At the End of the Day

Political correctness, and its mortal enemy Economic Correctness

There’s a sort of cliched but nevertheless fairly accurate piece in the Torygraph today about France being better than Britain “but we’re too scared to admit it”. I think the lack of debate about this is based on ignorance rather than fear; and also, the author is an occasional visitor to the country rather than a resident expat. Thus at times he is both too kind to – and too hard on – the French. For what it’s worth, this is the comment thread I left there:

Dtelthreadfrance8615The article somehow crept under the Midchannel Cuckoos, and therefore is worth a read. But what really intrigued me was that it attracted over 1200 comments. This is up there with Christopher Booker in terms of interest level, and I think the reason probably has little or nothing to do with France as a country: rather, I suspect its appeal to thinking Brits lies in the central theme: there is another way, and it is far superior to the one we’re on.

We’ve all been going on for ages now about political correctness. But at the other end of the insanity spectrum, there is a dominating and equally totalitarian economic correctness. This holds that society is secondary to business, and only globalist deregulation holds the promise of happiness. As with political correctness, most of its precepts have been either discredited by science or found wanting in practice. But ideology being everything for these sadly unbalanced hobgoblin priests, their job 24/7 ‘going forward’ is to invent spurious reasons why there is no wisdom in the past….all ‘we’ need is One More Heave, and all will be well.

Of course, PCs and ECs have to resort to The Rack, Room 101, prison – and mental home incarceration for NVEs – in order for their distorted reality to become the inflexible Catechism. In this sense, it would be hard to put a rice paper between Islamic Jihadists, radical Feminists and neoliberal Globalists. But then, anyone happy to be suffixed ‘ist’ is by definition indistinguishable from all the other blinkered horses in the race to Hell.

When it comes to the suffixed in our species, the clue is in the ‘fixed’ bit.

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So there I was, a horny-handed son of toil weeding the veg and herb patch this morning, when I sat on the ground and disappeared into a hole.

That’s a slight exaggeration: my bum disappeared into it. The son of toil fell into a ton of soil, ba-boom.

Closer inspection revealed that I had unwillingly discovered a tunnel created by Warren Rabbit and his chums. These days, I own an air rifle here: chiefly, it is a way to cull aggressively neoliberal magpies and jays. But occasionally, I fire an early-morning warning at the bunnies.

It’s more crowd-control than hunting: the most the little buggers ever get is a pellet up the bobtail to dissuade them from anti-social habits like lettuce-gorging and fracking. Nobody dies, but everyone knows the rules. Watership Down is all very well, but give yer illegally migrated rabbit an inch an’ ‘e’ll take a mile.

I’m well ‘ard, me.

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Somewhat bored of barbecued chicken and potatoes, today I decided to have a lascivious culinary treat in the shape of a cassoulet of chicken and sausage for dinner. I’m always interested in new takes on this old favourite, and so went to a French cuisine site that included an English version of the definitive Gascogne dish. It included this wonderful cooking instruction:

‘….then add the mindless streaky bacon.’

Do you know, if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s educationally subnormal feral streaky bacon. I mean, it comes into your kitchen with a history of drunken misbehaviour behind it….and the minute you get it out of the packet, roight, it yells “Put me in that ‘ot thing you f**kin’ sicko paedophile, an’ I’ll beat yer to a pulp – end of”.

So I ignored that part of the recipe, and added some refined Serrano ham instead. It is very important to maintain standards in such matters.

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The Greco-English website Ekathimerini ran a piece today suggesting that the Syriza government led by Alexis Tsipras needs to accept a third ‘bailout’ programme. It opined:

‘Tsipras, 40, faced a united front from Group of Seven leaders at the weekend, with U.S. President Barack Obama putting concerns over the impasse onto the agenda of a summit hosted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’

While I’m delighted and relieved to know that Alexis is only 40 years old, there are other aspects of this latest bollocks outburst that escape me.

First, the sanctimonious crap about Greece “returning to recession” is somewhat at odds with the various efforts of the ECB and Troika2 to put Greece there by (a) manipulating bondholder sentiment to the negative and (b) making all the key Syriza figures run around like headless chickens fulfilling all their ‘reform’ imperatives. I’m not surprised by any of this: I predicted it last February.Mainly,I’m just disgusted about it.

Second, the ‘fury’ of Jean-Claude Drunker about Tsipras ‘mendacity’ is hard to stomach given the old Luxembugger’s entirely political attempt to cuddle the Greek Prime Minister just a few short weeks ago.

And finally, there is as yet answer none from the Brussels sprouts about where the link between three months of negotiation on the one hand – and the latest diktat on the other – actually lies. Extensive searches have been carried out by dedicated teams of commentating observers looking for traces of this link, but so far there is nothing at all to join up the dots of ‘real progress’ in May to the regressive ultimatum of June.

The case continues. Ad nauseam. Ad astra. Ad infinitum. Donec venit, intervenit re….

Earlier at The Slog: Why Sarkozy’s Presidential ambitions would let in Americanism…and Le Pen

18 thoughts on “At the End of the Day

  1. The Greek adventure is becoming much like a long running television series – very interesting dynamic characters (with good character development), a great wide-ranging plot from global economics to leather clad economic rock stars, and wonderful photogenic backgrounds. I am looking forward to seasons 6 through 10.

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  2. One way or another I seem to visit France most years and have done so for 4 decades. I concur with your views on the country, especially the bit about Parisians. I avoid Paris, much preferring Lyon,Toulouse and Bordeaux and the smaller country towns.

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  3. What made me sickest about Juncker’s comments on Greece was when he said that Tsipras was his “friend”. It’s this sort of early adolescent playground language which makes people like me hate Eurocrats. Does he think that because he has called him his friend he is going to give up defending Greek interests? Yes. It’s worked before with other leaders.

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  4. We have lived in Normandy, about 100 kms from Paris, for nearly 10 years. I have just read the Telegraph article which I found a little gushing but understandable. I used to feel the same way on returning from holidays in France. Now we live here I hope our views of France are a little more balanced. However I need to temper my comments by recognising that we are becoming increasingly out of touch with everyday life in the UK.

    In general I agree with your comments but our experiences of service levels are not as bad as yours. However ex-pat friends that live in the South have similar views to yours. We have been told by local people that the Normans, particularly here in Upper Normandy, pride themselves on being more business like than most other areas in France. They claim it is because of their Viking ancestry! The only area of French bureaucracy that caused us any problems was enrolling in the Health service (CPAM). Even our Doctor was sympathetic as he says “The CPAM is run by children”.

    I would add the following to your comments.

    Bad. Poor Broadband service in the rural areas. Lack of local public transport. Increasing reliance on major supermarkets as small local shops cannot compete on price. Very high levels of unemployment locally. Price and availability of second hand cars.

    Good. Price stability in electricity and water supply ( We do not have gas). Local markets. Pride in “Terroir”, not only is everything French the best but your local version is the best of the best!

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  5. Here’s what we’ll do. We’ll just speed up the movement already underway. Britain invades and conquers France. They have been asking for it for how long? All Brits over fifty move to France and to the sunshine. All your young & dynamic French move to London to serve our Anglo-Saxonist financialism & retailism. It is just an Euro-wide zoning by age.
    Now here’s the twist. All the Swarthies in both countries move south to Spain, where they will be happy baking on the plain, cultivating our supermarket salads and tomatoes and inflicting their cultic cruelties on one another.
    Result – universal happiness.
    When you start moving populations around like this you will see how grand the Great EURO vision is. Stalin tried it. Why shouldn’t we?

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  6. I was just in Tarn but live in Bavaria. France I believe has a horrendous beaurocracy but – even worse than Germany’s – but the difference is that whilst the Germans obey and make their extra rules the French don’t give a shit about them and the entire economy runs on the black in my experience. vive la France!

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  7. The articles regarding France in the major papers are unfailingly awful . For example there are plenty of good Autoroutes in France , but these are mostly empty and expênsive to use . The major axes North to South wouldn’t even be classed as Motorways in the UK as they have long 2 lane stretches . They get totally saturated at peak times , and the A6 is called ‘L ‘autoroute de la mort’ by some over here . I note also that 400 000 odd Froggies now live in London, and French people I speak to there say the the unofficial number is even higher . Parisian public transport is now really awful , it has declined alarmingly ( like many things ) since about 2002 . The standard of living .quality of life has declined alot . Now , if you want a country that shares the same currency, where unemployment is about half the rate , where the cost of living is 30 pct lower and salaries about 10 to 15 pct higher .. try Germany .

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  8. Jeremy I would swap the Tran for Bavaria any day , even though the Tarn would suit me better than either Paris or London .

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  9. There seems to be a matter of experience versus wishful thinking about France. I was visiting a small village in Normandy last year for the first (and now last ) time ever. I found the food bland, uninteresting and expensive. The wine whilst inexpensive it was thin. If you wish for rustic wholesome food, good beer (I mean anything above the 3.9% coloured water you get in the U.K.), friendly people, my suggestion, try Poland.

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  10. Jon

    We live in France but spend most of our holidays in Bavaria either in Franconia or , more often, in the Berchtesgaden area. I cannot comment on the living costs and bureaucracy but our observation is that Germany is better value for the tourist than France. I am always surprised that we meet so few Brits in Germany as it seems to offer very good value, polite and pleasant people and the sort of food that most Brits would like.

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  11. John, concurr especially with regards to the paint , dreadful stuff as is plaster and anything to do with Marseille

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  12. The French can take credit for having taken matters into their own hands on one occasion, at least. This flowering into adulthood, albeit a couple of centuries ago and much diluted since, left the rest of us children in perpetual need of extra lessons. Added to this, the French countryside is stunningly beautiful and provides roads that are the best that I know of for motorcycling, a combination that is beguiling indeed. Vive La Revolution! Vive La France!

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  13. I think there are only about 100,000 of us down here in Germany as opposed to say a million in Spain and around 800,000 in France. Yes the quality of life is very high down here in terms of Bavaria being the “South East” of Germany in londonlike terms. There is money down here alright – on a hot day the Porsches all come out. you still have the butcher baker candlestick maker trades but how long that will last I am not sure as Germany is also being globalised from within.

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  14. I have driven extensively all over France, Germany, Holland, Belgium and some of Italy.
    I would rather live in any one of those countries but, one has to reside where one’s bread and butter is.

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  15. The Barclay Pantograph, what a magnificently remote organ of artificial insemination. Kit Juckes of Soc Gen might have included his own currency in his remarks about sterling but that doesn’t make him wrong.

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