Are You Bothered? Yet.....?

france
politics

(Simon Armstrong) #1

Or…how comfortable do you feel living in France in the current climate?

I’ve been thinking (‘0h no’ I hear you shout!) about how I feel living in France at the moment. It’s not often that I’ve felt intimidated during my life but, just recently, it has most definitely been the case!

I’ve been stopped at 2 roundabouts and 2 péages by the Jilly Joneses. On all these occasions I got a definite knot in my stomach on approach. I mentally rehearsed what I’d say to them and, frankly, felt quite nervous - not nice. Anway, I’m still here so nothing life changing (or even that important) happened to me! That said, it wasn’t pleasant and the overall undercurrent was most definitely aggressive. We have loads of infrastructure damage locally - traffic cameras, petrol pumps, roundabouts, parking machines, graffiti…

France is in a heck of a pickle at the moment with the national debt projected to hit 100% of GDP in the first quarter of 2019 - compounded by the recent ‘concessions’ announced by the Government. (source)

To me, it all feels pretty dire so I thought I’d put it out there to garner opinion / feelings…


(Ann Coe) #2

Well in my little corner of France Simon (deep in the sticks) life is going along just the same.

The big town, 65 kms away, has had a couple of roundabouts near to the A20 with GJ’s but no hassle whatsoever, maybe because my GJ was prominently displayed :wink:

There has been some radar cameras vandalised, but that’s more to do with the 80 km/h restriction methinks.

Personally, I haven’t felt at all threatened, but then as my French partner frequently tells me, ‘you just have a way with people’, not too sure if that is a compliment or not :thinking:

So, yes France is in a pickle, and all my French friends have their own solutions to put things right :joy:

However, the UK any many more countries are also in a pickle ! Maybe we could all get together and make some chutney :dizzy_face:

Best wishes for a Happy and pickle free New Year to you and yours :hugs:x


(Jane Jones) #3

Is anywhere in Europe much different? Ever since the last elections when the FN vote in our commune was 40% I have been concerned about the direction being taken. And none of the European leaders seem to be coping well.

Luckily we have largely been able to avoid the GJs by choosing when and where we go, as I don’t take well to being told what to do and neither does OH. We refuse to indulge them and have a GJ on the dashboard, no matter whether not we agree with some of their arguments. Some of the points are valid to me. However I’m not sure I find them any more intimidating than all sorts of street encounters during my life.

But an Italian friend who lives in London - with newly aquired British nationality after 30 years there - was pushed out of a queue in a supermarket the other day by a a man who said that “English people should go first”! That suggests things are not that joyful in the london suburbs either. People all over somehow seem to feel its ok to voice their opinions at the expense of others.


(Peter Goble) #4

@simonflys asks “how comfortable do you feel living in France at the moment?”

Like some others, I do feel more unsettled these days. It’s not so much Brexit, but the GJ’s (and media coverage of their grievances) have raised my awareness of the deep dissatisfaction some people feel about the disconnect between 'the metropolitan elite - real or supposed) and the rural poor (more real than I supposed or was able to recognise).

I don’ t feel personally threatened, but I do sense that my sense of entitlement to a relatively comfortable life in retirement in another EU state is not something I can or should take for granted; not even a little bit, because attitudes can change, and people don’t like to be taken for granted, not even a little bit.

I do display a yellow vest in the car, not for safe passage or anything tawdry, but because I am in solidarity with proletarian protest, and would - if I were french - join it. I have spoken to GJs (not through the car window) and their protests are simple and authentic: about the ignorance of the political classes, about pervasive financial precarity, about their children’s future…

My only consolation is that we can sense that the global situation is en marche, and not necessarily to Emanuel Macron’s drum?


(Ann Coe) #5

I have a GJ in the car because I have taken part in a protest when it was first started. However, I do feel that now the ‘movement’ has been taken over by other factions and has lost a lot of its credibility.
Here in rural France there is no local transport and in some instances work, shops, doctors, dentists and hospitals are far away.
We have no choice but to have a car, to quote one of my French friends " sans une voiture ici nous sommes morts"!


(Helen Wright) #6

The only demonstrations I have encountered have been totally peaceful…I haven’t felt threatened…I do have my yellow vest on display and 6 weeks later I would say that the vast majority of cars and vans and lorries in my area still have theirs on display too…

There are no doubt agitators in the crowds in the major cities…on both “sides”…I have been watching it closely as I admire the French for standing up…the yellow vest protests as far as I can tell are leaderless…and are not constrained by race or religion…I also heard that they are thinking of putting forward candidates for the Eu elections…???


(Warren Joiner) #7

Are You Bothered?
Or…how comfortable do you feel living in France in the current climate?

Am I bothered, Noop! Feel petty comfy. To lighten things up a bit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV1zK8zRCPo

Don’t have a GL on my dash board & certainly do not feel intimidated by them. When hasn’t any or all major European Countries not been in a bit of a pickle over the decades?


(Helen Wright) #8

Lol…”regardez mon visage…!”

x :smile:


(Warren Joiner) #9

:grinning: regardez mon visage…! j’ai un aire gené ? Quoi ?


(bob sivell) #10

I’d still rather be here than the UK


(Helen Wright) #11

“Est ce que vous d’apelle ma mere une pikey…???” x :smile:


(Simon Armstrong) #12

I live in France so it’s the things that happen here that affect me most… funnily enough :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


(Jane Williamson) #13

You do need a car to go to work, shop or for medical appointments here in the Clunysois,
We avoided going out on Saturdays as we do not agree with the violence which has taken over the protests.
The huge peage at Villefranche on the A6 autoroute was taken over and halted traffic between the north and south of France.
Our neighbour is a baker at a cafe at the entrance to the A6 at Macon south.
Their car park was taken over and they had no customers for an hour and a half and they left the car park in a dreadful state afterwards.
Affecting other people’s livelihoods is not going to make people feel kindly to the GJ’s.


(Simon Armstrong) #14

Feels like the world is going backwards at the moment? It’ll end up like the fiefdoms in ‘Game of Thrones’ - hopefully after my time…


(Warren Joiner) #15

Hey Simon,
where are you coming from? I can’t see it.


(Peter Bird) #16

Protests are still going on around here but all have been peaceful.

I don’t feel threatened in the least, the contrary actually.

Every country has it’s problems, i’m really glad i’m in France.


(Dave Sheriton) #17

I was surprised as part of a report on the protests that the Aude, where we live, is the second poorest area of France. In Limoux we have had the GJs around since the first weekend. They were quite active and disruptive to traffic the first weekend but since then they tend to just run the main roundabout like they are traffic lights. Hopefully they will have disappeared by the time we return from the UK in the New Year.

Never felt intimidated but their presence was getting a bit wearing by the time we came to the UK 10 days ago.


(Simon Armstrong) #18

Hi Peter! Me too - however it must be quite different in my area.

I stopped for fuel this morning and only half the pumps were working - the other half had their credit card slots glued over and displays sprayed red. Not exactly ‘passive’ behaviour but infantile nonetheless!:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’d still much rather be here than in the UK (for example!) - it’s just that I’ve felt really uneasy recently. Lots about the GJ movement is pretty xenophobic and anti foreign / immigrant…just like the UK…

I’m an immigrant…


(Dan Wood) #19

We were in Bordeaux last Saturday - it felt like a war zone.
We have been racially abused 3 times at different roundabouts because l refuse to stop and join the debate. 2 weekends ago l moved a brick and tyre blocking me from getting petrol at a supermarket pump and when l tried to leave was blocked by a woman telling me l wasn’t allowed ( I’m sure she wasn’t the owner of Super U). She told us to Fuck off back to England. Not tarring them all with the same brush but raw aggression is palpable in Langon and has been from the start of this manifestation.


(Simon Armstrong) #20

Hey Warren - Foix, Ariege 09 - about an hour South of Toulouse, near Andorra and Spain. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: