The French malaise
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2017 9:55 pm    Post subject:  Reply with quote
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The test of Macron’s presidency is his foreign policy, particularly on Africa. At the moment he’s doing a fine job of proving he is cut from the same cloth as every leader who has come before him: adopting a paternalistic tone and happy to moralise, while profiting from the carnage France helped create – to which, at best, he turns a blind eye.


Oh yeah? His Presidency will not be stand or fall on whether he has offended intellectuals (African or otherwise) but whether he can address the very complex economic problems facing France and the rest of western Europe. Anyone who thinks France's relationship with Africa is going to decide whether he is re-elected or not is very naive.
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frances



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Good luck with that.

https://www.theguardian.com/world...-charm-offensive-for-trumps-paris

He's a showman - not an economist. He will probably declare himself Emperor and put his horse in charge of economics.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You are referring to Trump of course! Far far from being the "showman" from the article you cite Macron appears to be showing a ruthless pragmatism and exploit Donald Caligula's international isolation and siege at home. Instead of sulking about Caligula's endorsement of Le Pen he is focusing on the realpolitik which includes leveraging France being the only EU member of the UN Security Council now that Britain is walking off into the sunset managing to simultaneously alienate both Brussels and Washington due to the backlash against Trump's proposed visit here this year:

Quote:
As a result, The White House has now postponed Trump’s trip to 2018, as the President simply doesn’t want to visit while there is the potential for mass outrage. And who can blame him? Especially when leaders like Macron are only too happy to play nice.

Unfortunately, the intense reaction over Trump shows no signs of going away, and seems to get worse the longer the trip is put off – no thanks to parliamentarians, like Jeremy Corbyn and Tim Farron, who initially suggested a Trump ban. This was foolish, as it has only inspired vast levels of public anger, meaning the President may not bother with the UK at all.

Far from advancing the UK’s reputation as a caring, humanitarian place, our upset has only made us look vain and hypocritical, especially as we have played host to Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin and King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (a country that beheads criminals) and other unsavoury leaders, with little fuss.

The outrage over Trump is ultimately kamikaze, as the UK can only lose from ostracising the world’s most powerful man (one of the few leaders who looked positively on us post-Brexit) – a fact that has not been lost on President Macron. At least the French leader appreciates that it is not possible to take the high ground, nor put forward any alternative values, if you won’t stand on the same ground at all. The UK will only sabotage its political strength through self-imposed isolationism.



As whether he or any other political leader is an economist or not what really counts is how and who they are advised by and how they subsequently act on it. Corbyn and McDonnell did have sound advisers until most of them withdrew disillusioned from Labour's economic advisory council last year. Perhaps Macron will be able to retain his expert advisers for much longer as unlike the "leading" UK politicians he does not come across as  an amateur out of his deph.
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frances



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
As I recall May cosied straight up to Trump which you are calling pragmatic. The threatened mass protests in the UK are not of her making.

France is also having protests but Macron wrong footed them by changing the day of the meeting.

Macron went straight in to the arms of Merkel swearing EU unity. Merkel has cold shouldered Trump. Now Macron has unilaterally embraced him. What will Merkel make of her new ally. She should watch her back.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Of course there were protests there always are. But do you think those who participated in them voted for Macron? Or do you think they might possibly have instead opted for Jean-Luc Mélenchon? You might as well point to the SWP "smash the Tory" placards in any or every protest as evidence for a measure of the British political Zeitgeist. But guess what? The French Left don't like Macron. Quelle surprise! From The Independent:

Quote:
But the ire of most French marchers was directed mainly at Mr Macron and his policies on workers’ rights, the economy, conflict and the country’s ongoing state of emergency. The Front Social accused the French President of “parading as a war chief” at the Bastille Day military parade “with the racist and misogynistic US President as his accomplice”. After the initial relief brought by Marine Le Pen’s defeat in the French presidential election, there is widespread dissatisfaction with Mr Macron on the French left. Florent, an activist with the New Anticapitalist Party who did not want his surname to be published, said he was opposing Mr Macron’s planned labour reforms. “He is right wing and I think he is starting to realise that he will be getting a lot of trouble,” he added.


If Macron is either guided by pragmatism (or at quite a stretch by trying to suck up to the powerful) then he is hardly going to try and stab Angela Merkel in the back! Macron is his own man and will pursue approaches which he thinks suit France. Believe it or not that can include making overtures to both the President and Chancellor on his own terms. While he comes across as dealing with Trump as an equal May just looked desperate. And she was/is and so is Britain unfortunately.
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frances



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Macron has now announced that French military spending is to be cut. That will infuriate Trump.

He's absolutely his own man. He's the candidate you vote for because you don't like the others. He's a policy free zone.

Trump is setting May an impossible task. He wants hearts and flowers as he drives through London. It didn't happen in Iraq and it won't happen in London.

Macron was clever giving no notice of the visit to wrong foot the protesters. But the Queen doesn't do surprise state visits.
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
He's no different to Trump and May in that he has to deliver prosperity, stability and all the rest to the country he leads. So far Trump's policy rich programme remains in a quagmire and May's red, white and blue Brexit is to say the least a work in programme. We will soon see how well Macron's plan to wean the French of having the  highest per GDP expenditure of the Eurozone and cut unemployment go. But by avoiding both Trump's posturing, preening and posing and May's pathological secretive plotting he does at least look like a man who can get things done. So much for perceptions it will be substance that defines his Presidency long after the pomp and ceremony of foreign visits have faded from memory.
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frances



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Honeymoons are getting shorter.
He's in a mess already.

https://www.theguardian.com/world...ing-tax-cuts-and-leadership-style

Macron under fire over defence spending, tax cuts and leadership style
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Jon Teunon



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
You wish! There is nothing particularly threatening in the article you cite. France is up to its next indet and has not had a balanced budget in decades so a few eggs will be broken. How May would like to be in the "mess" Macron is in with a 54% popularity rate etc.
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frances



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Who knows. But the 54% isn't necessarily a  blessing. May had it too. It means people are hoping you are the salvation they are looking for.

May lost it on a sixpence and Corbyn and Macron may go the same way. Promise too much - fail to deliver.

Ideally you should vote for someone who says - it's all very difficult - I might not be able to deliver very much - but at the moment that is political suicide.

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