The Point of Non-Retour

I’m starting to feel like an extra in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, what with the two big protests in London today by Brexiteers and Remainers; but let me stick with France for the moment. A few days ago l’Humanité (a newspaper closely associated with the French Communist Party) published a piece which featured an interview with an anonymous CRS/riot police officer. This officer said that since the start of the gilets jaunes protests he’s taken sick leave, because he’s sympathetic with the protestors and doesn’t want to have to confront them. The officer said that many of his colleagues feel the same way. During yesterday’s riots in Paris there were nearly 10,000 police on the streets and I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that on a number of occasions police took off their riot helmets and joined the protestors. Of course these protests are taking place all over France. The gilet jaunes are picketing toll booths on the autoroutes, and they’ve been pushing up the barriers and allowing drivers to go through free of charge. The police have largely ignored this. As was shown in places like East Germany and Romania, when law enforcement starts sympathising with protestors it normally means a quick end for the ruling elite.

But this is France in 2018 and what’s happening with the gilet jaunes is totally unprecedented – ie, a popular uprising totally unconnected to political movements. However it all pans out there’s no going back now. Things will never be the same again (governments all around the world will be quaking in their boots when they see what’s going on in France). This is a revolution, but as with all revolutions at some point the political process has to take over from boiling anger on the streets. Talking of which, the 2017 French presidential election was quite a close run race, with just six points separating Emmanuel Macron, Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Mélenchon. In the first round Macron got less than 20% of the vote, and in the second round Macron only won the presidency because most of the French voters didn’t want the (then) even worst prospect of Le Pen as president. Now it seems almost certain that Macron is toast and won’t see out his presidency. The French will either go for Mélenchon or Le Pen. It looks like we might, sometime soon, have the rather interesting prospect of a genuine socialist in power in France, and a genuine socialist in power in Britain. With the way it’s all panned out, you really couldn’t make this stuff up. I think I’ve already mentioned that I feel like an extra in A Tale of Two Cities.

Here’s Jean-Luc Mélenchon, speaking the day before this fourth wave of protests. There should be English sub-titles on this video. If the sub-titles don’t appear click on the first little icon on the right of the tool bar.

This entry was posted in Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Point of Non-Retour

  1. freddy says:

    In 1968 de Gaule was spirited out of France.
    Do you think Macron has been removed from France?

    • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

      Freddy, I think Macron is too arrogant and out of touch to give in to the protestors, which means that this probably won’t all end well. I was surprised that this weekend more protestors weren’t killed by the police. This was probably because the police are largely on the side of the protestors – the CRS, riot police, recently got a big pay rise, but most ordinary police in France are in much the same position as the protestors.

      De Gaule has many detractors yet he’s still widely admired in France. Macron, on the otherhand, is a little maggot who’s widely detested in France.

  2. freddy says:

    Rob, the French people have done the rest of us a good dead.
    Governments will now be unable to pursue Global Warming Taxes for the working poor. Governments will have to stop taking the piss out of the voters, they will have to remind them selves they are the servants of the people, not the masters.

    • Rob Godfrey Rob Godfrey says:

      Freddy, from your point of view (and mine as well) what the gilets juanes mean is Frexit. As well as giving the finger to the French government they’re also giving the finger to the EU.

      People forget that – when was it, back in 2005? – the French voted against the Lisbon Treaty, which brought the present EU into existence. The French government completely ignored the referendum vote and took France into the EU, regardless.

      Does this all sound a bit familiar..?

  3. freddy says:

    Where will France and the EU go from here? The future is unpredictable, and it is not very bright.

    When people feel they are no longer heard by the elites, protest becomes more vehement. We see it in various forms from Spain to Hungary. In France, it leads to burning cars and looted shops. In Britain, it leads to Brexit. France has once again provided us with a dramatic spectacle of what can happen when a political system implodes.

    In Britain, too, we need to heed the warning. If people feel those in power despise them, sooner or later they react.

    We want Full BREXIT NOW.

    • freddy says:

      The E.U. Court has just said that the United Kingdom can cancell Brexit any time before next Spring, we can stay without E.U. PUNISHMENT BEATINGS.

      Funny how this comes out one day before Westminster votes on Theresa May’s DEAL?

      • freddy says:

        Theresa May has put off tomorrows “Meaningful Vote”
        it is to be put on hold, till next year.
        In the meantime, the United Kingdom will step-up planning for

  4. freddy says:

    The French police say they are tired of being the punchbag for Macron and his filthy government

    French Police have had more than enough

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *