The Greens have come to power in Germany, and accepted a European ruling that gas and nuclear are “green energies.”

Not that I give a flying frack what Brussels calls things. The European Union is doomed. It conducts its business in the only language common to bureaucrats the world over – English – a language currently spoken by about 2% of its population (in Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) and is therefore about as relevant to its population as a bunch of scribes churning out edicts in Latin for the Holy Roman Emir (nice Freudian slip of the keyboard that – I think I’ll leave it in) to the average European peasant circa 1500. (Incidentally, I just happened on a map of Europe in 1500. Guess what was the biggest country in Europe back then? That’s right. Lithuania.)

Where was I? 

I clicked on the last link at Richard’s recent article and came to another of Richard’s from last August:

which pleads for the right to go off topic in a good cause, so here goes:

French President Emmanuel Macron,  facing re-election in April, in a long interview with “le Parisien” paper, has just said of the non-vaccinated:

“..les non-vaccinés, j’ai très envie de les emmerder. Et donc on va le faire jusqu’au bout.”

Which translates as “the non vaccinated, I really want to piss them off, so we’ll keep on doing so to the end.” 

Except that the literal sense of “emmerder” is “cover them with shit.”

Now, for a “President of all the French,” who yesterday looked like a walk-in for the April election, to boast about the fact that the vaccine passport law he’s currently trying to get through parliament is all about pissing off a part of the electorate, is some kind of a first in democratic politics. Imagine if Trump or Viktor Orban had said such a thing.

I caught a bit of immediate reaction on the talk shows. An  MP from Macron’s party, who is also a medical doctor, defended the President’s statement, saying: “Les non-vaccinés me font chier.” Literally: “the non-vaccinated make me shit.” Then a philosopher (no telly debate in France is complete without a philosopher) praised Macron for his honesty in admitting that his policy was all about “shitting on” people, and not about tackling a medical emergency. 

You could say we’ve hit rock bottom in the level of political debate. Or you could say that the French, as always, are leading the way in revealing the reality of politics, as they did three years ago in the “Yellow Jacket” revolt – the first sign of the Populist pushback against higher energy prices. 

Much as I admire Andrew Montford and Paul Homewood, It wasn’t their efforts that brought the problem of the price of energy to the fore internationally, but a thousand anonymous  French workers occupying roundabouts, and attempting to invade the Elysée Palace, demonstrating the true popular sentiment, just as the pro-democracy demonstrators did when they invaded the legislature in Washington Hong Kong. (Whoops.)

I’m writing this an hour or so after the news broke, so I’ve no way of knowing the significance of this little joust in the ongoing presidential election campaign, but my feeling is that Macron has lost it. 

At 25% in the polls, he is far ahead of  his rivals, and therefore practically sure to make it to the second round run-off. Behind him are three far right candidates on  13-16%. But will this situation, apparently stable for months, continue?

Of Macron’s nearest rivals:

Marine le Pen of the Rassemblement National (ex National Front) is handicapped by her association with her frankly anti-semitic father, and her poor performance in debate with Macron in the last election. She has been challenged on the right by the weird, pro-Vichy and overtly racist journalist/intellectual Eric Zemmour. The “normal” right in the form of the Republican party has finally got its act together and chosen Valerie Pecresse as a candidate. She comes over as a rather less sympathique version of Madame Thatcher, forty years too late and without the petrol money to carry out a radical programme of bribing the poor. She will NOT sell off council houses, privatise the country’s infrastructure, or sell off mutual aid organisations for profit, like Madame Thatcher, because if she did she’d end up with her head on a pike. France is a very conservative country in some ways.

Pecresse is currently the most likely candidate to make it into the run off against Macron, and the only one who stands a reasonable chance of beating him in the second round. But if Zemmour drops out, his support will likely go to le Pen, who’ll then be the likely overall winner of the first round, (with 29% against Macron’s 25%) and with an outside chance of beating Macron in the second round.  

The left is almost entirely absent from the current political debate – in the country that invented the terms of “left” and “right.”  The “far left” candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon, on 8-13%, might  just  by some miracle edge his three right wing rivals out of their current position of favourites for the second position if voters desert the other left wing candidates, which is not impossible, given that the socialist, the dissident socialist, the communist, and the two trotskyist candidates are all on <1%-3% according to the polls. Only the Green candidate, on 7%, stands in his way.

Melenchon is the kind of leader we socialists dream of. A brilliant orator, honest, persuasive, incorruptible.. He swears by the science..

.. and he thinks we’re all going to die because climate.

And he’s all the more convincing because the official Green candidate Yannick Jadot is thick as mince. I watched his two hour pre-presidential address right through. The word “climate” was pronounced twice; he knows nothing and cares less about climate change.  The climate story doesn’t work in France for the same reason it doesn’t work in the USA.

People tend to move south (to the Mediterranean or to Florida) because it’s nicer where it’s warm.

But polls show that people fear global warming because science. 

It’s fucking chilly here in the south of France at the moment. The wind’s blowing off  the snow-covered peaks of the Pyrenees, which you don’t get in balmy England; OK, it only lasts a few months, and in 6 months time we’ll have the air conditioning on. So far, no-one in the media has dared to comment on the fact that French people tend to prefer warm to cold. This may change. In France, as in Britain or the USA, what counts as politics is a matter of fashion, and fashions change in unpredictable ways.

Macron’s other thing going for him is that for the next six months he will head the European Council of Ministers (which is a big deal – like being Lord Lieutenant of a county of 300 million people – for six months.) With 27 members of the EU, this honour falls on France once every 14 years, and Macron has celebrated the fact by flying the European Union Jack – under the Arc de Triomphe. The nation entire rose in protest at the idea of the European flag flying without the French Tricolor. No-one was so impolite as to point out the the Arc de Triomphe is precisely a military monument commemorating the triumph of France over the rest of Europe, (with two million dead, but that was two centuries ago) but the idea of a European flag flapping about without the bleu-blanc-rouge upset a lot of people.  

Will Macron’s frank expression of his desire to shit on a part of the population that dares doubt his omniscience have an effect on the coming election? Who knows? No-one. Certainly not us sceptics; but the honesty of our opponents gives us hope. They hate us. Fine. Revolutions benefit from clarity.

11 Comments

  1. I clicked on the last link at Richard’s recent article and came to another of Richard’s from last August:

    https://cliscep.com/2021/08/22/a-word-from-tony-blair/

    which pleads for the right to go off topic in a good cause, so here goes

    Totally. I’d been struck by Macron’s ’emmerder’ without seeing the merde in the original. Shitposting as they’d say on the internet.

    It seems to me that politicians feel under great pressure to blame some other group for the massive failure they have presided over. The unvaccinated are the only ones that fit the bill, because of the other lies.

    The failure though was due to public health bureaucrats not allowing good doctors – and even brilliant doctors, like Paul Marek, Pierre Kory and Peter McCullough in the States and Didier Raoult and Tess Lawrie in Europe – to learn how to treat Covid effectively early, independent of vaccine development. Each of these doctors have slightly different protocols for treatment, which is as it should be, because it’s an ongoing exploration, the scientific process writ urgent in a race of save lives. But all attempts to use repurposed drugs were ruthlessly squashed, causing (I now believe) hundreds of thousand of unnecessary deaths. (I find Peter McCullough the clearest on this but there are many making the same point.)

    My hunch is that the vaccines have helped, on balance, but many lies have been told in suppressing the adverse events that have occurred. Much more important, preventing early treatment is like a gaping wound for what were the many good things we all trusted about western medicine. Which is now itself in the emergency room.

    Macron and others need to stop demonising the unvaccinated and admit this grievous falt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Who was the crusty old British general who said, “Politics in the Middle East is simple: Pick your guy and make sure he has the longest knife.” This rule now applies in nearly every country, only difference in democracies is that knives are mostly rhetorical rather than physical. Macron is like Biden (his handlers actually) in using verbal abuse to encourage tribal supporters and to unify them against the enemy (the others). In the past, the enemies were foreign, located outside the borders, but borders are so passé. So now it’s divide and conquer by stirring up turmoil within the citizenry. No national politician these days aspires to be the leader all ______(fill in the blank, “Tous les Français”, “All Americans”, etc.) only to have the larger tribe at election time. National synergy? Forget about it.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. It would be nice to think that Macron’s days in charge are numbered, but in France, as with much of the world (and certainly the UK) the fear is who will replace him. Perhaps not exactly a case of “apres moi le deluge”, but his opponents don’t exactly fill me with optimism.

    Like

  4. From the Daily Sceptic today:

    “By Macron’s logic, obese people’s freedom to get fat threatens his freedom not to wait in line at the hospital. Are the obese also unworthy of citizenship?

    More than 90% of French adults have already received the vaccine. And a lot of the rest have probably had Covid. Instead of threatening people with crass barroom talk, Macron might consider that quaint old tactic – persuasion.”

    Like

  5. For those who haven’t used up their monthly allowance of two free reads of Spectator articles:

    “Macron has crossed a line in his war on the unvaccinated”

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/macron-has-crossed-a-line-in-his-war-on-the-unvaccinated

    and

    “Macron’s potty-mouthed outburst is deliberate – and calculated
    Can anyone imagine General De Gaulle speaking like this?”

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/macron-s-potty-mouthed-outburst-is-deliberate-and-calculated

    Like

  6. “‘We’ll piss you off’: French anti-vaccine protesters rally against Macron
    The French president is imposing more social curbs in bid to convince unvaccinated to get jabbed”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/08/well-piss-you-off-french-anti-vaccine-protesters-rally-against-macron

    “Anti-vaccine protesters rallied in cities across France on Saturday, denouncing President Emmanuel Macron’s intent to “piss off” people refusing Covid-19 shots by tightening curbs on their civil liberties.

    Macron said this week he wanted to irritate unvaccinated people by making their lives so complicated they would end up getting jabbed. Unvaccinated people were irresponsible and unworthy of being considered citizens, he added.

    In Paris, protesters retorted by adopting his slangy wording, chanting “We’ll piss you off”.

    Others carried signs saying “No to the vaccine pass”, a reference to Macron’s legislative push to require proof of vaccination to enter venues such as cafes, bars and museums.

    TV images showed skirmishes between protesters and police at one site. Protesters also rallied through the streets in Marseille, Nantes and Le Mans among other cities.

    “[Macron’s remarks] were the last straw. We are not irresponsible,” said hospital administrator Virginie Houget, who has avoided a mandatory vaccine order for health workers because she caught Covid-19 late last year.

    The protesters accuse Macron of trampling on their freedoms and treating citizens unequally. He says freedoms carry responsibilities that include protecting the health of others.”

    Like

  7. Sorry to quote my pre-Covid self but:

    The failure though was due to public health bureaucrats not allowing good doctors – and even brilliant doctors, like Paul Marek, Pierre Kory and Peter McCullough in the States and Didier Raoult and Tess Lawrie in Europe – to learn how to treat Covid effectively early, independent of vaccine development. Each of these doctors have slightly different protocols for treatment, which is as it should be, because it’s an ongoing exploration, the scientific process writ urgent in a race of save lives. But all attempts to use repurposed drugs were ruthlessly squashed, causing (I now believe) hundreds of thousand of unnecessary deaths. (I find Peter McCullough the clearest on this but there are many making the same point.)

    A major piece of the puzzle globally has been Uttar Pradesh, the landlocked Indian state with a population of over 200 million. (Kazakhstan is a much bigger land area but just has 18.5 million people.) Anyway, what’s the relevance for the early treatment of Covid?

    Robert Malone explained the puzzle and the photo three days ago:

    The curious case of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is often sited. Densely populated, relatively poor, and they have absolutely crushed the COVID-19 death curve. Widespread availability of a package distributed throughout the region, rumored to contain the repurposed drug Ivermectin, have often been credited for this amazing success. But until now, these rumors have remained unsubstantiated. As I mentioned recently on the Fox segment in response to the unprovoked attack by Mr. Berenson, a close colleague of mine recently returned from a vacation in the region. Prompted by my specific request that she seek out evidence of the contents of these “care packages” which have been made available throughout the region, she returned with the following photograph of the list of ingredients. As is often observed, a picture is worth a thousand words.

    So, without further ado, I am glad to finally be able to provide photographic evidence of what is responsible for the miracle of Uttar Pradesh. I have nothing more to add, other than that an apology is owed (By Mr. Berenson and many others) to the many brave physicians who have persisted, against enormous coordinated media and governmental pressure, to prescribe this agent as a key component of the staged early treatment protocols responsible for saving countless lives across the USA and the world.

    The merde is on the other foot, as they say in Franglais.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ultimately, the argument for the efficacy of ivermectin will have a statistical basis or it will have nothing. Therefore, it should be of interest what my old pal, Norman Fenton, Professor of Risk Information Management, Queen Mary London University, has to say about it following a meta-analysis using a Bayesian approach (well I say ‘old pal’, but we met just the once at a 3-day conference on object oriented programming at Oxford University):

    “We show that there is strong evidence to support a causal link between ivermectin, Covid-19 severity and mortality, and: i) for severe Covid-19 there is a 90.7% probability the risk ratio favours ivermectin; ii) for mild/moderate Covid-19 there is an 84.1% probability the risk ratio favours ivermectin. Also, from the Bayesian meta analysis for patients with severe Covid-19, the mean probability of death without ivermectin treatment is 22.9%, whilst with the application of ivermectin treatment it is 11.7%.”

    *ttp://www.eecs.qmul.ac.uk/~norman/papers/Bayesian_Meta_Analysis_of_Ivermectin_Effectiveness_with_sensitivity_analysis_v5.pdf

    A thousand BBC disinformation specialists blathering on about fake news and covid-19 misinformation aren’t worth a hill of beans when put alongside one well-researched paper written by a professor who is steeped in statistics and risk management expertise.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Excellent, thanks John. I was aware that Tess Lawrie had done a meta-analysis on Ivermectin earlier in the year but not about this one.

    As an aside, on the old pal theme, I’d been thinking of introducing something rather profound said by ‘my old school friend John McCarthy’ in one of my Cliscep posts recently.

    I was indeed at school with John and we each knew of each other’s existence (that Poulenc double-piano concerto I played in the main concert of the year with Nigel was hot stuff). But we never, that I remember, talked. That was long before John became a hostage in Lebanon. But we did meet once after that, at the back of the annual meeting of Helen Bamber’s Medical Foundation, of which John had become a patron, after being helped by them to get over his trauma, and we had a most jolly conversation, including a joke John told me about his fellow captive Brian Keenan. It was more than two words but … words can and do deceive. Especially as and when our memories also do 😉

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.