Are You Bothered? Yet.....?


(Anna Watson) #41

Dan, everyone who lives as part of society and interacts with their fellow human beings has to accept that there are limits to their freedom of choice. Society wouldn’t function if everyone did exactly what they wanted to do when they wanted, within the limits of what’s allowed by law. There are conventions, and when you break a convention it tends to upset people. And one convention in France is, that when a recognised protest is ongoing, then even if you don’t support it, you do show respect. Because in France, the people have a right to protest. Today it’s them. Tomorrow it could be you that has a grievance and wants to make a point, and you have the right to expect people to allow you to make your point, even if they don’t actively support you.
You say you were “racially abused” for ignoring the protestors, removing their barricades. I suggest that quite simply you upset them by being disrespectful, and you’d have been abused regardless of nationality. Yes you have freedom of choice, but if you choose to go against established convention, on your head be it.

(Dan Wood) #42

"I’m happy to keep my thoughts to myself " -Ah Ha! Obviously not on this site or on this delicate subject - You rightly have a view, as do l, and a perfect right to express it. That’s what l do when confronted with a GJ, even at the risk of making myself unpopular. Fortunately Madame Wood, who comes from generations of ‘Paysans’, is far more articulate and vocal in her views about the extreme violence perpertrated in the name of the GJ against property and the police. She also takes exception to being asked for a ‘Donation’ and expresses her views very forcefully which makes life interesting to say the least.

In our part of the world the majority do not display a GJ and those family and friends that do, do it as an act of solidarity, not to get smooth passage through the roadblocks. Our Roundabouts have now been cleared of GJ by the CRS and their temporary shelters removed. They have now taken refuge on private land adjacent and their numbers are diminishing.

We used to go into Bordeaux every Saturday, a pleasure that has recently been spoilt by the fires, violence and rioting. Our friends and family who live there are all French and not one of them believes “That’s how it is in France”, on the contrary they are becoming increasingly fed up with it all and are losing their patience with the GJ.

And finally, and so there is no mistake :wink::wink::wink:this is ‘sarcasm’ which of course everyone knows is the lowest form of wit - I want to thank you for explaining ‘how it is here in France’, most kind.

(Anna Watson) #43

Well, there are two issues aren’t there - firstly the right to protest, and secondly, how the protesting is done.

It’s perfectly legitimate to be angry about the violence and destruction.

But that is a separate issue from expressing solidarity. As I understand it, the protest you refused to acknowledge wasn’t violent.

I don’t know that it’s about “how it is here in France”. I think it’s more about human nature. Is France fundamentally different from anywhere else, except that maybe there is more solidarity in society than eg in the UK? I think that in any society, if one group has a legitimate grievance, then everyone else who is a part of that society, should show respect for that. Otherwise, that group will perceive your attitude to be: “So what if society is unfair, so what if you’re trying to change things to make things fairer all round - I am all right Jack and I don’t need anything changed, you lot can jolly well keep on struggling for all I care.” At the end of the day, we are all part of the same society, we should all want everyone to have a fair deal, and let’s not forget that you too will benefit from what the GJs have achieved.

That’s how I see it, and I am putting forward my view for you to consider or ignore or argue with, I am not explaining how it is in France.

(Karen Peckham) #44

I am really bothered - about Brexit…but the Jilly Jones (as someone called them…love it) are awesome and it is a damn shame that the UK don’t follow their example…I’ve got caught up twice with them in the last few weeks…first time I was dying for a wee…sat at the blockade (near Melles 31 ) for over 20 minutes thinking OMG I have to go…finally they came up the line towards me…I said I was on their side…signed their petition…they had a large lorry blocking the roundabout…was desperate de faire pis pis…they directed me up the middle lane and waved me through with lots of klaxoning et bisous …et voila I went and found a loo pretty quickly!!! je suis de tout coeur avec eux!

(Peter Bird) #45

I am French, like your good lady so I do feel slightly qualified to express an opinion. You can either dismiss it or agree with it, quite frankly, I don’t give a monkeys.
Whatever, i’m sure you are happy to be paying less for your carburant tho’ im sure the increase in the SMIC is something you’ve never had to live with ?
The French, whether they are typical or not in your region will continue to protest as they choose cos’ Macron knows he can’t do much to stop them. He has been made to look pretty stupid and the concessions to the police were a desperate attempt to save the nation from further in-fighting.
I hope the GJs stop their protests and instead try some dialogue but a lot of people out there are pretty fed up with the way their spending power has been cut over the past decades, Macron pushed them a bit to far.
I’m sure, by your tone that the financial plight of many French are light years away from your personal situation so i’m not surprised by your attitude.

(Timothy Cole) #46

For the first week or so both our youngest children had to take detours to work as all the major roundabouts were blocked, that’s what I meant by ‘worst of the protests’.

The GJ’s protests and the partial climb down by Macaroon offer a ‘snapshot’ of the state the country is in right now. In the space of a year support for EM has halved and he is now more unpopular than Trump, yet again France is in ‘limbo land’ with an angry public and a president who has no idea what to do next.

(Simon Armstrong) #47

It seems to me France elects a President, they pretty quickly turn on him when he starts to implement his election promises, them they change him. ‘President of France’ seems to have always been a poisoned chalice…

Has France ever had a popular President - and if so, how come he was popular?

(Peter Goble) #48

Most SFN readers will be familiar with Niccolo Machiavelli’s famous snippet of political philosophy, perhaps best exemplified by Maggie T, which runs as follows (the bit in brackets is my own rendering:

(A prince, when deciding which style of leadership is best suited to an orderly society: that he should be loved, or feared) would best be both loved and feared. But since the two rarely come together, anyone compelled to choose will find greater security in being feared than in being loved.)


Modern politics seems besotted with the idea of popularity: physical attractiveness, youth, ‘charisma’ which has come to mean superficial charm, a glamorous spouse and a couple of pre-pubescent children: the ‘iconic’ marriage. And in an unshakeably class-ridden society, the uniquely crafted “common touch” (e.g the glottal terminal ‘t’ of Tony Blair: the shirt-sleeved breeziness of David Cameron.

The policies are designed to match the image, and everyone knows, or should have realised by now, that - like today’s consumer goods - they are dressed-up tat designed to be discarded in no time at all, in favour of a new set.

So much seems obvious. But the popularity trope is a stale formula of which I think almost everyone is sick to death. Do we need more of it, or do we need a turn-around in the seat of voter consciousness?

(Timothy Cole) #49

A bit like the vote for Trump, Macron was the least worst option, Hollande was ‘anyone but Sarkozy’ so maybe you have to back to Mitterrand for the last time France had a ‘popular’ president.

(Michael Archer) #50

Quote from a GJ.

Macrons grandiloquence about threats to civilisation speech.

“Our elites are talking about the end of the world when we are talking about the end of the Month”

(Paul Flinders) #51

I’m not quite so sure…

If anything recent politics has been driven by what people do not  want: Macron won because he wsn’t Le Pen, Trump won (in part) because he wasn’t Hillary.

Even Brexit was voted for  in part because it was a vote against Tory party policies for the previous 6 years - I mean, who wouldn’t vote for more money for the NHS, education or housing?

(Ann Coe) #52

There is also a culture out there that is based around a persons looks.

My French partner’s son Matt is 30 years old, he has lived in Paris all of his life. Speaking to him and his friends ‘looks are all important’. X is too moche, Y doesn’t have the right image, blah blah …

Briefly, I call them the ‘mouton generation’ and we have had some lively discussions based around this blindly following on like sheep.

Even music, we were listening to some Janis Joplin at his dad’s, ‘don’t like her she’s too ugly so I can’t listen to her music’, whereas ’ Mariah Carey is tops because she looks right’ ! :dizzy_face:

(Véronique Langlands) #53

There are a lot of superficial, silly people about unfortunately.

(Peter Goble) #54

@ptf wrote: “If anything recent politics has been driven by what people do not want: Macron won because he wasn’t Le Pen…”

I take your point, Paul.

One of the reasons I voted for Corbyn’s leadership was because he is the antithesis of the suave, ‘polished’, Saville-row suited, Oxbridge-educated elites who bestride British politics. But it’s not really a very sound reason for a choice, it’s not dissimilar to the reasons for voting Trump, or LePen.

As I said, I take your point :thinking:

(Peter Bird) #55

I didn’t vote for Macron but against le Pen.

I blame that Welsh woman, Mrs Fillon for the state of the country. It was her working illegally for her hubby which put the kybosh on Francois Fillon being the next President. Fillon advocated similar thigs to Macron but more moderately.

Yes Mitterand, affectionately known as ‘tonton’ was the last semi-popular President. It’s thanks to him in at least some part that France enjoys a decent infrastructure today (IMO of course).

(stella wood) #56

Must say, I fancied Fillon myself… maybe wrong, but I felt he would do a good job… drat and double drat…:roll_eyes:

(Peter Bird) #57

He would have been the favourite to take over from Hollande but for Penelope putting a spanner in the works. Fillon refused to stand down to allow another party leader to take them into the election. Alain Juppé was waiting in the wings but didn’t push for the leadership.

(David GAY) #58

Most of the violence in the Miner’s Strike was caused by the police

(Alec Gray) #59

The GJ’s want more / cheaper goods and services but at a lower cost to themselves. How does that work?

The GJs were not elected, have no leadership and conflicting demands among the factions. How does that work?

The GJ’s have unleashed anarchistic violent forces that have damaged businesses, small and large, and damaged national monuments, and have attacked the security forces that protect us all. How does that work.

The GJ’s have dedicated huge resources to protests, that inconvenience, disrupt and offend others. How many GJ’s dedicate the same resources voluntarily to the benefit of community the rest of the year? How does that work?

(Helen Wright) #60

All I’ve seen is GJs from all walks of life and of all age groups dedicating their own time to making a difference through protest…what huge resources do you mean…???

And surely if a government has to resort to brutality to stifle legitimate questioning and dissent amongst its own people then there is something inherently wrong with that government…???

And what is wrong with wanting cheaper goods and better services and a better quality of life and a means to take care of family…??? The people and our beautiful planet are the value of everything…We are the value of all that is…

And the people are waking up…and not just in France…

“France is not for sale” I read on one banner…

I agree…same as I agree that the nhs is not for sale…in amongst all the drone drama at Gatwick airport it was bought out by the French…

And now in uk we’ve got the delusional Gavin Williamson on about empire again…ask any normal human being anywhere on the planet…they/we don’t want war…!

I really think it’s time to stand together globally as human beings…one people…