Tear gas, police brutality, exaggerated heat, censorious hate-speech laws, rising poverty, Boris-bashing and a French exit from the Women’s World Cup soccer tournament….it’s all going terribly well here. But the good news is that expat Brits in France are secure, Deal or No Deal. Eat your hearts out Yvette Cooper and Baron Adonis.
Although you wouldn’t imagine so viewing the British media, the ‘blistering heatwave’ that is seemingly killing everyone over 60 in France ended three days ago, and much of the southern half of the country has reverted to the cloudy murk that typified most of June. The Meteo keeps showing it as mixed sun and cloud, but the lack of either blue or yellow suggests they need to look out of the window more often.
Ever keen to show that the planet is frying, the folks at Extinction Rebellion have been out in force, and last Friday occupied a Parisian bridge in protest against the government’s environment policies. Macron’s Sturmer goons then sprayed them all with tear gas in protest against the protest, and the media both on and offline showed yet more damaging footage of the riot police knocking seven bells out of everyone.
In the Paris region as a whole, Macronian France is not exactly en marche: property prices have increased the gap between rich and poor, and the numbers for those living below the poverty level have shot up.
Oh to be in France now that neoliberalism has arrived.
The ‘neo’ in front of ‘liberal’ is the clue, really. As in ‘fake liberal’. Taxation at source, penalties for being late with online returns, rising infrastructure charges and pretty nasty cop behaviour are very much the order of the day. As in Britain, much of the negative reaction to Macronisation is online, and so the usual odd couple of Left fascists and Right repressives has brought an astonishingly censorious Bill before the National Assembly. It’s being debated this week, and among its more obnoxious elements are:
- All content that is ‘discriminatory in nature or contains racial, national, religious, and sexual prejudices’ must be screened and removed within 24 hours
- Social media platforms must provide a ‘one button’ system for users to report abuse of this nature
- Big tech companies will have to hire extra moderators charged with screening such content
- Failure to remove free speech within 24 hours will attract fines of up to 4% of media revenue per case.
- A public prosecution authority is to be created, specialising in hate speech and cyberbullying.
Doubtless they’re going to call it the Ministry of Truth, Correctness & Settled Science.
Just to be silly for a minute (because silly is the only way to deal with this casual vandalism against civil rights) if I write a blog ‘discriminating’ between Jews and Islamists on the grounds that the latter chop heads off and the former don’t, I can be banged up. If I publish a YouTube clip in which an Indian accent is mimicked, the phrase ‘shirt-lifter’ is used and African migrant gang violence is condemned, I can be reported for hate speech, racism and sexual bigotry.
Somewhat less silly are the following questions: where are the definitions in all this? What “qualifications” will the moderators have? Who will regulate the moderators? And what does the term ‘bullying’ include….telling the Deputies introducing totalitarian legislation like this that they must be braindead to even contemplate the idea?
If our soon-to-be-elected Prime Minister decides to write a gaffe-prone website that gets published in France, he is going to be in particular trouble. But that’s OK, because – clearly in a bid to get the insults out there before the new draconian measures come into effect – National politicians here are calling him “a fat mop-headed liar” and other things too ghastly to print. Previously on Brexit, the then French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told the media, “He lied a lot to the British during the referendum campaign…now it’s he who’s up against it to defend his country.”
Defend it from what exactly – Guy Verhofstadt? Emmanuel Macron? Oddly enough, Ayrault is no longer the foreign minister. Encouragingly, despite the stream of false invective pouring out of Paris, Frankfurt and Brussels, calmer heads that understand the massive contribution made by expat Brits here continue to prevail.
Talking of lies propagated during the referendum, Baron ‘Stavros’ Adonis put quite a few about while he was at it. So it gives me great joy to confirm officially (via the French minister for Europe herself) that dear old Big Conk was talking through his very probably unpleasant bumhole.
Europe Minister Amélie de Montchalin formally and categorically stated last week that, “It enriches France to have these people in our country and we want to reassure them. We are not trying to get revenge for Brexit. The social rights, working rights, and future security of Brits living in France in the case of a no-deal has been assured by all the work done by the French parliament”. Her words are backed up by a formal decree that has already gone through the Assembly without so much as a murmur of reproach.
So up yours Yvette Cooper, wrong again. Doh….
Finally, US Women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe dominated the headlines here last week when a video of her saying she wouldn’t go to the White House should the US win the title surfaced and promptly went viral. Then she scored twice in the American victory over France that put the US into the final, sort of cocking a snook at President Trump who had already responded on social media along the lines of “you have me confused with someone who gives a monkey’s”.
No matter how hard you try, it is impossible to escape American liberals signalling their virtuous detestation of The Donald. Compare and contrast this onanist nonsense with the Gilets Jaunes’ campaign to dent the fortunes of Manny Macron. But the same liberal Nazis are now abroad in France too. The outlook for freedom remains bleak.