Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kevin O'Rourke on Hollande's Reival of Say's Law and the Hara-Kiri of the European Left

Thanks to James Conran for this link.

Statist Liberalism vs. Social Democracy

From the horse's mouth:
Pour définir sa politique, le chef de l'Etat est en revanche un peu plus disert. A ses yeux, le qualificatif « libéral » est inapproprié dans la mesure où « la France, même quand elle fait du libéralisme, le fait par l'Etat », comme ce fut le cas avec Jacques Chirac en 1986 ou Nicolas Sarkozy en 2007. Sa démarche, assure-t-il, est tout autre. Elle est celle de la négociation avec et entre les partenaires sociaux. Ce qui lui fait dire que « nous sommes entrés, sans doute, en France, dans une phase sociale-démocrate ».

On the Publicity of the President's Private Life

As I said the other day, if you want your private life to be private, you shouldn't involve your private partners in your public role. Julie Gayet will no longer serve on the jury of the Villa Médicis, to which she was about to be named by the Minister of Culture, who serves under the president of the Republic, with the support of the president's friend Eric de Chassey, who heads the VM.

And Médiapart expresses some regret that it respected the president's private life when it first heard rumors of his affair with Gayet several months ago (if Médiapart knew, are we really to believe that Mme Trierweiler learned of the affair only on Friday, from Closer?). It is now clear that several matters of public interest were hidden from view by the principle of respect for private life, ranging from the president's security to his appointments policy to the role and staff assigned to the "first lady."

In any case, when a candidate announces that:
"Moi président de la République, je ferai en sorte que mon comportement soit en chaque instant exemplaire"
one is entitled to ask whether chaque instant includes every second of the day, or just time on camera.

Roma Evictions Accelerate

Scott Sayare in the Times:

French authorities sharply accelerated the eviction of migrant Roma squatters in 2013, razing the unauthorized encampments of nearly 20,000 Roma, according to a report by rights groups on Tuesday. The evictions were double those of 2012, according to the French Human Rights League and the European Roma Rights Center. President François Hollande took office in 2012 pledging to break with the strict policies of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. But Mr. Hollande has reinforced those policies, demolishing at least 165 Roma camps last year, according to the report. French officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Interesting, since most estimates put the number of migrant Roma in France at 20,000. Has Valls evicted them all, or is he playing whack-a-mole, razing one camp, then razing the next camp to which the inhabitants have fled. No matter: no publicity is bad publicity, as the saying goes.