|this pic taken last week in Goersdorf in the Vosges|
Francois Hollande is likely to be the President of France by this time tomorrow. Here at rue de Molsheim we are making no plans for this evening, other than to watch the results coverage. Our satellite channels, whose reception is erratic to say the least, appear to be being received correctly today (fingers crossed) so we will have more than French terrestrial coverage to choose from. Tomorrow is not a public holiday in France, as it is in the UK, but Tuesday is (VE Day, the cheek of it, considering France's contribution to the defeat of fascism in Europe) so a great many people have "fait le pont" and taken tomorrow off work too, as I have. We thought we would hop across the river to Germany on Tuesday, where, surprise surprise, that day is not a holiday.
Anyway, while I would have voted Hollande if I had the vote in French national elections (give it time give it time) I am worried for the future of France, and of Europe, under his presidency. He appears to be clueless about world politics, he has never held ministerial office (though neither had Tony Blair) and if he has a core of steel, as all politicians must, it is well hidden. They are voting in Greece too today, and I believe they are hoping for a beginning of the end of "Merkozy", but I would say to them - be careful what you wish for, you just might get it. Oh and good luck May Zanni, if I could speak enough Greek I would be in Athens now, campaigning for you.
M. Hollande, if you are elected today, think on this: you will owe your victory to the people of France who work hard, and who think they deserve better than high prices and rising unemployment (they do). You will also owe it to the failure to vote by thousands of people who voted Front National in the first round. You will need to ask those people why, and you will need to take them with you if France is to prosper in polity as well as economically. I do not think you can do this. I do not think you want to. You will need to consider France's place in Europe and in the wider world. France's colonial past gives it a voice in Lebanon and in north and west Africa that other great powers, to use that old-fashioned moniker, do not have. Use it well, and lose the Guardianista non-intervention mask. It doesn't suit you, and it shouldn't suit France.
|he's the man|