French Letter


The sexually confused Emmanuel Macron is making the most of electoral anarchy, medical distraction and hopelessly split opposition in his bid to reshape France. If you now what’s coming next, do please drop me a line.


Hurricane Clara blew into Aquitaine last night. The writer’s redoubt at the east end of Slogger’s Roost is a shambles, and I find myself lacking the oomph to do anything about it. At the West end, another giant silver birch has been split in two.

The celestial powers seem determined to flex every muscle they have to knock the Boy King and his directrice off course.  I just wish they’d clear up after themselves….or even better, try another tactic beyond levelling the mountains. What we need is a Novco20 mutation of the current Chinese strain that only affects rough-trade sadistic perverts, and control freaks on their third facelift.

Meanwhile, the riots, clashes and enormous State budget deficits that dare not speak their name continue, but it’s all bouncing off Macron’s perfect form like water off a steep alpine roof. He has already announced that autoroute tolls must rise again, he’s ignoring the widespread public support for the firemen, and he’s ploughing ahead with the Gallic version of State pension embezzlement. The image he seems to covet is that of some sort of Maggie Blair. Listen, the more the cap fits – the more he’ll wear it.

He’s going to get reelected for all kinds of reasons, the main ones being that the Left is all over the place, Marine LePen remains unacceptable to the great majority of the electorate as a guadian of the Right, and the metrochic Bobos think the President’s every orifice emits golden sunlight.

Like other strange leaders in our epoch, Manny is also lucky in that NovCo19 has arrived just in time to be the blame vessel into which every screw-up can be tossed. The French media supportive of the President have begun to go into panic overdrive on Corona: four days ago, the tabloid La Dépeche led with ‘Is this virus under control?’ but the article it headlined offered nought beyond the answer, “Frankly squire, your guess is as good as mine”.

Well, ça y est as they say here – that’s it: distraction, distortion and dissembling – the weapons most used by the Establishment to keep everyone both confused and frightened. Emmanuel Macron has been exceedingly lucky in the opponents and left-field events with which he’s been called upon to deal.

Away from the grand stage of riding atop tanks in Paris and treading the red carpets of Euroland, not everyone is paying much attention to the man in the Elysée who married his head teacher at the lycée. Macron remains keen to turn France into yet another top-down neoliberal State, but many of those in the regional préfectures and community mayoral offices have other ideas.

An example in my own commune here is far from atypical. Five weeks ago, electricity and construction workers arrived at the centre of our Universe and blocked off all four of the roads leading elsewhere. In the tiny area around our small Community nosh room and even more minute Mairie, they erected five red-painted street lamps. The outcome is that you can now cross the commune line into my own little Clochemerle protected from darkness for some eleven metres.

There are 87 souls in this community: no shops, no schools, and no citizens who need streetlamps to guide them past the salle de fetes without suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.

Daft as some of it is, local pride is the best weapon the French have against The Great Centraliser, sorry, centrist.

As for those Brits who equate the EU with Civil Rights, let me just outline the Assurance Maladie that is the nearest the French have managed to come up with in replicating the NHS:

  • Visits to the GP cost €25 – even if it’s just to re-order your prescription
  • Prescriptions are not free for the retired
  • Hospitalisation is not covered by the Assurance Maladie: you have to buy a separate ‘complementaire’ policy from the private sector to get that. My cover costs me €1,060 per annum
  • There is NO free dentistry.

Much of this might explain why the UK Remainer stampede to emigrate to the EU has not, as yet, happened….so to speak.

I couldn’t possibly comment.