I look upon Mr. Jonathan Miller, of The Spectator and The Coffee House, as 'my man en France'. He actually lives there, in a village, speaks the 'lingo' and is an acute observer. He is distinctly under-whelmed with President Macron, who was described elsewhere as the lad who married his grandmother!
He's only been President for six months and already the first general strike has been called. Mr. Miller puts it this way:
One of the must-have applications for smartphones in France is called C’est la Grève, which helpfully shows all the strikes ongoing at the moment, and those to come, with useful regional breakdowns. It’s indispensable for le planning and proof that French developers understand how to tailor digital products to local market demands. At the moment at the top of the list on my C’est la Grève app is a national and general strike this Thursday, which promises to be a key moment in what looks like an increasingly desperate effort to bring down Jupiter, Emmanuel Macron, president of the republic.
That app might be useful here in the next few weeks as 'Jezza' stirs his union comrades into industrial action! Back en France, Mr. Miller doubts that the strike will have much effect not least because there are so many of them that the French have become inured. The socialist, so-called, opposition is far too busy with their own internal civil war to bother Macron, and he is entirely easy with the fact his own party, En Marche, which he invented, is in uproar over the fact that Macron chose his personal favourite to be the leader. What else did they expect? This is French politics and any resemblance to democracy is purely co-incidental!
Mr. Miller believes that for the time being President Macron is safe despite the mounting dislike he is engendering:
Macron is vulnerable in the long run – and by long run I mean maybe years – because although he has, temporarily, almost absolute power, nobody really likes him, and the more we see of him, the shiftier and less likeable he becomes.
It may be early days but so far there is no sign of any improvement or modernising of the French economy:
Lloyd Blankfein, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs was in Paris this week and he pronounced the atmosphere positively charged and the food delicious. He did not say he would be moving any actual bankers to Paris. Words are cheap and so far there’s been no stampede to Macron’s Paris. There’s been no downsizing of the state in France, nor much evidence of an investment-led revival.
So, remind me, please, what's the French for 'more of the same old same old'?