Re: But google insist!
"When we can configure an android device with the same preferred applications we use elsewhere and NOT be forced down googles choice because you can't remove them ... but then it would be nice if say Firefox ran on android device without crashing when one ends up on a google search page"
Yes there are a lot apps that needed google play services and some cannot finish loading up without google stuff, but Firefox isn't one. Firefox for android works without google services, and works searching with google. May I suggest you to reinstall Firefox? if not please do file a crash report.