Monday, May 07, 2007


The polls had been predicting this for months but that didn't make the inevitable morning-after feeling any easier to shake off. Parents at the school gate were subdued.
Bonjour. Ca va?
Colleagues at work were depressed. Two of my friends are married to Algerians: they are frankly uneasy. I seem to be destined to forever live among people who vote against the mainstream. I lived for years in a Scotland that voted Labour but was subjected to Thatcher. Now I live in a Ségolene-voting South-West France that faces five years of "le petit excité". There were plenty of people in the streets of Bordeaux last night, but they definitely weren't celebrating — they were lamenting. If you don't know anything about Nicholas Sarkozy, think Bush and Berlusconi rolled into one massive ego. Think megalomania. Think increased social inequality. Think friends in big business. Think tax breaks for the rich and diminishing public health care. Think repression. Think America's new lapdog.

I'm off to do what it takes to have my say in five-years' time.


Ms Mac said...

Good luck with that. Will your new man let you? Or, is he one of those who spouts, "But, of course, you're not the type of immigrant I'm speaking about!"?

Sarah Mackenzie said...

You're going to become french? There are other less extreme measures you could take. You could assassinate a right wing voter next time around (actually you would have to kill two wouldn't you. Could be a little tricky). Anyway maybe there won't be any need to vote if Sarkozy turns out to be the dictator that everyone thinks he is. Think about it. It could save hours of paperwork and probably a few euros too.

beefking said...

I did some digging re: UK disenfranchisement, and it turns out you were only partly right: you get 15 years now (recently lowered from 20) away before they axe you. But you need only return to the UK for a single in-person vote (register in your family district) and you're back on the absentee rolls for another 15 years. So there is hope yet.

Here there wasn't much obvious fuss about the results yesterday; on the mairie door were posted the local numbers: 65% Sarko. Surprising, really, considering how much people here seem to like their 3-hour lunches, their unfireability, and their social services.

And as far as the new American lap-dog, well, Gordon Brown didn't make such a good showing last week did he? Maybe it's time for a new pet.

deborah said...

I'm going to print out this post and stick it up for any lurking right winger or white-voting fool who dares past my threshold over the next five years.

We opened a consoling bottle of champagne and the lamentations were long.

Your friends are married to Frenchmen? perhaps second or third generation Algerians or newcomers?
Saw a film yesterday about the Tziganes who were put in camps in France during the war and only 'let out' in 1946 in winter, bare feet, and nowhere to go. They were French and shut up by the French.
Down that road again?

Hooray for the Sud-Ouest anyway.

Lesley said...

MsMac: Yes, I'm definitely the accepatable sort of immigrant. I've known that since I spent a morning queueing up behind poor Africans to get my residence papers.

BK: I looked into the overseas voter possibilities and I still don't qualify because I last voted in the UK in person in 1983 and by procuration in 1987 (gulp). In any case, it's much more logical and fair to vote in the place in which you live, use the health and education systems, pay taxes etc. rather than a place to which you have emotional ties.

I'm surprised by the result in your village but the Dordogne as a whole voted for Ségolène.

Sarah: Maybe I could just hold a couple of Sarko-voters hostage during the "législatives".

Deborah: No they're both first-generation Algerians and worried.

deborah said...

I should have known you are always precise, Lesley! Hope it will be some comfort to the Algerians in question that at least half of the voters in France are fairly enlightened.

Meanwhile Sark and family have swanned off in a 60 foot yacht in the Mediterranean. Oh dear.

frog with a blog said...

I've been hung-over for 3 days now. Can't seem to recover from the news. I have no choice but become an alcoholic. (gee, I'm already an alcoholic).

Vive l'Aquitaine et Ségolène!

deborah said...

Vive frog with a blog!

(et vive le vin du Sud-Ouest bien-sûr)