someone once wisely said comparisons are odious - I would say pointless
Why is that the case in your opinion ?
Surely the quote is “caparisons are odorous”
Ah but surely it’s comparing caparsons is odious, because that would be xenophobic…
Nevertheless, are they really smelly?
Those that decorated my daughter’s horse required regular washing…
With apologies for not having logged on for a while, and not having read all the responses, I think this is an excellent idea. I find French politics fascinating and for those of us who live here much more relevant than UK politics, whether or not we have a vote. I organise discussion evenings from to time for our local Franco/britannique association. Last year at the time of the Liz Truss fiasco I chose as a topic - le chaos politique - à l’anglaise ou à la française? We have roughly equal numbers of French and British and I tell people to feel free to use either language (or both) . My argument was that the British chaos of 2022 was a short term problem as there would be an election in 2024 and everyone would forget Ms Truss. On the other hand, here in France we have a president elected for a five year term with no parliamentary majority for his own or any other party. This means that there is no possibility of cohabitation as happened under Mitterand (with Chirac as PM) and under Chirac (with Jospin as PM). The 2002 changes that tied presidential terms to parliamentary ones were intended to stop this risk but they did not foresee the present position.
For those who obsess about Brexit, which as you say is a fact we have to live with, it is worth noting that in both 2017 and 2022 Macron was pretty much the only serious candidate to be whole heartedly in favour of the EU. Both Melanchon and Le Pen have varied between being lukewarm and anti.
The effect of Macron’s victory in 2017 was to emasculate LR and le PS and thus, unintentionally, to strengthen the extremes.
The 2027 election will be very interesting and important for all of us living in France, whether we personally have a vote or not.
I think that’s a rather broad swish of your generalising paintbrush there.
Personally, I’ve always taken an interest in French politics. The fact that I can do little to sway one way or the other “aux urnes” is irrelevant, but as the politics of the moment affect me directly, I like to remain aware of what’s going on.
The roses, whilst eminently still prickly, and perfectly capable of giving you a nice dose of tetanus, smell better in my dung heap here in central France than in the UK.
That said, there are some definite wrong’uns IMHO in French politics, and the current trend seems to be veering towards the populist movements, à la Salvini and the latest Italian incumbent.
There are very few threads about French politics.
It’s amusing that many here are outraged that until very recently they’ve not been able to vote in a country they haven’t lived in for more than 15 years (and swear never to return to) whilst at the same time they have no interest in obtaining French citizenship enabling them to vote in a GE that directly impacts their everyday lives far more than what happens in the UK.
Interesting Tim. I actually feel that it is my local mayor and commune that impact on my life, not what happens in Paris, therefore I have no interest in voting in a French general election. I would like to vote in local elections again as pre-Brexit. And what happens in the UK definitely impacts on my everyday life even though I have not lived there for 16 years. Somehow, though I’ve said it several times before, the message doesn’t seem to get through. Decisions in the UK directly affect the quality of my life here in France because my pension comes from the UK and is now worth considerably less than when I first came here, as a direct result of decisions taken by UK governments.
Good idea on the discussion evenings Jonathan. I’m sure it benefits all participants. Especially if lubricated with glass or wine or two. However, notwithstanding language skills, these are complex issues. I chat with my French pals on a superficial level on both French and UK politics but it’s hard to get traction. They don’t care about the UK and their views on France are well entrenched, which I learn from.
Your optimism on Truss is admirable, but I don’t think she’s a transient phenomenon. She’s (and her Britannia Unleashed pals) are just the current faces of a more serious malaise. I wonder if French people can understand all the nuances of this, no more than I could understand the, possibly even more complex, issues in France. Personally, I think it’s all gone to pot since Giscard’s time
As to Truss resurgent, I enjoyed this clip.
And I agree with you wholeheartedly on that. As anyone who has discussed French politics will know, it can get very animated in a French social setting if the topic of discussion turns to politics, and that animation may dissuade people from contributing.
That, and utter ignorance, whether deliberate or through lack of sufficient language comprehension, or even total apathy, may well be other contributing factors to the lack of French political discussion on this site.
There is such a seemingly complete and total focus on Brexit and present Tory politics that I don’t think there’s room at present for a wider discusion.
That is why I religiously watch french mainstream news, any address by the president or members of his government because its the only way I am going to have any sort of understanding of french politics. I don’t feel sufficiently educated with the history of France and it’s politics either so prefer to make my own way, listen and learn rather than get in a spat with someone and their views. My old french neighbours and close friends and I never talked politics, even on council for 13 years we never discussed personal politics or views.
Interesting article here about French intelligence working with Egypt.
Interesting article however I have no sympathy with or for the Journlist. As the old saying goes Play with fire and you get burnt. She knew or could be expected to know the consequences when trying to play with the spooks.
A very murky world, and not one to engage in lightly.
It is important that journalists are able to report dealings of dubious ethics without fear of state retribution - otherwise we become like Russia or China.
Agreed, but she was possibly somewhat naïve to think that there would be no repercussions for herself. Revealing spec ops counter-intelligence operations in today’s world is almost guaranteed to get you into trouble, irrespective of the reasons for doing it (freedom of the press, public interest, etc). The French government has been criticised by Reporters Sans Frontières for its apparent curbs on freedom of journalistic speech, protection of sources and surveillance targeting of journalists, but in reality, it isn’t something new, e.g. the Rainbow Warrior affair occurred under a socialist president’s watch. The more recent “guns for hire” with elements of the secret services forming part of an assassination group and various contract wet work are alleged not to be part of a government movement, but the people involved are current, or former, secret service operatives, which is eminently embarrassing. Everything’s fine (because everyone is doing it), until you get found out, so to speak.
So is France actually somewhat like Russia and China, where personal freedom may suffer if you reveal crimes by the government?