Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Thursday 14 October 2010


At present enormous protests are taking place in France, with no immediate end in sight. Students are marching and nearly all of France's oil refineries are blockaded causing panic-buying of petrol and diesel fuel.

There is an intriguing blog called Paris Parfait which has featured some photographs of the protests in Paris - here.

The French like the English 35 years ago, love to strike and wave banners etc. For an expatriate like me it brings back memories of the death-throes of the British motor industry, with luminaries such as "Red Robbo" at British Leyland sleeping away the night-shift, and the morons at the Triumph works at Speke. (Mind you the latter might have had a case since they were as I recall, producing the disgusting Triumph TR7!)

The protesters/strikers are "en colère" (angry) because the government has had the effrontery to propose the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62, and the age at which a full state pension may be claimed, from 65 to 67.

I have been told that in 1946 in france, there were eight people working for every retired person; in the 1970s the ratio was four to one. Now it is 1.8 to one.

France like the rest of Europe has an enormous public debt, partly due to the disastrous presidency of the late François Mitterand who must be held responsible for France's irresponsible "social model" and also for the staggering number of fonctionnaires (public sector employees - civil servants etc.) and thus the DEBT or at least a substantial part of it.

So how do the lemmings on their protest rallies and strikes imagine that these pensions are to be paid? They seem to imagine that by taxing the rich the gap may be closed and of course by increasing employment by massive government subsidy. All utter nonsense of course: they just cannot understand that governments do not have money!

There is a another side to the protests however, reported today in Le Nouvel Observateur showing how the deeply sinister CRS (Compagnie républicaine de sécurité) - the French riot police - have attacked legitimate journalists - of course the article is in French, but the videos included make very shocking viewing.

Un journaliste de Canal+ matraqué par les CRS à Paris
envoyé par TELEOBS. - L'actualité du moment en vidéo.

I think that the strikers are very stupid, but the CRS (and indeed many police forces) give me the creeps.

Like my late father, I often feel that I should have been born sooner - quite a lot sooner in fact.

Until the next time

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