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Monday, 20 May 2013


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Tripe Mr Duff. There is no way France will revolt - a little summertime car burning maybe but c'est tout. They have a well educated workforce and a sly cunning government ready to eat Cameron's lunch. They are now teaching in English in the universities and the Francophone link to Africa - the go-to resource and worker hub of the next 50 years - will serve them well. Regard that lightweight Right Wing rag 'American Spectator' with the scepticism it deserves - too shiny even for bum paper.

"Tripe"! And The American Spectator a "Right Wing rag"? You're banned, Roger, er, well you would be if I actually knew how to do it!

To be serious, I have no idea if the French are likely to kick off on another one but you cannot deny that it is something of a national sport 'just over there'. And when it happens it usually comes as a surprise, as Harriss reminds us:

"But most likely, the spark will come out of the blue from an unexpected quarter. In 1968 it was an insignificant college panty raid in a Paris suburb. Just before the first cobblestones and tear-gas canisters were thrown, the usually perceptive editors of Le Monde looked around, saw nothing interesting ahead except summer vacation, and ran a front-page editorial complaining about how dull things were."

Anyway, if it helps bring down the EU then a man may dream, may he not?

Nowhere defies the gravity of running 56% of GDP through the state without crashing to earth in the end. Trying to participate in a single currency with the Jerries on its own would do the trick; France is doing both!

As for reducing labour costs by importing "Afro-sweat" (to misquote that horrendous phrase of Gobels), the rest of us do it - Britain with Poles, Germany with Turks - but the French defy globalisation with a Socialist, anti-Fascist pride, and it shows in their rising labour costs: up by 30% since 1999, higher than all the other PIGS: -


Correction: higher than all the other PIGS except Greece.


Thanks for that, 'SoD', and I was particularly taken with his final lines:

"As the French position worsens, the markets would do well to ponder the implications. When the next dollop of bail-out money is required, will France be in a position to accept her share? And if not, will Germany accept the necessary increase in hers?"

Stick that in your Gaulloises, Roger, and smoke it!

"Tôt, mes amis, pas plus tard!"

My initial subconscious translation was "Dead, my friends, and not a moment too soon!"

I mixed up my French and German, you see; and you had mentioned the EU just beforehand.

Or maybe it was merely wishful thinking.

Yes, I wondered about "Tôt" as well but I am in thrall to two stern ladies in my life - the language lady at Google Translate (I'm sure she's a lady of the spinsterish school-teacher variety) and 'Nursie' who runs my SatNav and orders me about. I do not dare to argue with either of them.

Tut alors!

Sorry, Andrew, that should have been three stern ladies, somehow I forgot Andra!

And the memsahib.

Four stern ladies!

This is starting to sound like a Monty Python sketch...

Yes, of course, FOUR stern ladies! I don't stand a chance.

"Bientot, mes amis, bientot" would be the correct way.

I have only come across your blog very recently. I enjoy it, and as I am in the process of reading through your posts, I am only commenting now.

Welcome aboard the good ship D&N, Monoi, and if you have some expertise in French then you are doubly welcome. I have 'DM' here to correct my English as you will see from time to time if you bother to plough through the Comments.

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