Not such a grown up take on the Entente Cordiale
This diversity was only to be expected, given that the train traversed the Netherlands, Belgium and France, but for Tobes, it presented an opportunity for him to demonstrate why someone else teaches History at his West London Free School. Yes, he would write a piece for the Spectator magazine, where he would paint the dastardly French as cowards and assert that they need Brits and Yanks to save them.
“Once again, the French rely on Yanks and Brits to save them from murderous fascists … The cowardice of Frenchmen knows no bounds … If I was a Frenchman, I'd be ashamed by the reaction of my countrymen on the French terror train” wibbled Tobes. As Sir Sean nearly said, I think we got the point. What was the reaction of his fellow Tweeters? “Full Katie Hopkins … Toby, you’ve gone all Katie Hopkins” were typical.
There was more. Tobes was reminded “Yes, because an unarmed, untrained Frenchman was first to attempt to tackle the gunman. You should be ashamed … Do you know that this despicable article is based on a lie. First attacker was French man”. Also it wasn’t a “French Train”, but an international one with its destination in France.
Still, factual details, eh Tobes? Another comment suggested “the incident actually took place in Belgium”. Moreover, Tobes has no idea what nationality the other passengers were - he just insults the French, because that kind of thing goes down jolly well with all those Clever People Who Talk Loudly In Restaurants. It was left to another Tweeter to put him straight: “Your article is disgustingly xenophobic”. Got it in one.
His sneering claim of “cowardice” was also put into perspective: “Never fully understand how this myth of ‘French cowardice’ started; 1940 was command failure not cowardice by rank & file”. Plus most of the British were evacuated at Dunkirk, of course. There was a reminder of the Great War: “I can't help but contrast this with the vast number of names on French WWI memorials. France carried war for 2 years”. Quite.
The condemnation kept on coming: “come on you can celebrate three or four individuals bravery without calling everyone else a coward” was one comment. Another had peeked at the Speccy article: “even the Spectator readers left comments saying how awful your piece is”. Sadly, that will make no difference: Tobes is naturally unpleasant.