rousing singalong of the traditional Scottish hymn “You can shove you climate crisis up your arse” (translation for American readers: “You can shove you climate crisis up your ass;” translation for posh readers: “This climate crisis is a terrible business, dear fellow, please do better at getting it fixed.”)

On the subject of posh, Conservative MP and leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted out a teaser for the latest episode of his podcast (yes, a podcast! I’d always assumed he communicated solely by getting his children’s nanny to shout the news from the roof of the east wing) that read: “The French are always grumpy in October, the anniversaries of Trafalgar and Agincourt upset them.”

Asked for comment, the approximately 65-and-a-half-million people who live in France said: “Get lost you ridiculous haunted pencil.”

Which brings us to this week’s Declassified quiz (top prize: a karaoke night with Greta Thunberg): Which is worse, France-U.K. relations or France-Australia relations?

France’s ambassador in Canberra, Jean-Pierre Thébault, this week described relations between the two sides as having reached an “unprecedented new low” after a press leak of a text message sent by French President Emmanuel Macron to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

The Aussie leader said he would not accept “sledging“ from the French over the scrapped submarine deal that led to the current impasse, using a cricketing term for insults that caused confusion across France from people who thought he was referring to a traineau.

CAPTION COMPETITION

“I’ll be honest, Manu, the French are rubbish at charades.”

Can you do better? Email [email protected] or on Twitter @pdallisonesque

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor

BELOW IS FOR ONLINE ONLY

Last week we gave you this photo:

Thanks for all the entries. Here’s the best from our postbag (there’s no prize except for the gift of laughter, which I think we can all agree is far more valuable than cash or booze).

“Are you sure none of them are mine?” by Paul Brannen

Paul Dallison is POLITICO‘s slot news editor



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