All 4 entries tagged France

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August 20, 2007


Writing about web page

Hi folks,
this is a belated entry to let you all know that I am back in Franceland. I already miss Warwick terribly, and that even though I know that I’m going to be coming back soon! [actually for a week-end before term starts!]
Here in France, things go on as planned, and I’m ok.
I don’t really know when my account is going to expire and when I won’t be able to write entries in here any longer, so I’ll give an address (inexistant so far) where I’ll put the sequel to this blog when I can’t edit it any longer! (I’m actually quite surprised it still let me write this!) Here it is:
Hope all is well for you, I love you and I’m missing you.

May 20, 2007

Excellent PR stunt.

The very controversial new president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, is manipulating the media with quite an impressive ability. And, I’d say, has done so for quite a while now.
His latest PR stunt is quite twisted: right after the election, he decided to take a leave – for a “well-deserved rest”, and to “inhabit the presidential function”. Bang. Controversy all over the media in France, and the socialists just go for it. Scandalous; where does the money come from – and when it turns out it’s not the taxpayer’s but an industrial’s – has there been traffic of influences? Truly enough, the amount spent during these days was quite high (I can’t remember the exact figures, but it’s not very relevant anyway). And true, it is quite weird that a newly-elected president leaves the country right after the election. But it is entirely within his rights, all the more so as he was not invested yet.
What are the real consequences of this controversy? Something that, I’m very much afraid, we’ll have to endure during the next five years to say the least. Media that are focused on the person – the president himself – and not on the policy he seeks to implement. They fell for it this time, and also did before and during the campaign, when all you could hear was that he was a dangerous man, quick to lose his temper etc. – and the much mediatised divorce from Cécilia. Talking about her, weirdly enough, she reappears in the front of the scene – and guess what? the media don’t fail to notice and say it.
When the media focus on the person, instead of on his actions and policy, we enter a very dangerous society; and the cult of personality is only one step ahead. An example – about slavery. This year is the 200th aniversary of the abolition of slavery; and Sarkozy, as he should, attended the ceremony (note he didn’t attend the ceremony for the end of World War II, which is a bank holiday in France) – the media picked up on the fact that he had condemned “repentance” as “self-hatred” during the campaign, and insisted on the fact that he contradicted himself. Instead of looking at Sarkozy’s actions, once more, they focused on the person, taking his words about repentance as unalterable truth.
Now – it is true that the personality of a president is important – especially when world politics as concerned; but focusing on it is a very, very slippery slope.

May 07, 2007

The future of France

Writing about web page,12-0@2-3208,31-906324@51-906165,0.html

Disclaimer: all this blog, including this entry, reflects my opinion. I appreciate that some don’t agree with me, and I certainly hope I got my facts right. Correct me where I’m wrong.

When I thought about this particular entry, I wanted to give it a title that said bugger, only stronger. I stopped short of using a certain four-letter word. So what triggered my announcement? Simply a figure: 53.06%.
That’s how much of the French population voted for the (very) right-wing candidate to presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy. Why is this bad? Let me introduce you to the person:
  • Recently, he rejected the heritage of May ‘68, and its participants – including social progress.
  • During the campaign, he defended the idea of a “gene” for homosexuality, paedophilia, etc. – saying some people are intrinsically bad. Even though, to my knowledge, he didn’t mention it, cleansing is not far away.
  • How will it happen? Kärcher – that is one word that will go down in history with him. On a visit in Parisian suburbs when he was the chief of police a couple of years ago, he declared he intented to clear off the “scum” with a “Kärcher”, designating by scum a part of the youth. This is believed to have led to the riots from 2005.
  • He believes in “chosen immigration”, and sees nothing wrong in arresting a grandfather who is an illegal immigrant (so far, nothing wrong) in front of his granddaughter’s bloody school
  • Under his rule as chief of police, the number of violent crimes has gone down a bit – but the violence rate up. Now I’m no expert, but if it’s not meddled with figures, then the violence must come from people who uphold the law. Or are supposed to.
  • He has taken a lot of ideas from the French BNP.
  • He is known for a quick temper.

Now, what is the future of France? Well look at the pictures on the link. That happened right after Sarkozy was elected. And you know the worse part? People knew it would happen – and lots of policemen were sent. Look at picture eight in particular. Last night, over a hundred cars burnt in Paris (source – france2).
So that is where France is going. Violence. And escalation. Sweepstake as to when the newly-elected president will decide to take “special powers”? Not that there’s much to win.
Sarkozy will not celebrate the end of WW2 tomorrow – he is going on a retreat to “inhabit” the post of President. Where? Oh, just in Corse – where another ambition-driven (I nearly wrote lunatic) ruler comes from – Napoléon.

Last night, for the first time in my life, I was ashamed to be French.

January 03, 2007

Vote par procuration

As most of you should know, France holds presidential elections this year. We also vote MPs into office, right after that – which would make me vote 4 times. However, the ballots are held during term 3, which prevents me from voting myself.
Fortunately, there is the vote par procuration a procedure allowing someone I design to vote in my stead. So I went to the police station (where it is done normally) yesterday. The policewoman answers “We haven’t had the instructions yet, we can’t do it”... Which totally annoys me.
But it gets worse: normally they already can (as the mayor’s office told me today), so I guess the reason why I couldn’t is just someone unwilling to do the paperwork.
I find it scandalous to hinder, small however the way may be, people to vote, in a democracy which is allegedly encouraging them to do so.
I don’t know yet whether I’ll be able to vote at all – I think I still may do the necessary procedures in the French embassy, but I couldn’t find any in Brum, so I would have to go to London for that. Not being sure of the result either.
Freaking red tape.

EDIT: finally I will be able to use that means to vote soon; what happened is that the police station seemingly did not have the paperwork when I got there (doubtful, but hey, let’s accept that much) and got it two days later, so I could do it before I left France. Surprisingly, though, I was not asked for ID (I reckon this is not the way the normal procedure would go…).
Whether it is the police station’s fault or the administrative services’, does not matter much – there have been hindrances to a civic process (i.e. voting) and this is still scandalous.

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