European Union

The Hunting of the Sark

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This article is about an effort to impose a more modern state on the feudal island of Sark. But the most interesting part is actually old news: how Sark repelled the great invasion of '91:

The constable is one of the few [local officials] who gets a salary. He earned it in 1991, when an unemployed French nuclear physicist, dressed in military fatigues and armed with an automatic rifle and 250 rounds of ammunition, launched a one-man invasion.

"He put these notices up, they were all in French, of course, saying he was going to take over the island," Beaumont recalled.

"Everyone took it as a joke, of course, until the next day somebody saw him walking around with a rifle. Fortunately, the constable just had a lot of plain common sense. He walked up to the chap and said, 'That's an interesting rifle you've got there.' And he asked, 'How does it work?'

"So the chap started to show him, and the rest of the fire brigade pounced on him."

[Via Lew Rockwell.]