25 May 2014

For some strange reason not all countries vote in the EU elections at the same time - the UK voted on the 22nd, but la France goes to the polls today. Although apathy abounds, it's important.
This week I've been reading Robert Harris's latest 'An Officer and a Spy' - an intrigruing conflation of fiction and fact about the 19C Dreyfus case. Can't help but think that, two centuries later, the French mindset hasn't changed much. Back then crowds gathered in the place de Fontenoy in Paris, baying for the blood of someone, anyone, who must be the cause of all their problems. I can just hear the racist spin doctors of the day: 'He must be guilty, therefore let's find the evidence for it'. It was with this in mind that I read M. Jean-Marie le Pen's comments this week about 'M. Ebola' - at a stroke racially condemning and advocating the eradication of whole nations he didn't much like the look of. I hope that intending Front Nationale voters today bear all this in mind.  Putting all the blame for your own troubles onto someone else perceived as 'different' is childish and never the answer.  Forget 'vive la difference' and embrace 'nous sommes tout pareille'.  Unlike our neighbours here, hold out the hand of friendship.  Now if only our local candidate would say that.....

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