London or Paris. London or Paris. Who could choose. I loved both. But how in the eighties I hated the French. I had forgotten the outrage I felt until seeing this week's ABC Four Corners episode, made by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.
You can do the research for accuracy, but here is how it unfolded at the time. I could not believe how it could happen.
France used to test nuclear bombs in the South Pacific.
Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was in Auckland Harbour readying to sail away to protest against France testing bombs in the South Pacific.
The French government, yes authorised by the French government, planted a bomb on the hull of Rainbow Warrior and blew it up and people were killed.
Two French citizens were caught and gaoled.
In retaliation France imposed a strong embargo on New Zealand and NZ buckled to the extreme pressure and helpful compensation monies.
The two convicted were sent to a South Pacific French atoll to serve the remainder of the gaol term.
No sooner were they on the atoll, and they were back in Paris and more compensation money was paid.
It is a shocking and disgraceful period in French history.
New Zealand had the guts to stand up to the US, refusing entry to ships that had nuclear power or weapons, yet they could not stand up to the French.
While it cost lives, ultimately Greenpeace won. France no longer tests nuclear weapons in the South Pacific.