The worldwide outbreak of influenza that began in 1918 at the close of the First World War was known to the French as "British Disease," as that nation was suspected of being its place of origin. It is interesting to note that the British referred to the flu as "French Disease."

To continental Europe (and the world) the "British Disease" of 1970s was the pitiful endless strikes and industrial action of its workforce, resulting in 3 day week(s) (due to lack of electricity to power the factories, if you worked more than 3 days a week you were liable to be arrested), no electricity after 10pm in homes (amusingly causing the British birth rate to shoot up dramatically as couples looked to other forms of "entertainment" to pass the empty, cold nights.), no public transport, rubbish overflowing for weeks on end so rats became prevalent, and dead bodies piling high outside mortuaries as even the union of undertakers went on strike. The peak of the industrial action and its consequences was called the "Winter of Discontent".

Indeed that particular British Disease had very nasty symptoms, but has been largely more or less cured due to the extreme action Margaret Thatcher used against the unions in the 1980s. The British Disease has now crossed the English Channel and now infects the French workforce, truckers, and farmers.

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