|President Francois 'The Squid' Hollande|
Last Sunday at eight o'clock, as I watched the French news channel TF1 in an anguished prolonged silence, I saw the goose-like face of Francois Hollande flash across a screen in Place de la Bastille. The turbulent crowds of militant Socialist teenagers erupted into cheers, while I fell into a chair, and stared.
I can't deny that we've all been expecting this- throughout this campaign, Hollande has been working on the crowds' psychology and feelings, and everything about his campaigning won him partisans not through reasoned argument but through sentimentality.
Hollande's victory was due to the economic crisis in which we find ourselves; the people found jobs lacking and harsh rules (as in 'no-stupid-spending' harsh) imposed on them to prevent national catastrophe; and, rather than grit their teeth and go through it telling themselves it's in the country's best interest, they did the human thing- they moaned that things could somehow be better, that Sarkozy should somehow have somehow magicked the crisis away. They didn't recognize that Sarkozy had done amazingly and stopped the country from sinking to Greek depths when everything was pointing that way; to recognize that requires intelligence, and, while an individual may possess that, a crowd, a collective mind, is nothing more than a stupid, ravening, selfish primal beast. What Hollande did was to take advantage of that primal beast; it was already thinking that things had to get better if a change was made, and Hollande filled that hope with empty promises- he said that he would be giving away land for free, stabilize the price of petrol by paying the excess, remove France from the austerity treaty , and many other heavenly joys- overall, he has promised a non-restricted paradise, where one can borrow money without ever thinking about paying it back, and where everything is at its cheapest. And who is to pay for all this? Steal from the Rich, give to the poor... problem is, there aren't enough rich people in France to pay off all this mad planning, so the lower classes are probably going to be taxed just as excessively in the end. No wonder this plan prevailed, in a world of harebrained, selfish, materialistic poverty, when the opposing plan is one of self-sacrifice in order to help the country in the long run...
Hollande didn't just win by promising the people what they wanted; the crowds don't just want their selfish needs satisfied, they want them justified. Hollande posed an ethically pleasing image- he almost made himself cry during his speeches, in order to look like a caring, passionate man (rumours concerning onion peelings have yet to be confirmed). He even put music along some of his speeches. He made the crowds feel justified- the rich are but parasites, you deserve their money (he didn't use those exact terms, but he did say very similar things). I don't really see how this is ethically correct, but the crowds lapped it up, as they always have since the Revolution.
Then there's the banker-bashing business. That term doesn't exist in French, because no-one there doesn't banker-bash. This has been compared to the Jewish persecution in 1930-40s Germany; the crowds blame the following three for the crisis:
- Sarkozy- because he was leader at the time, and imposed 'harsh' rules.
- Bankers- because economy is doing badly, and bankers are hands-and-feet in economy.
- the Higher classes- the jealous 'Its-Not-Fair' argument, which fails to notice the fact that rich people work harder to earn more- the crowds, who have never tried this and enjoy living off benefits (which are incidentally going to rise dramatically at higher class expense) fail to understand the concept of more work = more cash, or the fact that money doesn't fall into peoples' laps.
Number two was the one under which Jews were once classified, because Jews were better at financing.
Hollande has taken advantage of Number 2 as well as the two others- his campaigning was aimed towards the crippling of independent financial power. Stupid idea if ever I saw one, for reasons I don't even need to mention.
So will Hollande actually stick to these crowd-inciting policies, or will he admit to them being empty vessels of naive hope? Several right-wing politicians have talked of the 'Waking up with a Hangover' effect, which they say is due to happen within one year-or two; the idea is that the crowds were 'drunk' on these foolish ideals, and, when they call naively for Hollande to fulfill his promises, the realization of their impossibility will cause a rapid back-down-to-earth effect not dissimilar to the splashing of cold water on a drunkard's face. The world-renown financial adviser Reuters is already predicting a U-turn in Hollande's politics within the next two years, simply because of their lack of realism.
|Farewell to he who fought for France...|
So we leave France in a dreary state -poor Sarkozy, who quite honestly did his brilliant best, is to be ousted from his office by 15th of May, in five days, to leave space for the materialistic Francois 'the Squid' Hollande, whose promises are just about as false as his surgically engineered smile. A grim time for the Republic, who may not lift her head for another twenty years.
Yours in politics,