Wednesday, May 22, 2019

La belle France


I am constantly amazed how seriously the French in this area take democracy and the voting process and I can’t help thinking back to 1966 when the P+T where I used to work gave all the crews half day holiday on voting day.

With a hiss and a roar and the squeal of drum brakes about twenty trucks  drew up into the large car park of the Racecourse hotel, it was the original wooden building in those days I think. Drink was taken, and more drink was taken and very little voting went on, the polling both was across the road at the racecourse, and there was no discussion about politics or who would form the next government. The old second world war rules were in place, no discussing of politics or religion while drinking. It was interesting to  note that the immigrants  amongst us noticeably the Dutch and the British were first off the blocks to vote.

I expect things have changed now but I can’t help comparing the two scenarios. Macron has been on a marathon talk fest around the country. There are 37,000 mayors in France and Macron has met and talked to the lot,  600 at a time after the Mayors had meetings with their communes. Le Grand Debat was well attended around the country and an exercise in democracy that would not happen in any other country. He was well briefed, knew his France and spoke without notes.

There was one occasion when a mayor from a small town in the Pyrenees  complaining about the release of the Pyrenean mountain bears in his valley and what it meant for farmers . Macron gently chided him and pointed out it wasn’t in his valley but the one 10k away....no notes and no aides whispering in his ear....standing ovation for that.
France is one of the founding members of the European Union and plays a crucial role in European policymaking. In some of its regions, however, there is clear discontent regarding the direction of EU policy, mainly when it comes to immigration and the refugee crisis, something that is seized upon by the right and spun to be far worse than it is.

I take as my guide the French attitude to the EU as to whether it is working as planned, they are in the middle of it and know far more than me the good bits and the bad bits and bearing in mind it is still work in progress they seem satisfied but will be the first to kick off if unnecessary power is being transferred to Brussels. The alt right is desperately trying to stoke division between groups but unfortunately for them they can’t bandy around the term “lefty” as  an insult....that is most of France.

7 comments:

Psycho Milt said...

I take as my guide the French attitude to the EU as to whether it is working as planned...

I think the difference is that France isn't ruled by a bunch of Tory fuckwits who stand to make a fat profit (or delude themselves their Galtian genius would enable them to) if France were to withdraw from the EU. Still, Tory fuckwits isn't exactly a recent problem for the UK, so we all have our cross to bear.

Johno said...

Who are these ruling Tories making a fat profit out of Brexit and how?

The Veteran said...

PM ... as opposed perhaps to the Green fuckwits in NZL who are prepared to cut between 45 and 49 billion from the economy by the passing of the zero emissions bill (not my numbers ... the Government's RIS). The legislation gives effect to the Greens long held belief that the only way to save the planet is for farmers here to cull every fourth cow ... Ok, I digress, but you used the term.

I do think that May should go and go now. She has shot her bolt and has nothing more to offer. Her credibility is zero. Britons voted for Brexit and it will be interesting to see the mood of the country expressed in the elections for the European Parliament scheduled for tomorrow. With only the Lib Dems, Change UK and the Greens (all minor players) united in opposing Brexit I suspect there will be no clear cut result. If that plays out I can see the Conservative Party turning to Boris Johnson to make it happen and damn the torpedoes.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Thanks for that Legbut. How about a regular monthly feature? What's going on in Italy, Germany, Spain?

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

Adolf.....you have as much idea about Italy as I do if you choose to read the papers. I can only speak as I find.

Veteran.....BoJo has tried do reinvent himself as a serious politician by having a haircut......massive fail. Brexit party has no manifesto and will not give interviews, also banned all TV media from it's events......possibly because of damage to highly sensitive equipment by milkshakes.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

But I thought you were our man in the EU!

Lord Egbut Nobacon said...

28 countries, 600 million people. Who the hell do think I am.....Chunter?