23rd March 2014
Bonaparte once said 'History is a set of lies that people have agreed upon'. French residents need to reflect on this as they go to the polls in today's local elections. We're all swayed by the media. Lately the French press have been eager to bring down Sarkozy's ambitions whilst Hollande is still struggling to improve the flagging economy. And, whilst we're all looking elsewhere, Marine Le Pen's FN party dangerously awaits its chance to steal a march on everyone. That's what it does - hiding behind a veneer of surface respectability. In the impoverished town of Henin-Beaumont in Normandy, Le Pen sees political gold in the abandoned coal mines that once pumped jobs into the area. Whilst disdaining the EU, paradoxically she's pinning all her hopes on using towns like Henin to build a grassroots base to draw ahead in the EU May elections ready for the ultimate prize of the presidency in 2017. Let's hope the French aren't swayed by National Front hype. As Him indoors says, Hollande needs to buy some colle du bois to stick his cabinet together. But, above all, keep with conservative prices, liberal values and labour-saving devices - stick with what you know!