We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

It isn’t true…they aren’t even on the same floor!

In the classic British television comedy “Yes, Minister” the bureaucracy engineered the elevation of a conviction-free mediocrity to the post of prime minister. The episode, called “Party Games” involved the following altercation between Jim Hacker, the minister who is looking for a “big idea” to campaign about and a French-speaking Brussels bureaucrat1:

Jim Hacker: “Do you know, there’s an office at the European Commission where they pay people to produce food and next door there’s another office where they pay people to destroy food?”

European Bureaucrat: “It is not true!”

Sir Humphrey Appleby (British bureaucrat): “Oh really?”

European Bureaucrat: “They are not even on the same floor!”

Now consider that exchange in the light of my Case for “War on Chirac” versus this defence by Gemini, presumably a Chirac fan:

Just a few things – Chirac as PM wasn’t sacked, he’s the only PM of the 5th Republic who actually willingly quit. Second, the bicentenary of the execution of Louis XVI couldn’t have been in 1992, since he was executed on 21/01/1793. So out of the 7 wrong-doings in 27 yrs, 2 at least are wrong….

The first objection is of the “yes he was pushed… no he jumped” variety. See this page for a very different view than the “official Chirac” line. I might add that Chirac’s nicknames include “Chameleon Bonaparte” and “Supermenteur” – Super Liar. The second is too funny to take seriously. The row occured in late 1992 because the royalists asked for permission to lay the wreath in late 1992, but as M.Gemini put it, the event was due to take place on 21st January 1993. As an excuse for Chirac’s partisan support for Communists who set up a mock guillotine to decapitate a pig carcass against laying a wreath of white flowers in a dignified ceremony, I find quibbling about the date a little rich. As for claiming that this means that “2 out of 7” claims are wrong, I couldn’t help laughing.

Which reminds me of three additional reasons for declaring War on Chirac:

  1. It was Chirac who was instrumental in assisting the sale of nuclear technology to Saddam Hussein in the late 1970s. The facility at Mossul was bombed by the Israeli air force in 1981. I’ve no doubt that many French politicians made a packet out the deal.
  2. I still haven’t discussed the financial corruption of the Chirac family.
  3. I post this quote in full from a 1990 election meeting.

    “Comment voulez-vous que le travailleur francais qui travaille avec sa femme et qui ensemble gagnent environ 15000 francs, et qui voit sur le palier à cote de son HLM, entasses, une famille avec un pere de famille, trois ou quatre epouses, et une vingtaine de gosses, qui gagnent 50000 francs par mois de prestations sociale sans naturellement travailler ! Si vous ajoutez à cela le bruit et l’odeur, eh bien, le travailleur francais sur le pallier il devient fou ! Et ce n’est pas etre raciste que de dire cela. Nous n’avons plus les moyens d’honorer le regroupement familial. Et il faudra enfin un jour poser le grand debat qui s’impose dans notre pays, qui est un vrai debat moral, pour savoir s’il est naturel que des etrangers puissent beneficier, au meme titre que les Francais, d’une solidarite nationale. À laquelle ils ne participent pas puisqu’ils ne payent pas d’impots.”

    “How do you expect the French worker who works with his wife and between them earn about 15000 Francs per month (about &pound1,500 at the time), and who see their next door neighbours in their tower block stacked together, a family with a father, three or four wives, and twenty odd kids, who make 50,000 Francs a month in in state benefits without naturally actually working. If you add to this the noise and the smell, well the French worker on the landing will become insane! And it is not racist to say that. We no longer have the means to honour family reunions (which allow relatives of working immigrants to come to France). And it will be necessary to start the great debate which our country requires, which is a truly moral debate, to decide if it is natural that strangers to this country should benefit, with the same entitlement as the French, of a national solidarity (the French term for government welfare) to which they do not participate because they don’t pay taxes.”

This is the same politician who in the second round of last year’s presidential election thought it was “shameful” for Jean-Marie Le Pen to be his second round opponent. The unofficial election slogan was “Votez l’escroc, pas le facho!” – Elect the Fraudster, not the Fascist. Regarding Saddam, could France do a swap?

1 = I’m recording this from memory so I don’t mind being corrected.

2 comments to It isn’t true…they aren’t even on the same floor!