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The return of Sabine Herold


Further to what I was saying about Revel the other day, the Telegraph has had words with the splendid Mlle Herold, who I judge by far the most cheering individual to feature in French politics in my lifetime. My estranged wife is French, my mother lives across the channel and I know a goodly number of Gauls, so I have followed French politics fairly closely for a long time, and find the posturing and lack of action by the respectable Right in France frustrating in the extreme.

Given the way fonctionaires are strangling France, the showdown as and when it comes will be messy.

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Blogger Ellee Seymour said... 2:53 pm

Good luck to Mlle Thatcher! And I have just got round to adding you to my blogroll.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:56 pm

Absolutely, heaven knows they need someone with some backbone over there.

And thanks for the link.  



Blogger barbara worth said... 5:28 am

Hello C

Given your connections, I would be interested in your view of why France lacks a respectable right.

Viewed from a distance and with limited knowledge, it looks to me as though traditionally it has mainly been the middle classes who benefit from the French social model, while a marginalised underclass has turned to far right parties based on racism.

Does that seem broadly correct or is there a bit more more to it? There usually is ...)  



Blogger Croydonian said... 9:41 am

Hi Barbara - you've been very quiet of late.

Anyway, a good question which deserves a full and considered answer, but a quick off the cuff list would certainly include the following:

The Big Man syndrome - Napoleon, De Gaulle etc. The RPR, UDF etc etc are really extensions of the egos of their founders rather than coherent collections of principles.

Non-aceptance of classical liberal thought (Adam Smith et al) but rather a clinging to Colbertian mercantilism.

Wars and revolutions discrediting leaders and ideas.

Resentment of the 'Anglo-Saxons' and therefore that model.

Faith in the ability of the state (often personified by the current Big Man) to sort everything out through sheer force of personality rather than through the application of a coherent ideology.

I'll see what else I can think of, but that's a start.  



Blogger barbara worth said... 9:35 pm

Hello C

Thanks, that's very interesting. You obviously know far more about French history than I do - I had to google Colbert. And yes, I wonder why some nations/political systems lean towards a Big Man while others distrust this.

Something else occurred to me- I think the French cherish ideas/intellectualism. The Brits are pragmatic/philistine (delete according to preference/prejudice) which makes (most of) us mistrust people who trade on extreme ideologies of either the far left or far right.  



Anonymous Verity said... 10:51 pm

Croydonian - You are correct. The problem with France, apart from French thinking, is the Napoleonic Code. Anywhere that this is practised is backward, does not accord automatic right of redress, the government and government decisions are all-powerful and there is no point in questioning the system, because it has been laid in concrete. The Napoleonic Code is destructive. English Common Law is enlightened and empowers anyone who seeks redress.

I lived in France and when selling my house, I got charged tax at a rate of 33 1/3%, despite being a citizen of an UK country and having had it as my principal residence for three years. The notaire (a servant of the government who is basically a tax collector) decided otherwise and there was absolutely no redress. He deducted the "tax" at source before handing me a cheque for the meagre remains. The French government doesn't miss a trick in funding its insane social system.

Make no mistake, Sabine Herold is a dyed in the wool socialist. She only looks good next to the rest of them and because, well, she looks good. But her politics are the same cobra-round-the-neck of the taxpayer.

In the Anglosphere, you can appeal and someone without a vested interest in it will hear your case.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 11:08 am

An interesting point - I too think of Napoleonic systems as being overly rigid and placing too much power in the hands of the state. As a broad point, most of us will get exercised about the right to vote and so forth, but there are far too few that recognise the importance of the common law and jury trial as being key to our freedoms.

I also think that the rigidity of the French system lends itself to cronyism and corruption and a lack of transparency. Meanwhile, sorry about your misfortune on the tax front.  



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