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]

News from a parallel universe

People in France, that paragon of European economic sophistication, are being told that if they reject the European Constitution, they will suffer economic catastrophe.

But what might happen? Perhaps French unemployment might reach, say, 10%? Oh right…

30 comments to News from a parallel universe

  • Stehpinkeln

    Do you think the Frogs are really dumb enough to fall for that? I suspect most of them will expect the writers ( creators? designers? engineers?) of that weighty tome to remove a comma or maybe even a whole sentence and try again. Meanwhile, what is the weather forcast for London?

  • jc

    so france is at around 10% and Germany at 12%… is there something happening here that is going to cause a historical event? a new revolution? or are the Germans and the French just going to try and wait it out while trying to hold on to their nanny states?

  • Verity

    Personally, I feel that this chivvying will galvanise – to a mild extent – the French to vote Oui. It won’t be huge, but a majority is all that counts. Certainly, the middle aged ones believe wholeheartedly this myth that it is only because of the EU that there’s been peace on the European continent for the last 60 years. You can argue until your face turns blue that they’re all democratic countries now (which god knows, they weren’t before) and a democratic country isn’t going to declare war on another democratic country.

    There is also the America myth, which is not far from their consciousness. “Oh, but we need the EU!” say my French friends. “Why?” say I?

    “Well, to protect us!”

    “Protect the European continent against whom?”

    “Well … well … America …”

    “Why? Do you think the US is going to invade France?”

    “Well, no, but …” the bogeyman is still under the bed.

    “Why on earth would America, the richest country in the world, want to attack France?”

    “Uh, well, America … “.

    “You think the US would be motivate to attack a democracy? WHY?” Blah blah blah blah.

    Emotionalism, envy of the United State, confusion because they don’t understand capitalism (aka “American cultural imperialism” – like the American military came over and forced the French at gunpoint to wear jeans and eat pizzas).

    Sadly, I think the anti-American vote will be stronger (around 56%, say) than the anti-EU vote.

  • Come the fateful day when US troops again storm Normandy, France will be able to count on Belgium and Spain to crush the American military machine.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • Come the fateful day when US troops again storm Normandy, France will be able to count on Belgium and Spain to crush the American military machine.

    Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • Bob Dobbs

    “Economic Catastrophe”, you say.

    Well, serves those French Bastards right!

    Looking at the success that is Iraq these days, why, who wouldn’t want to have the same results in their country?

    Why, just based on the number of car and truck bombs per day in Iraq vs. the number of car/truck bombs under the Evil Saddam show that Democracy is ON THE MARCH!

    (Except when a roadside IED, made from explosives looted from the unguarded Al Qaqa site goes off, or all the rubbish from a truck bomb causes the marching band to make a detour. But what the heck, it’s only disposable soldiers and brown people getting killed, right?)

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Ah, I just knew Bob Dobbs would pop up and start ranting about Iraq sooner or later. His attempted segue from France to Iraq was less than convincing, however.

    Bob, here’s a pogo stick. And a one way ticket to the Cambodian countryside. Go explore!

  • Katie

    Well, as someone actually living in France, I can tell you that you’re underestimating French contrariness and love for public demonstration. That’s the reason the nos are polling so high. On the day, that’s not the decision a lot of them will take.

    It’s publicly acceptable in France only to support a social-humanist model (unless you’re lovely media star sarko) but when it comes down to it, people know what side their bread is buttered. They will not bite the European hand that feeds them. They will keep very quiet about it though.

  • Julian Taylor

    Hmm, biting the hand that feeds you is the French national recreation though, and keeping very quiet about it is certainly not something I would expect of the French. The only thing I am worrried about, with regard to their constitutional vote, is how Phoney and his Department for I Love Tony Constitutional Affairs will see a French “Oui” and how it will affect the British referendum.

  • Johnathan

    Peter Oborne’s article is excellent but depressing in its insights about how sodden with statism the French now are.

    Bob Dobbs, what is the matter, dearie? You still pining for Saddam, hero to the isolationists?

  • As the perfidious French are embarked on the third stage of nuclear power generation =85% of electical power generation , + 9% Hydro = 0 emissions of ze Co2 msr , they can look in the idle luxury of their unemployment, as this cold, lonely windswept island, devoid of coal and short of cod, try to desperately keep warm and force round the wheels of industry.

    Germany having taken over a third world nation is still struggling with the consequences, but they will succeed.

    What will a written constitution provide … another avenue for lawyers to prosper ….. a straightjacket for fools to bind us with … see the US with it’s crazed obsession with 18th Century ideas .

    From what I can gather the French population could not give damn and will ignore the result…. perhaps another perfidious French scheme to can the whole idea until the Moldovans come up with a better idea…by the way for the betting folks, Moldova to win Eurovision. Catchy little number from Carpathia cow cocky band ZDUB, with a jumpy trumpet backing – apparently a wow in the CSS – who have opened concerts for The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine and Boney M – song is entitled Boonika Bate Doba (Grandmamma Beats The Drum-a), apparently Lukaschenko has a personal interest as the band have Belorussian backing.

  • So, how honest is the French polling structure? When the results say “oui,” as they will, should we believe that is an accurate reflection of votes cast?

    I ask because one-party leftist states are not known for honesty or scruples. Just ask the Canucks.

  • Jacob

    “…the middle aged ones believe wholeheartedly this myth that it is only because of the EU that there’s been peace on the European continent for the last 60 years. ”

    Maybe they have a point … There weren’t any 60 year periods with no war in Europe before.

    I mean – the idea of a European borderless union is a good idea. The idea of a world borderless zone (if practicable) would be even better.

    The Bad Thing is not the EU as such, but it’s adopted socialist policies. If we could only have a capitalist, market oriented EU …

  • Johnathan

    Edward Teague, I have just had a nice big lunch, so forgive me if my senses are dulled, but what the fargin hell are you on about?

  • Verity

    Jonathan, I peeled off about 1/3 of the way through Edward Teague’s post.

    Katie, I lived in France until a few months ago, and I think they will vote aye by a slender margin. They are like an animals that’s been kept in a cage for so long, that when someone opens the cage door for it to escape, it refuses to leave. Also, don’t forget, they see themselves as the rulers of the EU, so to them, it’s a pride thing.

    Jacob, giving up national sovereignty of people who have occupied that piece of land for thousands of years is never a good thing. It is a cruel, fascist thing. You’re from Israel. You should know better.

    I am sticking to my figure of 56% voting for their ridiculous “constitution”. It was written by a Frenchman, after all, so they will know that it’s been done right. Katie, how do you read the percentage of the vote?

    Bob – did you check your watch? It’s time for your meds.

  • Dobbs… banned. Get lost blogroach, take your ill-mannered off-topic fascist apologia and tinfoil hat conspiracy theories and post them elsewhere. Try Stormfront, I am sure you will go down a treat there.

  • I agree with both Verity and Katie. Do not be taken in by the ‘alarmist’ talk of a ‘non’ vote. There may be a lot of genuine Gallic grumbling but, when push comes to shove, the French will not turn their faces against the EU project. What else do they have?

    Besides, I expect that the number of eligible voters in places like Guadelupe and Martinique (all of whom will vote ‘oui’, of course) has already mysteriously and suddenly quadrupled.

  • Stehpinkeln

    Don’t forget the 15,000 crok pot grannies. I’m sure they will all vote ‘yup” (american for oui). A true socialist won’t let something like death keep them from voting the party line.
    I take it ‘B.Dobbed’ is a transitive verb hereabouts.
    As in the ‘Samizdata posters were B.Dobbed today’
    Or would that be a prepositional? It’s been 4 decades since I was supposed to learn that stuff and I pretty much blew it off.

    “Yet the poor fellows think they are safe! They think that the war is over! Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
    -George Santayana

    “Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt.”

  • J. Fred Muggs

    At least have the self-honesty to admit that you were wrong to support an invasion of a country that had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, had no WMDs and was not a serious threat to any other country.

    Look, you got suckered. It happens.

    Intellectually honest people will admit they got suckered, vow “We won’t get fooled again!” and make amends.

    You ARE intellectually honest people, aren’t you?

  • Verity

    J Fred Muggs, Well I am. Which is why I will continue to say that we are correct to try to bring democracy to the ME. I’m not going to rehearse all the ancient arguments, but the war was correct. It is important to keep repeating this when one comes across comments like yours, because if we don’t respond, they will appear to be the prevailing opinion.

    The war was correct.

  • Verity

    Also, don’t forget, it was the Froggies and the Krauts who started this absurd project. The French simply will not turn their backs on something, in front of the whole world, of which they were a major architect. Not a possibility.

    For all the frisson of entertaining the notion that the French may vote Non, it is not going to happen. Some will. But I am sticking with my figure of 56% endorsing it. Maybe inch (not centimetre) up to 60%.

    And as David astutely notes, those ol’ postal votes from Martinique and Guadaloupe will be stacking right up …

  • Jacob

    ” it was the Froggies and the Krauts who started this absurd project”

    This absurd project wasn’t that absurd. The Krauts bought themselves a little respectability by paying the Frogs “agricultural subsidies”. Transactions where both parites gain (in their perception) aren’t absurd. The “absurd project” is based on a solid foundation of self interest.
    The Frogs will vote oui because they get paid to do so… that’s what usually motivates them in all their policies, and it isn’t an absurd motivation (even if it stinks a little).

  • J. Fred Muggs

    Keep telling yourself that, Verity.

    You might even come to believe it its really true.

    Iraq had:

    No connection with 9/11
    No connection with BinLaden and AQ.
    No WMD.
    No WMD programs.
    No infrastructure to endanger Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia or Israel.

    1630 dead Americans as of today, upwards of 7000 who died enroute to Germany or the US. Thousands more horrendously wounded.

    You know, the other day, Wednesday, I think it was, was exactly the same number of days from 12/07/41 to the end of WWII in Europe, as it was from 09/11/01.

    You’d think that the US and Britain would be able to find and kill BinLaden in that time. Certainly we should have “won” the War on Terror by now.

    I guess that a fat old drunk and a crippled old liberal knew how to fight a war better than Commander Cuckoo Banannas.

  • Verity

    J Fred Mugwits, I have no need to “keep telling myself that” because I am not in as frantic a state as you are. I loathe and despise T Bliar, but for once in his entire disreputable political life, he did the right thing. By mistake, possibly. But it was the right thing to support our allies the United States. The war was correct. The peace is also correct. Everything is moving forward. It is not a movie. There are no segues. Everything has to be done in real time.

    Before you post again, please bear in mind that the people, like me, who supported the war, haven’t been swayed by cleverer people far more skilled in suasion than you. Trust me. You are not going to turn the trick.

  • GCooper

    J. Fred Muggs writes:

    “Iraq had:” blah blah blah

    Mmmm.. and pre-invasion Iraq was a pleasure garden in which the people lived blissful lives under the benign gaze of a beloved, friendly old uncle. No one was ever gassed. No one fed into shredding machines. It was a place of happiness and all wished they could be there.

    Good to see the Indy’s leader writers take time off from the nitrous oxide sessions to contribute to blogs.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Oh no, Bob Dobbs raises his ugly head again, this time using the moniker J. Fred Muggs.

    Really, you’d think he’d have better things to do than rehash that hoary old chestnut of his.

    By the way, the WOT and WW2 are chalk and cheese. Only a fool would compare the two in the way you have done.

    Bob/Muggs, why waste your time here. Go and post on a site where everyone agrees with you. Or better still, start your own. I hear the domain name intellectualpoverty.org is free.

  • Verity

    G Cooper – Nitrous oxide sessions! V good! Breathe deep, breath often.

    Iraq, as we know, was the cool democratic ME oasis of the hanging gardens of Babylon, with no human beings tortured or institutionally raped. It was all hanging gardens – although sometimes, just hanging people – and the Quality Street King passing out sweeties while directing his sons to the rape rooms.

    Now we’ve seen how it’s hangin’ in the Y-fronts.

    If that’s the worst assault on his dignity (other than his liking for Quality Street, for which we cannot be blamed), he’s alive, he’s being fed by taxpayers of various countries and if this murderer of tens of thousands of people doesn’t get the death penalty, the lefties will try to get it outlawed. (How could we contemplate the death penalty for the murderer/torturer of one person when Saddam Hussein, killer of thousands, was excused under ‘international law’?). It will all be put to use.

    We should have shot his brains out and said, “Oops! Big sorries to Uday, Ugay, hey, whoever. Dad is now strolling along that big Quality Street in the beyond …”.

  • Johnathan

    Fred/Bob/whatever: you claim Iraq had no infrastructure to menace its neighbours. Let’s not forget, of course, that the anti-war wingnuts like you wanted to end the sanctions in the 1990s, which would have allowed Saddam to press ahead pronto with his weapon ambitions. And spare us the bullshit about Iraq having no links to terror, since Saddam himself bragged of backing anti-Israel terror groups with hard cash. Go and read Stephen P. Hayes on this subject too.

    It also appears that caches of WMDs were removed from the country shortly before the 2003 invasion, which suggests Iraq did have weapons and had been in clear breach of UN resolutions. The war was justified on legal, moral and strategic grounds. Containment ad-infinitum was unlikely to work. Sooner or later, action would have to be taken. Iraq’s threat may not have been imminent, but it was inevitable.

    Just accept you were wrong, go and hang your head in shame, and sod off.

  • I'm suffering for my art

    Verity + GCooper – Bwhahahahaha!

    Fpr your amusing dressings down of nasty dictators, I would like to present you both with a nice bunch of commemorative flowers.

  • GCooper

    Golly, ISFMY – a kimjongilia!

    I’m touched (as should be perfectly obvious).