Which newspaper or news channel do you read/watch/listen to?

'Sure, it gets cold here but generally for far less time than it does in the UK' - Mark Rimmer

What utter rubbish! Ever been to Brittany, Normandy, The French Alps, The French Pyrenees ....and countless other areas / departments?

'....despite saving 10% on his tax bill by paying tax in France rather than the UK' - Mark Rimmer

....and yet more rubbish! Hilarious....

Mark, not denying you freedom of speech at all. I was simply responding to how and what you wrote.

Anyway, and I am sure there will be potentially plenty of other people wishing to tell you this so I shall save them the trouble, the WFP was not a benefit. It was a part of the pension fund, a winter supplement to the pension, it was also in line with other countries that give a winter supplement, but was always the meanest one of all. If it had been means tested then the very wealthy people in the UK who made such a joke of the fact they accepted it would not have been entitled to it. But being part of pensions it is given to all people equally unless they say they do not wish to receive it. If you saw the government discussion that led up to stopping it in some countries, then you will remember the suggestion that pensions may be frozen was included and never concluded, thus remains open. Many people are feeling conned and abused by government in respect of pensions already, just take a look at what they have done to women most recently as part of moving the goalposts.

My pension and earnings together maintain a life below the tax threshold too, even my wife's inconsistent income does not always keep our heads above water. There have been periods when we relied on family financial help even. Just a little thing like the WFP certainly does make a difference and I know all too well that we are better off than a few expats we have met, my OH is (trying to) sell some of their houses because they are so low even, and that enough has been said on SFN to see very convincingly that there are two sides to it. Firstly there is the principle, it was taken away on false pretences and despite European (not EU even) judicial review and secondly that it has deprived people of necessary income, some of whom actually did pay a sizeable portion of their winter fuel bill with it.

So no we are not kidding anybody.

Please don't try & take away my freedom of speech, Brian. Who are we kidding? Most benefits are means tested but the fuel allowance is not. It is 100 pounds a year & does not go far. Living in France is rarely a cost of living decision - if life was cheaper here we would see far more brits - though there are a few areas where money can be saved.

I read recently a letter from a man moaning about his loss of the benefit then added that he already had to pay 3800 pounds in top up health insurance per year (which he could obviously afford) but if he lived in the UK he would be 4000 pounds better off immediately.

Raymond seems to need his fuel allowance despite saving 10% on his tax bill by paying tax in France rather than the UK.

My earnings, Brian, put me below the tax threshhold in France, so your surprising sarcasm is misplaced. Sure, it gets cold here but generally for far less time than it does in the UK. But even I can fight off hypothermia without a government hand out.

So, everybody is as well off as Mark Rimmer! Well, well, now we know. When temperatures fall down well below zero it is an exception then? That trumped up 'evidence' that France is some kind of sub-tropical paradise was used to justify cutting it was OK then? That the European Court of Justice ruled that the means by which the decision was reached was wrong of course then? Mac's cartoon naturally hit the nail on the head and we ought to get on with life, sipping our wine sitting by the pool in bathing costumes - despite the -2°C we have where I live that must be exceptional after all. Mark, I have said it before but shall repeat it now, stop digging an ever deeper hole.

I have to admit that a cartoon digging at brits living in "warm" countries mirrors my view. I remember when the payment was introduced with TV adverts showing poor old people wrapped in blankets huddled round a single bar electric fire. It was to those people (like my late grandmother) who lived alone in a council flat warmed by a paraffin stove surrounded by stuff they had bought in a "rummage sale" that the payment was to help. I doubt that this image applies to Raymond or most brits who could afford to move here.

Simon, You're the one facinated by the Mail, you have labelled a few of us as readers of it as some kind of dig! As someone who is not I am now doing some research to ensure that my opinions are more rounded.Interesting that you actually ARE a Daily Mail reader!

I thought Gerald was referring to migrants - "The cartoonist, Mac, has portrayed these desperate people as rats." I would not have thought that there are many brits living here that are desparate!

Well Mark....you don't have to look very far to find out how Gerald (great post by the way!) comes to the conclusion that most Brits are racist - the Daily Mail says so - so it absolutely must be true !! :-) In fact. according to 'them', one in three Brits openly admits to being racist - tip of the iceberg......


Daily Mail - a wolf in sheeps' clothing - can't understand why you're so fascinated by it. You really should try The Beano - as you know, I love it!

No the Mail cartoon was aimed at those of us living in "warm" countries and contributed to us losing winter fuel allowance or at least turned public opinion against us. My wife reads mail on line and I am often obliged to quote other sources to correct their poor level of accuracy like e.g the Calais situation.

Now we are getting to the meat!

To answer Chris, I bring up the Mail as,in reply to some discussions I have read, anyone whose opinion varies from others seem to be allied with the Daily Mail. In fact, quite a few people who like to debate throw in the "must be a Daily Mail reader" bit on a regular basis. With regard to my comment about miners, I have my views but am aware that they are based on a mixture of media imputs & my own unique experience & have been formed, blended & sorted in my own little brain. So unless we are suddenly living in North Korea I will continue to free think. Needless to say that these days I do realise that the 3 guys did not necessarily represent all miners!

Gerald, why do you feel sorry for me? I have pointed out before on other posts that I have not actually read an english newspaper apart from the "Connexion" for at least 15 years. Before that it was the Telegraph, the FT & in my brief career as a truck driver, the Sun. I have not read the Mail so would not know its content very well - in fact I am surprised that so many of you DO know its content, considering none of you admit to reading it. But tell me, as I do not know, what percentage of its content is completely untrue, how much is assumed to be untrue because it does not fit your view of things & how much can only be true? Your last statement "The reason the Mail is so popular is because the majority of Brits are racist, not because it tells the truth; it is because it tells people what they wish to hear in order to reinforce their vile politics." Can I ask how you have come to that conclusion? Concerning the Mac cartoon reference, I have not seen it but could it not refer to those leaving a sinking ship? It is OK for Charlie Hebdo to print racist cartoons but well, that's different...

Do not forget that the Mail ran the cartoon of sunbathing expats by their pool with the caption "oh goody, here comes our winter fuel allowance" as the wine delivery van pulled up.

I watch BBC for news and read Private Eye for comment; online for French and World news

I second that, Gerald.

Hard hitting Gerald but straight to the heart of it and all you say can be endorsed many times over. Add to that the hypocrisy of Jonathan Harmsworth, the present Rothermere, one of the UK's leading tax dodgers. In the UK he has 'non-dom' but has never denied claiming tax concessions as a 'non-dom' on the grounds that his father lived in Paris. He normally resides at Ferne Park, a very large stately home in Wiltshire built for him by architect Quinlan Terry. However the British state recognises his 'home' as a large 18 century chateau in the hamlet of Sainte Croix, here in the Dordogne between the bastide towns of Beaumont and Monpazier. A gardener told some friends that Harmsworth has hardly ever been there in the many years he has worked there, certainly never lived there and on his rare visits is usually there for no more than three or four days. That is the kind of person who 'hangs out' with the other popular purveyors of truth, Cameron and Osborne, who we all love so very much. Believing the Mail or anything to do with it is beyond all reason.

Wish I did not have to agree with you Gerald , but I do - wholeheartedly.

I think my (then) wife's taking the DM was the beginning of our relationship's demise but even in those far off days I occasionally read the Daily Telegraph because it was well written.

However now I (Unrepentant Guardian enthusiast )am happily ensconced with a like minded French Socialist and Liberation, Mediapart etc are the 'journals' of choice, if for no other reason that it keeps a balance to the utterances of many friends here who are far more to the left than us - even Jeremy Corbyn might be startled at some of the 'red 'views around these parts ... not to mention the seemingly sane people who have turned their communes into Front National enclaves.

You have to say this for the French- they really know how to do politics...

If you do not think the Daily Mail tells lies then I am sorry for you. It has told lies since its inception. It supported Franco and it supported Hitler until we went to war. It kept up a barrage of lies about the German Jewish refugees who were fleeing the third Reich in exactly the same way as it has kept up a barrage of lies about the people who are at the moment fleeing genocide in the horn of Africa, total war in Syria and the anarchistic and corrupt mess that we have left in Afghanistan. The cartoonist, Mac, has portrayed these desperate people as rats. The Mail, unlike other papers, has remained in the hands of one family,the extreme right wing Rothermeres and their views have not changed over the decades. I suggest you read Jon Danzig's very good exposes of what the Mail is currently getting up to in the lies and dirty tricks departement (Google will point you to his articles) and re-read John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath" to see repeated currently in Europe what took place in America in the late twenties. The reason the Mail is so popular is because the majority of Brits are racist, not because it tells the truth; it is because it tells people what they wish to hear in order to reinforce their vile politics.

Not sure where you are coming from or where you are going with all that, Mark. I, too, sometimes look at the Mail online because I am aware that many British read it and even believe unquestioningly all that is printed therein, so I need to know what other people think. As for miners, I come from a coal mining backgropund and my opinion is that if any of my family had heard about what those three scum did and said in your taxi, they would have got the punishment they deserved and would have been sent to Coventry by their colleagues.

Reading? I subscribe to Guardian online but often read the Times as well; in France I buy Le Monde occasionally but have a subscription to Depêche du Midi which carries all the regional and local news as well as the improtant national and international news. It is [slightly] left leaning but very balanced in its editorials and thanks to the page 2/3 feature "L'Evenement" I am becoming educated about social, political and cultural issues in France.

TV: usually TV3 news, BBC or Sky news, depending which is on at the time. And of course, best of all, Radio 4.

I take La Gazette in Montpellier, with an occassional Midi Libre, watch BFMTV and iTV non stop,local and National News on 123, then zap France 24 in English, Sky and BBC News . BBC on the internet . Canard enchaine is my new vice,. Guardian and Independent online . I try to listen to every point of view and form opinions that are not just prejudices, but it isn't always so .

On TV, france24, BBC News and Channel 4.
Online, France24, Reuters, Le Monde, Guardian, Daily Telegraph, RFI

Le Figaro, La Dépêche du Midi and the Times, all online,

For TV news France 2 and sometimes France 3 plus BBC News website. We don't have UK tv.

Guardian, Independent, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Financial Times, Die Zeit, FAZ, L'Obs, Figaro, L'Express, and any other online newspaper I happen to come across, am able to understand and have time to read - pretty much like Brian really. Same with TV. I have UK TV at home, but also watch French newsfeeds, LCI, BFMTV, France24, Arte, etc, much the same as with German TV newsfeeds, occasional Dutch, Italian or Spanish TV, Chinese state TV. Interesting to gain a wider picture, even if I don't always fully understand the reports.

On and I left out the satirical Canard Enchaîné et Private Eye, as and when.