Macron under fire for telling jobseeker 'cross the street' to get work

Shades of Tebbit’s “On your bike!”

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but surely if you’re looking for work then any work within reason is preferable to being unemployed. Macron might have been tactless but he’s saying what a lot of employed people think.


Macron’s popularity continues to plummet and with comments like this it’s easy to see why. To tell a young jobseeker that getting a job is as simple as ‘crossing the road’ after the guy has spent months trying is more than just tactless, it shows a complete lack of connection with the general public especially when he was elected on a promise to cut unemployment which so far hasn’t really happened.

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I’m not so sure I agree, Tim. Perhaps Macron’s remarks might have helped the lad to realise that writing letters is a less fruitful tactic than putting himself about personally where entry-level jobs are more likely to be available? Any job-experience is better than none, lends purpose to life, and grows one’s circle of acquaintance with the wider world, widening opportunity.

Better, IMO, for Macron to offer a constructive suggestion albeit it crisp and in wake-up style than to mouth political platitudes like some other politicians’ blander brush-offs?

Yes, although Tebbit did not strictly tell people to “get on their bikes” but recounted the tale of his father’s search for work - which did, indeed, involve the eponymous mode of transport. ISTR it didn’t do much for Tebbit’s popularity either.

It’s a bit of a tricky one - at one level Tebbit and Macron are right, it probably is easier to get a menial job waiting on table or in construction by turning up and asking rather than sending a CV.

But, from the reports I’ve seen, we don’t know whether this was appropriate for the young man - he might be a graduate with a good degree trying to gain employment in a sphere where written applications and a decent CV are de rigueur.

That said one (perhaps) would suspect, after months of sending one’s CV to prospective employers, something to be amiss, that further, similar, approaches might result in the same outcome and to seriously consider changing tack in some way.

On another level, though, Macron is clearly a driven and talented individual - I doubt that he has experienced any serious obstacles to “getting what he wants”. There is a considerable danger that, not having experienced much in the way of resistance to or failure in his inexorably upward path it is rather difficult for him to relate to lesser mortals.

In this I think his critics have a point. While the encounter might have been too brief if Macron wants to actually understand whether it is France or the young man who has the problem he (or his aides) should have spent more time exploring his situation.

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I’m not a great Macron/Thatcherite fan but I think his comments were a reflection of what a lot of people feel. French are basically a lazy bunch not ready to accept change so Macron’s attempt at the ‘get on yer bike’ or ‘Go West young man’ approach didn’t go down well. Maybe the French job-seeking whingers will take the initiative and make more of a effort to find a job. There are jobs out there as job vacancies of all sorts are still unfilled even in this remote area.
I was made redundant twice in France and bounced back by getting off my a**e and looking for work.

I’ve never had much patience for people who expect work to come to them. To get a job in my chosen career I had to move away from my home area as soon as I qualified, I had no choice. I later moved to a different country, my choice that time but it was to get the life I wanted. Thanks to Facebook I get an insight into many of my school friends’ lives, those who stayed put and others who moved to work. Those who got on their bikes seem to have had the more interesting lives.

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I suppose the question is - was this cause or effect; those with the gumption to “get on their bike” are probably also the ones to make the most of the opportunities that arise.

It’s why migrants are usually have a positive impact on economies - being motivated to move, sometimes 1000’s of miles, for work one tends to also be motivated to find a job on arrival and to work hard at keeping it.

That is, of course, why the locals sometimes resent the influx.

It’s the way the message was delivered rather the message itself that has irked so many a bit like the stick given to Boris Johnson when he was talking about the burka.

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Is there a nice or tactful way to tell the electorate to extract digit and make an effort ?

Thanks Paul, another very balanced and thoughtful comment, makes me blush at my own, and to resolve to do better on the critical nursery-slopes :persevere: :thinking:

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He’s the President, if that’s the best he can do then the country is in trouble.:grinning:

Seems like.

That’s probably why he’s becoming very unpopular I suppose ?

He as got his work cut out trying to sort out the mess that previous presidents have left him, a very thankless job being the President of France at this moment in time.

All high office is fairly thankless - but, like most other politicians, he wanted the job.

He was a gardener apparently, and this is one response,

The French gardening federation said the media focus on Mr Jahan’s story had produced a stream of job offers and appealed to him to get in touch. The head of the federation joked that the office had turned into a job centre.

Cutting public services and cutting funding isn’t the way to win votes, creating jobs is.

He was hoping that jobs would be created with all his measures in place, does not seem to be working so-far, and it could all go tits up for him, even the German economy is slowing down so what chance does that give him.

I’ve been reading through comments from the general public…since the Press report… interesting stuff…

Many folk support what Macron was trying to get across to the young man.

This one reckons that Macron was saying…" if you cannot get a job in what you want to do… do not hesitate to try something else…"

Seems good advice… surely that is better than being unemployed :thinking:

“Macron a fait comprendre à ce garçon que s’il ne trouvait pas de boulot dans ce qu’il voulait faire ,il ne devait pas hésiter à faire autre chose ! j’en ai connu …et plus d’un passé de la pâtisserie à la peinture ,passé d’un dut de Physique à prof de sport ! bref faut reconnaître ,faut pas hésiter à s’adapter ! mais c’est peut être plus facile pour certains que pour d’autres .”