It’s a Scot-Buzz Exclusive: The following is an extract from a speech due to have been delivered by Prime Minister David Cameron in Brussels last night, had not latest discussions on the Greek crisis overrun.
“This week we have been marking the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. It is thus only right that we in Britain put the record straight and express our deepest regrets for this unfortunate episode in European history.
“Some particular apologies from the British government are due.
“I would like to put on record our deepest regrets to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for the disturbances to wild life caused by the fusillades of gunfire.
“It was impossible not to fire our muskets into the air at certain points. And we had certainly no intention of frightening the birds. But that was the effect. And on behalf of the Department of the Environment I apologise without reservation.
“I also wish to express our deepest regrets to the country of Belgium for the presence of British troops on Belgian soil at this difficult time.
“Our intention was purely to attend the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball being held in Brussels. Unfortunately, there were disturbances in the early morning to which we felt obliged to attend.
“We deeply regret that we were not able to bring the Ball to a peaceful conclusion and return home. Here again the British government apologises for any inconvenience caused.
“It goes without saying that we are deeply regretful of the damage caused to farmhouse at Hougoumont where we were obliged to close the gates to prevent hens and chickens from escaping.
“We did not realise until after we had done so that there were fifteen thousand Frenchmen requesting entry. We sincerely apologise for the damage to the gates. And we have asked for representatives of Homebase and our friends at IKEA to make good the damage.
“The new plywood gates are lightweight, with easy-to-read instructions and are eco-friendly. No undue carbons were consumed in their manufacture.
“And I feel it only appropriate at this time that we should fully acknowledge our deep debt to Germany – or ‘Prussia’ as it was known at that time – for arriving at the most convenient moment. They helped to bring the disturbance to an early end and minimise damage to the countryside.
“It is not often we in Britain are wont to thank Germans for anything. But on this occasion the gratitude of the nation is surely justified.
“I have dispatched a team of Polish and Romanian workers from the Department of Agriculture to rake over the area unfortunately churned up by some of the horses. We have re-seeded the area with finest grass seed from Dobbies Garden Centre.
And we have purchased from Dobbies a fine set of lavender scented musical loo roll holders to be sent to Germany as token of our appreciation.
“Finally, it is only right that we learn the lessons of Waterloo. It is quite wrong to talk of victors and vanquished. And it is quite unforgivable to refer to the outstanding French leader as “Old Boney”.
“This is the unacceptable language of the past. The key lesson that has come to us down the centuries was that this was a grave interruption in Europe’s steady progress towards greater integration and the amicable settlement of disputes through re-negotiation.
“The clear lesson is to allow a swift and amicable re-negotiation of our terms of EU membership. And it would help if France stopped hogging the Ferrero Rocher.”