April 16, 2006

The way politics should be conducted…?

From AP:

A French MP ended a six-week hunger strike yesterday after a Japanese company promised not to close a factory in his district. Jean Lassalle, who has lost 46lbs (21kg) in the protest, was taken to hospital as the government went into talks with the Japanese company Toyal. Mr Lassalle, 50, started his hunger strike on March 7 to press Toyal to keep its factory, which makes a product used in car paint, in the town of Accous. The company reached an agreement yesterday during talks with the interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, saying it would develop the site in Accous, the ministry said.

Firstly, what a brilliant story. I can't tell how big a news story this has been in France, but I suspect if something similar happened over here (I'm thinking George Galloway's a likely candidate) the media coverage would be huge.

Secondly, it's a shame that France's economic nationalism is taking hold even further. The country's politicians seem to be lining up more long-term pain for themselves, seemingly with the backing of much of the country's media and its people. How many successful (practically, not academically) economists has France produced?

Thirdly, if this was America the whole problem would be solved simply by the MP ensuring some tax-breaks for the company, and if it was the UK the MP would get the company to sponsor a school and return the favour with knighthoods and lordships.

Fourthly, a paint-product company? Wow, how many jobs are at stake because of a product used in car paint? I'd love to know.

And finally, should we be encouraging this kind of proactive politicking here in the UK? Should we demand to see the Clare Shorts and Boris Johnsons of this world going on hunger strike for the causes of Iraq and polygamy? I think it would make politics far more interesting. Imagine the hustings meetings before the general election:

Constituent: "Mr Sutton-Sloane, what have you done for the constituency of Badgerington in the last five years"

MP: "Well I've shaved my testicles for poor people, drunk rat urine for a cancer charity and abstained from sex for five years!"

Constituent: "What cause was the abstinence for?"

MP: "Ah that was simply because my loyal wife is over the hill!"

I know I'd vote!

- 5 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. 150 jobs at stake
    and I do agree with you France is a gonner

    16 Apr 2006, 14:57

  2. Christopher Rossdale

    Disgusting when politicians start representing both their constituents and the people, rather than business and their own interests. It's the end of democracy!

    16 Apr 2006, 18:11

  3. Business is what people want, if France does not learn to be competitive and instead depends on politicians intent on killing themselves for the sake of jobs it certainly will not help in the long run.

    16 Apr 2006, 19:03

  4. Christopher Rossdale

    It might be if that wonderful thing they call trickle-down worked, but it doesn't – and so the skewness of income rises, wages fall in relation to interest, workers rights disappear, all in 'our best interests'. Funny how the person saying that tends to be the one that's going to make the most money.
    Once again, greater economic risk becomes imposed on the lower classes, while those imposing the economic risk are protected from the market by the sort of political and economic advantages that such wealth affords.

    16 Apr 2006, 23:39

  5. So you would rather have politicians begging for firms to stay in one location and not move where prices are cheaper and there is more benefit for them becausse you think that only rich people benefit from trade?
    Its time to alter your views, businesses are not perfect but they certainly are essential to whoever it may be. Trickle down does not come into the picture here, if france fails to be competitive even the rich will face problems as their firms will go bust in the wake of competitions (its already happening with shoes in Italy)
    I don't know why people are against businesses? Its not like poor people cannot benefit from them, and they are the reason Europe enjoys a high standard of living. Economies depend on output, if no one is producing anything who will benefit? I can understand you may not like the need to record increasing profits, but that is a self-sustaining force in itself. Yes businesses can be unethical – but you cant generally conclude that they all are useless to the working class.

    17 Apr 2006, 02:29

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