What future for France?

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What future for France?

Post by tocyvi on Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:38 pm

In August, a rather over-excited and slightly premature French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici welcomed “the end of the recession in the French economy”, with a half per cent quarter-on-quarter growth in April to June, its best result in two years.

Oh how he must wish he’d kept his mouth shut. Today’s Guardian carries a salutory lesson for politicians who jump on one set of figures to justify a hugely optimistic statement:

“François Hollande's beleaguered socialist government was under increased pressure to boost the eurozone's second largest economy after a collapse in manufacturing orders tonight left it on the cusp of another recession.

A survey of French manufacturers found that output contracted and businesses shed jobs in November in response to the fastest slowdown in new orders since April, accentuating the single currency bloc's sluggish recovery. The services sector also declined, potentially sending the country sliding back into recession after having only emerged from one in the second quarter of 2013”


Hollande, who holds the dubious privilege of being France’s most unpopular President since records began, looks increasingly like a fresh-faced teacher facing class 5C on his first day at school since rushing out of college, waving his newly acquired certificate in the air. He really doesn’t have a clue what to do about…..well, about just about everything. He has made so many U-turns, he must be dizzier than that well-known creature, the Oozlum bird, which, when startled, flies round in ever-decreasing circles until finally disappearing up its own ........

It’s invariably better to have a misguided leader who commits to one unerring path rather than one who flip-flops back and forth. Hollande seems to have no idea whatsoever about how he will mend France’s broken economy and if he does inadvertently stumble across a vaguely good idea, he jettisons it in less time than it takes to swallow a petit vin blanc.

He demonstrates with admirable aplomb the difficulties that face an incoming president who can regurgitate mantras from the socialist manifesto of the 70’s but has not an inkling of an idea about how to turn these into some semblance of an action plan. The fact that he has managed to ally the right and left of French politics in universal condemnation speaks volumes about his utter inability to govern.

The most serious concern in all of this, is that voters, increasingly disillusioned after witnessing successive failures (for different reasons) in Sarkozy and Hollande, are turning to the Front National (i.e. Le Pen) in the hope that she will turn around the country’s misfortunes. At a time when France needs to be looking outwards and embracing change, it is looking increasingly like a country which is prepared to pull up the drawbridge, commit a Gallic shrug of its shoulders and thumb its nose at the rest of Europe. What is French for "hara-kiri"?
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tocyvi

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Re: What future for France?

Post by Richard T on Tue Dec 17, 2013 9:27 am

tocyvi wrote:It’s invariably better to have a misguided leader who commits to one unerring path rather than one who flip-flops back and forth.
Ah yes, Margaret Thatcher, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, Kim Jong-il. Marine Le Pen looks a likely candidate too. Smile

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Re: What future for France?

Post by tocyvi on Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:52 am

Richard T wrote:
tocyvi wrote:It’s invariably better to have a misguided leader who commits to one unerring path rather than one who flip-flops back and forth.
Ah yes, Margaret Thatcher, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, Kim Jong-il. Marine Le Pen looks a likely candidate too. Smile

Hi Richard. Point taken; I think I expressed myself badly. What I was trying to suggest was that a leader of whatever persuasion is easier to read, and consequently understand and possibly deal with, than a leader who vacillates with the wind. At least you know what you're up against. Take Margaret Thatcher as an example: whether one agrees with her politics or not, you were pretty certain which political path she would tread. With Hollande, you really haven't a clue which way he'll turn from one minute to the next; uncertainty and dithering are not aspects of governance that inspire respect and confidence.
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Re: What future for France?

Post by Richard T on Tue Dec 17, 2013 3:03 pm

tocyvi wrote:Hi Richard. Point taken; I think I expressed myself badly. What I was trying to suggest was that a leader of whatever persuasion is easier to read, and consequently understand and possibly deal with, than a leader who vacillates with the wind. At least you know what you're up against. Take Margaret Thatcher as an example: whether one agrees with her politics or not, you were pretty certain which political path she would tread. With Hollande, you really haven't a clue which way he'll turn from one minute to the next; uncertainty and dithering are not aspects of governance that inspire respect and confidence.

It may well be true that you always knew where you were with Margaret Thatcher - especially if you were a miner - but it is also arguable that her policies devastated British society and the effects are still being felt today. You may call it strong leadership or you might call it intransigence but either way I'm not sure it made her a better leader  or easier to deal with than one who reacts to public pressure to abandon ill-thought out policies even if that reaction appears to be flip-flopping.

The bottom line is they're all pretty much charlatans!

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