French Letter

Oh dear….there is only one crime worse in advertising than putting the logo upside-down, and that’s mispelling the client’s brand name. Zut – c’est pas Bluethoot!

After the Peace-loving sons of Allah beheaded a teacher last weekend (for giving a lesson on free speech) the French authorities have had something of a sense of humour loss. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said the swoop on Islamist networks that followed the murder was designed to send a message that “enemies of the Republic” would not enjoy “a minute’s respite”.

The French are hazy on timing. The respite afforded to Islamics throughout Europe has been considerably longer than a minute. All fine and dandy to launch a total of eighty investigations now, but why did it take the assassination of history teacher Samuel Paty to evoke some action?

The news was rounded off with this random headline on France24:

French teacher beheaded: Govt wants to regulate social networks

The rationale for this? The murderer’s father put an inflammatory image on social meda.

Any excuse will do……

Meanwhile, after many fine words about ‘manning up’ To Covid19, Emmanuel Macron has announced that nine areas of the country will be the subject of a nighttime curfew.

The affected areas – the whole of the greater Paris Île-de-France region and the “metropole” areas (the city and its surrounding urban areas) of Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix-Marseille, Rouen, Saint-Etienne, Montpellier and Toulouse – now face the following rules.

Beginning last Saturday, 20 million French residents will have to be in their homes by 9 pm until 6 am the following day.

The penalty for breaking curfew will be a €135 fine which can rise to €3,750 or six months in prison for repeat offenders…..and 12,000 gendarmes and other police officers will be on the streets enforcing the curfew.

Macron suggested in his speech to the Nation that “30% of the beds in the areas involved were now Covid cases”. Frankly, I don’t believe it: France has 760,000 active cases, of which around 12% are likely to be false positives. Of the 615,000 residue, 99.1% will have mild symptoms – amounting to around 6,400 hospital cases. But the curfew affects only 20 million (out of a total of 67 million) which works out to – very worst scenario – only 14% of beds made available for Covid19 cases….already less than half the President’s target.

So, um, why all the panic?

At the end of September, a range of forecasts saw the French economy contracting by 10% – worse than the UK. Macron now says this partial lockdown will be for at least four weeks….and will last “until Christmas if necessary”.

Politicians the world over are displaying the bull-headed, stubborn petulance they display in all “wars”. They love to see Covid19 as a war, but it is anything but. It is, by contrast, a mass suicide of Nation States…..something that has the unelected State blocists rubbing their hands with glee.