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France's leadership had been alarmed by Britain's victory in the Seven Years' War which had shifted the European balance of power and had been planning for a war of revenge since the Treaty of Paris that had ended the conflict in 1763.

Choiseul had been ready go to war in 1770 during the Falklands Crisis, but Louis XV had been alarmed by the British naval mobilization and instead dismissed Choiseul and backed down.

If they had any smarts they would have taken the "ignore it and it will go away" approach. It had to be nipped in the bud and smashed to stop the contagion spreading. Thankfully, the full-throttle outrage has backfired on them. The tried a slightly more subtle approach, with patronising editorials chiding us for our “well-meaning but misguided approach”.

When that failed they resorted to cartoons ridiculing Mayor Brad Pettitt, portraying him as a naive little boy.

A republic with a bill of rights that recognises people’s right to housing, education and a livelihood.

A republic that recognises that human society needs to live in peace with the planet.

But unless we can have an honest discussion about the past we will not be able to create a better future.

The national days of other countries, no matter how much they may be manipulated by politicians, often mark truly historic advances for humanity.

But even I was surprised to see the decision featured in news bulletins for months on end. Local governments are not obliged to do anything special on January 26 and most of them don't.The United States is effectively guaranteed control of any land it is able to gain possession of in North America, besides the islands of St.Pierre and Miquelon which France had retained possession of after the Seven Years' War, and of the Islands of Bermuda due to King Louis XVI of France, renouncing "for ever the possession of the Islands of Bermudas as well as of any part of the continent of North America which before the treaty of Paris in 1763, or in virtue of that Treaty, were acknowledged to belong to the Crown of Great Britain, or to the United States heretofore called British Colonies, or which are at this Time or have lately been under the Power of The King and Crown of Great Britain." In return the King is guaranteed " any of the Islands situated in the (Gulf) of Mexico, or near that (Gulf)" which France is able to gain possession of.As a result, John Adams began drafting conditions for a possible commercial treaty between France and the future independent colonies of the United States, which declined the presence of French troops and any aspect of French authority in colonial affairs.On September 25 the Continental congress ordered commissioners, led by Benjamin Franklin, to seek a treaty with France based upon Adams draft treaty that had later been formalized into a Model Treaty which sought the establishment of reciprocal trade relations with France but declined to mention any possible military assistance from the French government.

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