Sacre bleu! Leading Eurocrat wants to rename Trafalgar Square and Waterloo station…because they upset the French
Waterloo Station and Trafalgar Square should be renamed to avoid offending the French, a British EU official demanded yesterday. The thousands of French who arrive on Eurostar trains every day may feel insulted at thye reminder of Britain’s historic routing of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, said the EU’s European Investment Fund chief Francis Carpenter. Waterloo could change its name to the bland-sounding Europe Station, while Trafalgar Square, commemorating Nelson’s naval victory over the French in 1805, could become Concord Square, he suggested…
(Daily Express, 16 October 2003, pages 1, 9 & 12)
EU chief: Rename Trafalgar
A Euro banker wants Britain to avoid offending the French – by renaming Waterloo Station and Trafalgar Square…But Shadow Foreign Secretary Michael Ancram fumed: “Eurocrats are trying to rewrite history. I will never accept pathetic renaming.”
(The Sun, 16 October, page 19)
It is remarkable how the comments of one individual somehow transmute into an “EU plot”. Unless Francis Carpenter, Head of the European Investment Fund, is plotting with himself to change the names of two of London’s best-loved attractions, it is unclear how the term is justified. There is no plot, plan, or proposal to change UK place names.
The EU does not, and should not, have the power to tell Member States what to call their national place names. Of course, Mr Carpenter is fully entitled to his opinions on the matter, but these are in no way the views of the EU. Indeed, Mr Carpenter suggested that his remarks were tongue-in-cheek, and a more measured interpretation might be that he was making a wider point concerning too overt nationalism. Taken in this light, the hysterical reaction of the above papers’ perhaps gave his apparently silly ideas regarding place names rather more credence.