Are the German Greens suffering the same fate as UKIP?

Staying on the subject of lunatic Greens, they are facing electoral gloom in Germany:

Germany’s once high-flying Green Party is foundering in many states. After a disastrous election result in North Rhine-Westphalia, the party is promising change, but it may come too late for September’s national poll.

The whole article is worth reading and gives some idea as to why the Greens, who were once a powerful political force in Germany’s coalition governments, are now in trouble:

Following the widely publicized incidents on New Year’s Eve 2015 in Cologne, which saw widespread sexual assaults committed largely by asylum seekers, the party struggled to come up with a clear position on its refugee and security policies (they still aren’t even clear today).

It seems the Germans haven’t quite rejected populism, either.

The party successfully helped block deportations of Afghan nationals whose asylum applications had been rejected, but it did little to communicate what the rest of its asylum policies might look like.

Quite how deluded one would need to be to do something like this and expect electoral success, even in Germany, is difficult to imagine.

Furthermore, in a state that has undergone deep structural changes, with the end of coal mining and much heavy industry, the party could have benefited by positioning itself more strongly as an environmentalist party. Instead, the party placed its focus almost entirely on education — despite the fact that only 4 percent of voters in the state consider the Greens to be truly competent in this policy area.

I think that paragraph offers the best explanation, although the author doesn’t quite say it. The fact is, all mainstream political parties adopted the Greens’ more sensible environmental policies years ago, as well as too many of their idiotic ones. Germany has already agreed to close its nuclear power plants and impose the strictest environmental legislation in Europe on its industries and households. The same pattern is repeated across most of the developed world now: every major political party has signed up to the hysteria on climate change (even Trump has yet to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, as he promised he would), air pollution is a permanent hot-topic particularly now the results of pushing everyone to switch to diesel engines is becoming clear, recycling has been firmly adopted as the new religion in the west, and useless windmills are being built at an ever-increasing pace to meet ludicrous renewable energy targets.

This has left the Greens outflanked on most environmental subjects. In order to differentiate themselves they’ve been forced to propose utterly insane policies (ban motor cars, stop eating meat, etc.) and to venture into other areas (e.g. education) where they are useless or social matters (e.g. immigration) where they are out of whack with the majority of the population. The mainstream parties have stolen their popular policies leaving them looking like a bunch of nutjobs on the fringe. Which they are, of course.

A reasonable similarity may be drawn between the fate of the Greens in Germany and that of UKIP in Britain. UKIP have found their defining policy – Britain leaving the EU – adopted by the Conservatives, leaving little reason for voters to stick with them. Whenever UKIP have tried to branch out from their main policy into other areas they’ve proved themselves to be an incoherent, squabbling mess which no sensible voter would go anywhere near. With Brexit underway, their raison d’être has vanished and they lack the competence to transform themselves into a serious party. Perhaps the Greens in Germany and elsewhere are treading the same path. I certainly hope so.


Populism not as rejected as previously thought

Anyone remember the election in The Netherlands last March, after which we were told the Dutch people rejected “the wrong kind of populism”? Here’s what I said afterwards:

For sure, Geert Wilders didn’t win outright, and nor did his Freedom Party even come close to doing so, but they came second with a seat count of 20 up from 15, which is an increase of a third. The mistake I think people like Hollande and Merkel, and possibly even Rutte, are making is believing the policies of the Freedom Party have been overwhelmingly rejected and can safely be ignored from hereon.

Well, whaddya know?

Negotiations to form the next Dutch government have collapsed as the four parties involved were unable to decide what to do about migration.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s centre-right VVD party had sought to strike a deal with the liberal D66, the Christian Democrats and the Green-Left.

The talks had been ongoing for 61 days since an election in March.

The Green-Left support open borders, while the other three want stricter controls.

That would be the Green-Left who came 5th in the election and who secured some percentage of their votes because their leader, Jesse Klaver, is good looking. Therein lies the problem of coalition governments, the lunatics on the fringe get to play kingmaker.

The minister who had been tasked with forming the new government will submit a report to parliament before the members discuss how to proceed.

Geert Wilders, the leader of the anti-EU, anti-Islam Freedom Party, welcomed the news, saying he was ready to talk.

His party came second in the polls.

Angela Merkel was unavailable for comment, possibly because Macron won’t let her out of his sight.


The British Retweeting Corporation

Trump ‘shared classified information with Russia’

screams the BBC headline of their main story of the day.

President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information about so-called Islamic State (IS) to Russia’s foreign minister, US media report.

The information, related to the use of laptops on aircraft, came from a partner of the US which had not given permission for it to be shared with Russia, says the Washington Post.

Mr Trump received Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office last week.

Note that this is all being presented as fact. Not until the sixth paragraph are we told:

But the president has dismissed such allegations as “fake news”.

Which is all we get before the BBC’s expert analyst weighs in with:

The fallout from this story could be enormous and not just because there is a boundless trove of Republican quotes over the past year – directed at Mrs Clinton – about the utmost importance of protecting top-secret information.

There is the Russian connection, of course.

The FBI is currently investigating the Trump campaign for possible ties to Russian interests.

This continues for another four paragraphs. Because rehashing unsubstantiated rumours about Trump’s Russia ties is far more important than telling us what actually happened at the meeting, who was there, and what was supposed to have been said. That comes later:

National Security Adviser HR McMaster told reporters that the story, “as reported”, was “false”.

Some weasel words there for sure, but nonetheless perhaps this could have been given to us earlier?

“The president and foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation,” he said.

“At no time – at no time – were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the president did not disclose any military operations that were not already publicly known. ”

In a statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson echoed the point that “the nature of specific threats were discussed, but they did not discuss sources, methods or military operations”.

In other words, the BBC’s headline – presenting one side of the story as fact – is deliberately misleading.

The Washington Post, which first broke the story, said this did not amount to a denial.

And the spin cycle continues.

The point of this post is not to highlight any anti-Trump bias at the BBC, nor even speculate as to why such endless ‘scandals’ are of interest to British licence-fee payers: I’ve gone over this ground before. It is more to say that, since I’ve been on Twitter, I have noticed that the BBC’s anti-Trumps stories are simply lifted directly from social media, reformatted, and presented as their own reporting. There is absolutely nothing in this latest BBC article which I did not glean from browsing Twitter over my cornflakes this morning. They have offered no added value whatsoever in their headline story.

There is an argument that they are bringing the story to a wider audience who might not use Twitter, but this will rapidly weaken as time goes by and the young folk shun traditional media sources altogether. And also, as I’ve said, why are the British interested in this – especially as headline news?

The credibility of the Washington Post was in tatters long before it broke this ‘story’, and most people on Twitter see this as one lot of bumbling bullshitters making an accusation against another and normal people wishing both sides would stop acting like fucking children and start doing their actual jobs. I find myself wishing the BBC would do the same. Fat chance.


Four Stories for a Saturday

Four completely unrelated stories caught my attention today.

The first:

Michelle Obama has launched a fierce defence of the healthy eating initiatives she championed as first lady.

In thinly-veiled criticism of the policies of the new administration, Mrs Obama told the audience: “This is where you really have to look at motives, you know.

“You have to stop and think, why don’t you want our kids to have good food at school? What is wrong with you? And why is that a partisan issue? Why would that be political? What is going on?”

You know, perhaps American parents don’t want to be told what to feed their children, adopting the rather old-fashioned view that maybe they are best placed to decide? And perhaps they don’t like being lectured by a woman whose sole reason for anyone knowing her name is that she happened to be the wife of a president whose policies were soundly rejected at the last election. Would it have been too much to ask that she maintain a dignified silence once her husband left office?

While in the White House, Mrs Obama championed the “Let’s Move” campaign, which encourages exercise and healthy eating among young people.

She being uniquely positioned to decide what constitutes healthy eating for millions of people, of course.

The second:

At least 20 people have died after a tourist bus fell from a cliff near the southern Turkey seaside resort of Marmaris.

Another 11 were injured when the driver lost control of the minibus and ploughed through a crash barrier.

Local media said no foreign tourists were among the passengers.

About 40 people were on board, according to Amric Cicek, governor of Mugla province, who suggested the brakes may have stopped working.

But the mayor of Marmaris, Ali Acar, told Turkish newspaper Hurriyet: “I think that the accident was a result of driver error.”

This is a reminder that, for all of Turkey’s recent economic growth and the emergence of a decent airline, its roads remain dangerous places. The government really ought to do something about this, if it can find time.

The third:

Prime Minister of Canada and internet darling Justin Trudeau has shown the rest of the world’s leaders how to do publicity once again – by bringing his three-year-old to the office.

Of course, it’s not the first time the 45-year-old internet-savvy politician has caught global attention.

The liberal politician has been applauded by his supporters for supporting Syrian refugees, marching at a gay pride parade, and openly declaring himself a feminist.

Naturally, the BBC fails to realise that these antics are precisely why much of the world think him a laughing stock.

“So precious … I’m old enough to remember seeing photos released of you and your dad [former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau] when you were little,” one Facebook commenter volunteered.

Would that be the one where he’s being held by family hero Fidel Castro?

If only we were able to get the view on Trudeau from Cuban Facebook commenters.

The fourth:

A Mexican businesswoman who headed a group of 600 families searching for their disappeared relatives has been killed.

Miriam Rodríguez Martínez was shot in her home in the town of San Fernando in Tamaulipas state.

She was known for successfully investigating the kidnap and murder of her daughter by a local drug cartel, the Zetas.

The information she gave the police ensured the gang members were jailed.

A brave, brave woman indeed.

The group she established was part of a wider trend which mushroomed after the October 2014 disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa in the southwestern state of Guerrero.

Frustrated by a lack of government help, groups of families began their own searches for people who had disappeared in their areas, taking courses in forensic anthropology, archaeology, law, buying caving equipment and becoming experts in identifying graves and bones.

There are now at least 13 of these groups across the country.

One of the points overlooked by those who oppose Trump’s immigration policies is that the current practice of allowing Mexicans to move to the USA and remit monies back home is that it drastically reduces the pressure on the ruling elites to sort the place out. The USA acts as the safety valve for Mexican governmental fecklessness, and short of an incentive to do anything other than keep themselves wealthy and protected, the country is rapidly becoming a failed state. The fact that relatives of murdered citizens have had to form their own forensic teams because the police can’t or won’t do the job shows just how bad things have got. When the Mexican government started squawking about the wall, Trump should have slapped their president around the face with a strong right hand (or perhaps got Mattis to do it) and put these feckless parasites firmly in their place. Although there is the argument that American drug laws is what has created this situation, but if that’s the case then let’s hear the Mexicans make it.


Why I’ll Never Vote in France

I’m going to expand on a reply I made to Watcher in the comments underneath this post.

As you all know I live in France. Whereas it was my work which initially brought me here, I have made the decision that France, provided I am able to stay, will be my country of residence for the foreseeable future. Nobody forced me to come here, and certainly nobody is forcing me to stay. I have chosen France because, on balance, I like it more than anywhere else. France has its problems but, as I am fond of saying, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. And France is easily good enough.

I don’t consider myself a guest in the country – I consider that term to be largely bollocks. However, I have chosen to live in a society of French people running things how they see fit. Whatever they have done thus far, it appears to suit me better than the society my own countrymen have constructed around themselves.

It would therefore be somewhat churlish of me to set about trying to change that society, wouldn’t it? Regardless of what I think of their politics and their choice of president, this is what the French have chosen for themselves. I consider myself free to stand on the sidelines and carp, but not to actually interfere in their choices. I came here of my own accord and am free to leave at any time, but this is home to the French.

Even if I became a French citizen I think I’d still not vote, for these reasons. When I look at what is being done in various Western countries, i.e. millions of immigrants invited in by the ruling classes who hope they will boost their chances in future elections regardless of the damage done to the host society, I think a policy of allowing only those citizens born in-country to vote may have some merit. Why should a newcomer be allowed a say in how society is run? If he or she has a particular vision of society they should enact it in the country of their birth, not impose it on others.

But as things stand, most people seem happy to allow foreigners to arrive in their country and within a few years set about changing things around. As with so many issues, I’m ploughing a lonely furrow here.


Trump is presiding over a complete mess

I confess I haven’t followed the stories closely enough to know what Comey said or didn’t say, why Flynn was fired by Obama and re-hired by Trump, who Sally Yates is and what Steve Bannon’s role really was. But what is abundantly clear is that the White House administration under Trump is an absolute clusterfuck.

With the sacking of Comey the screeching from the media and Democrats (but I repeat myself) is at a pitch which I fear may soon be only audible to dogs. Most of it is in relation to Trump’s supposed Russia connections, a story which won’t die because Trump’s opponents know it’s all they have. Yet nobody has produced any evidence of collusion between Trump’s lot and Putin’s lot, nobody has proof that it was the Russians (or indeed anybody) who hacked the DNC’s servers, and every new outrage on Twitter which renews calls for Trump’s impeachment disappears as quickly as it arrives.

It is somewhat annoying that even smart people like Ben Shapiro lend credence to the Russia thing: it is bollocks, and it always was. Putin, being Russian and therefore denied any hand in the victimhood poker game, is a useful bogeyman on which to blame everything from Trump to Brexit. Even the emergence of papers allegedly showing Macron to be less than squeaky clean was blamed on Trump, and there is no shortage of prominent figures – even those who should know better – who believe it.

But Trump has not helped himself, and if his opponents weren’t so busy shrieking about the End Of Days every time Trump so much as sneezes, they would have plenty to criticise. His “repeal” of Obamacare is a complete fudge which will do nothing to solve America’s healthcare problems. He’s flailing about on the Wall. He flipped on Middle East intervention by firing missiles at Syria, and now he’s arming Kurds. He seems to be dealing rather well with China, less so with Iran. His policies are all over the place, and the fact that he has no experience in politics is now painfully obvious. He isn’t playing 3D chess like some sort of Machiavellian  genius, he’s simply out of his depth.

But the worst part is his organisational skills. For somebody who carries a reputation as being a skilled businessman and negotiator, his administration seems to be lurching all over the place with all manner of intrigues and speculation as to who is really in charge of what. I don’t see any problem with Ivanka taking on the ceremonial role of first lady if Melania doesn’t want it, meeting the wives of other heads of state and chatting about kids, schools, and dresses. But to involve her in policy? Give her an office? What is this, Africa? And what the hell is Ivanka’s husband doing in the mix?

There seems to be no clear hierarchy, no discipline, no organisation. What is most depressing is the influence of James Mattis and Rex Tillerson – both of whom ought to impose precisely those attributes on the administration – is thus far non-existent. This petty infighting, squabbling, poorly executed sackings, and outbursts would never have been tolerated around Mattis or Tillerson in their previous roles.

Trump himself has to carry the blame for this. He should have learned by now to ignore the media and stop going on Twitter. It wouldn’t be so bad if he was actually saying things that were true, but taking to Twitter to praise the mess that is the AHCA just makes him look like the rank amateur that he is. Trump is making the same “overgaming” mistake Milo did, and I wrote about here: he’s used shock tactics to get where he wanted to, but now he’s there he needs to quit with the attention-seeking and knuckle down to the serious stuff. Trump needs to stop campaigning and start governing only, like Obama before him, he seems incapable of doing so. If things keep going like this we’re going to see the likes of Mattis and Tillerson resign in frustration to be replaced by compliant nobodies, and the entire administration turn into something resembling a reality TV show.

It is tempting to blame the media and unreasonable Democrats, and they do have a lot to answer for, but the man in charge is Donald Trump and he is clearly not up to the job. I suspect he will leave office having achieved only one thing of note, which in fairness is the most important of them all: he kept Hillary Clinton out of the White House.


Making Politics Look Effortful

This article in National Review putting the boot into Chelsea Clinton has some wonderful lines:

Without establishing herself in any field, she segued gently into the realm of the ceremonial job, as though, having skipped entirely the “rising to the top of one’s profession” part of life, it was time to kick back a little, to accept due recompense in the form of board seats (such as the one on the family foundation) and advisory sinecures and other such vapor-jobs, prestige appointments lightly tethered to the vaguest of duties.

Is it too much to expect of a Stanford grad who has two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. that she write her own book instead of calling in a ghostwriter? How hard can it be to produce a volume of stuporous change-the-world banality in the first place? Especially a bad book written with all the verve of the iTunes Terms of Service agreement?

Hillary won’t, of course, run again, because the donor money won’t be there. The donors know that she was looking at a two-inch putt of a campaign and somehow managed not only to miss but to shank the ball into the long grass while screaming about the Russians and misogyny.

Chelsea Clinton is indeed working hard — on the family brand. But like her mother, she makes politics look effortful.

If you don’t like the way a fawning media is preparing the ground for yet another Clinton run at office and have twenty minutes to spare, go and read the whole thing.


Surrounded by Sycophants

This article on Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, contains an interesting passage:

In her isolation, surrounded by sycophants, Clinton had no one to tell her she was wrong. A few people hinted at warning against some of these problems, but no one had the clout to make the cautions stick. In Clintonworld, loyalty was valued above all else. Anyone in her orbit who objected too strenuously risked crossing the line and paying the price. They fought among themselves, but none of it reached the throne, and none dared risk his place by insisting on a change.

How many catastrophic failures – political, commercial, military, technical – can be attributed to the above? I could reel off half a dozen right now, off the cuff. The amusing thing is that this sort of situation is inevitable in modern organisations given the incentives placed in front of people. Yet if you point this out you’ll be hounded out so fast your feet won’t touch the floor, with those doing the hounding oblivious to the irony. I guess it’s simple human nature, and there’s not much that can be done about it.

In the few instances where I have been trusted enough to manage a project team or department, I’ve made sure I retained a grumpy old sod on hand to point out where I am going wrong. It might be difficult to hear sometimes, but such feedback is invaluable.


Magic Bullets

Years ago I was sat in a meeting at work explaining to my boss that a situation had gotten into a bit of a mess and would require quite some effort to put right. I wasn’t responsible for the situation but it fell to me to fix it, at least in part. I had no problem doing this, but if I was going to do it properly then it would mean the hierarchy confronting some unpalatable truths, making some tough decisions, and committing to expenditures they’d probably rather not have to. I explained to my boss what needed doing and why, and that I would happily take charge of the works from then on. My boss, alas, did not have any experience in this area of work whatsoever but was nevertheless drawing a salary and enjoying the authority that comes with the position and so found himself owning this particular mess. He was also, like all good corporate ladder-climbers, very aware of the consequences of having to pass on bad news to his own management.

Even though he didn’t much like the course of action I was offering, he wasn’t in any position to argue: the problem had landed on my desk and I was happy to solve it, albeit my way, and he lacked the knowledge and competence to challenge my methods. He was just on the verge of accepting my proposal when one of my colleagues from an altogether unrelated department piped up:

‘We can do it, no problem.’ All heads swung over to young George, who had spoken.

‘You can?’ said my boss hopefully.

‘You can?’ said I skeptically.

‘Yes, sure,’ said George. ‘We won’t need to do any of that stuff Tim is saying, I’ll get one of my guys to do it.’

My boss grabbed hold of this like a drowning man clinging onto an empty Fosters can in the hope it will support his weight and stop him being dragged ‘neath the waves.

‘Okay, good!’ he said. ‘Can I pass this over to you, then George?’

‘Yes, no problem!’ said George, bobbing his eagerly. He then looked at me slyly, knowing he’d made himself look smart and me stupid, and gotten his boss out of a hole. If I’d given two figs about my career in that place I may have said something, but instead I just grinned back and said ‘Good decision!’ and gave everyone a thumbs-up while sporting a shit-eating grin across my face.

Note that at no point did my boss ask George how he intends to do this work, let alone how he intends to do it easily and quickly when I’d been suggesting it would be neither. And nor did my boss seem to mind handing off work that my department was supposed to be doing to George, who worked in a quite different line of business. My boss heard what he wanted to hear and didn’t ask any questions: a magic bullet had presented itself to solve his problems, and he’d gladly accepted it.

Only of course George’s solution was no such thing: as soon as he tried to do the work he found he couldn’t and his department faffed around and obfuscated for months afterwards making one excuse after another, still assuring the boss he was on top of things, until eventually the work got wrapped up in a larger project and let he and my boss off the hook. Nevertheless, George was seen as being “helpful” whereas Tim was viewed as being “difficult”.

This situation is extremely common in large organisations: management is told what they want to hear by their subordinates, who get a reputation for being “helpful” and a “team player”. Ambitious people offer magic bullets in order to boost their careers and undermine possibly rivals, and managers accept them uncritically. Nobody wants to take the tough path when somebody has provided them with a magic bullet that allows them to avoid it.

I can’t help thinking a similar thing has happened with Emmanuel Macron being elected president of France. France has some serious problems which successive generations of politicians have failed to address. The EU also has serious structural problems which nobody has even tried to address because that would entail first admitting these problems exist. This latest election campaign started off with the incumbent Socialist party wiped out. the centre-right party’s François Fillon offering the same as Sarkozy did previously, and Marine Le Pen saying quite bluntly what she thought the problems were and how she intended to fix them. Fillon’s campaign was brought down by a scandal involving payments to his wife, which cleared the path for Emmanuel Macron to sweep in as the only “decent” or “moderate” candidate.

Aside from a few people who follow French politics closely, nobody has a clue who Macron is. Indeed, most of the media thinks this man who until very recently worked for a Socialist government is a centrist and an outsider. Insofar as his policies are concerned, he has basically done what George did in my meeting: he has wandered into the middle of the election and said:

‘No problem, just leave everything to me! I’ll solve X, Y, and Z without us having to make tough choices or suffer any pain, don’t listen to what that nasty Le Pen is saying! Vote for me and everything will be all right!’

And, like my boss, the French have seized on this reasonable-looking man as their magic bullet. I can understand why a lot of French didn’t vote for Le Pen – the name alone puts a lot of people off, as well as some of the more right-wing elements of her policies and followers. But she at least made it clear who she was, what she wanted, what she thought the problems were, and what she intended to do about them. You don’t have to agree with her views or proposed solutions to appreciate that she didn’t take the easy route of pretending things can and should continue as they are and the population need not suffer any sort of economic or social disruption going forward. But in telling the population what they don’t want to hear, even if they desperately need to hear it, she left the way open for Macron to come in and tell them what they wanted to hear.

I am not surprised that the media and various Establishment figures around Europe have accepted Macron uncritically, and not even bothered with a cursory attempt at due diligence as to who this person is. After all, he told them what they wanted to hear as well. Even if we ignore the supposed financial scandal that was leaked a day or two before the election, the media seems uninterested in doing anything other than praising him for saving France from the fascists and Europe from oblivion. How an election in which two thirds voted for an unknown youngster making vague promises to solve problems that have confounded three or four previous generations and a third voted for radically altering the country and its relationship with the EU is cause for celebration and relief I really don’t know. But I have a feeling both are going to be rather short-lived.

Macron was plucked from oblivion as a 15-year old by his now-wife, who is 25 years old than he is, and propelled upwards. In the 24 years since, he has lead the same charmed, privileged life – grand ecoles, cushy positions in industry (in his case finance), parachuted into the highest levels of politics – that all of the French elite enjoy. I doubt he has had to deal with a major problem in his entire life, yet here he is about to run a country facing serious difficulties. How much influence his wife had over his career thus far, and how much she will have over him as president, is something nobody knows because nobody bothered to ask, but the French are about to find out.

My guess is he will not know what’s hit him. He’s been propelled into power thanks to either good fortune or the deliberate sabotage of Fillon’s campaign and the fact that he’s the nice, reasonable young man who can’t possibly offend anybody and says all the right things: just like Tony Blair, David Cameron, Barack Obama, and Justin Trudeau. The first three of those left office having been massacred by the realities of politics, their “legacies” in tatters, and thought of fondly only by a handful of sycophants who occupy metropolitan bubbles that shield them from the vast majority of their fellow countrymen; and Trudeau is proving to the world why electing Prime Ministers on looks is a bad idea. Such “big tent” people are good at meddling, tinkering, nannying, and pandering to fashionable causes but utterly useless at dealing with serious issues such as immigration, unemployment, horrific public debt, terrorism, collapsing rural and industrial communities, an entrenched elite, an over-regulated economy, and unions that hold a gun to the heads of ordinary citizens. They are too preoccupied with being liked than doing anything that might make people dislike them, even if it is the right thing to do.

I suspect in a few months Macron will have his first real test in office and he will be found wanting. People will begin to wonder how this person was railroaded from nowhere to the French presidency in a matter of weeks without anyone bothering to find out who he is. By then it will be too late, of course.

Not that any of this is Macron’s fault: the French people for too long have been too ready to accept the magic bullet solution, and Macron simply told them what they wanted to hear. As I am fond of saying, people get the government they deserve and in Macron the French appear to have exactly what they want: somebody who promises them comfort but changes nothing. Good luck to them.


Francis Turner on Macron v Le Pen

This post by Francis Turner over at L’Ombre de l’Olivier is worth reading, and pretty accurately reflects my own views on the upcoming final round of the French presidential election:

The French presidential race has come down to a similar situation to the US one last year. There are two choices and both are looking pretty bad. So if you are a French voter how do you decide which one to not vote for?

Go and read it all!