Patrick Cohen doesn’t get it.
‘Why don’t you like being called an Anglo-Saxon?’ he asked me earlier during his evening show on RTL radio.
‘Because they aren’t very popular in France,’ I told him.
Then why do you call yourself an Anglo-Saxon on your blog (someone reads it!) and on the cover of your book? he continued.
‘Because I didn’t think anyone would care about the opinion of a tiny wee country tacked onto the north of England,’ I said.
To be clear, I should perhaps explain. ‘Anglo-Saxon’ is a French concept which comes with a bunch of assumptions (money-obssesed, wedded to unfettered capitalism). I don’t recognise myself nor the country of my birth among them. Nor do I think English-speaking countries have enough ideology in common for them to be lumped together. Plus the word ‘Anglo’ is never going to be a popular epithet for a Scot. Hence I reject the concept. At the same time, I live in France and I know that for French people, I am an Anglo-Saxon. So I allow myself to be categorised in a way French people understand. And then I tell them they have got it all wrong. Capisce?