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Thursday, 31 January 2013


The national French newspaper "Le Figaro", in an article by Jean-Marc Leclerc dated 31 Jan 2012, entitled " The return of the disgraceful shanty towns" reports that there are tens of thousands of Migrants from Roumania scattered around France in encampments of various sizes.  There are at least 250 encampments in the suburbs of Paris, although none really inside Paris.     

They arrive in caravans, set up home in squalid "shanty towns" overnight and then refuse to be moved, even after court procedures have been ordered.  Their camps become "no go" areas, begging and theft provide their income. Their Human Rights, as members of the EU are carefully pleaded on a regular basis !

This is not a sudden or recent situation.  We live in an upmarket part of Paris and in a previous article ( Few French Tramps left in Paris, dated Jan 10, 2012)  described and lamented the fact that the old style French Beggar had been supplanted and outnumbered.  

There are now "Roms" as they are known, on every key street corner of our area in Paris.  They occupy the same spot every day of the week.

These "beggars" are well organised, they know their rights, but the police and other official authorities condone a situation they cannot really prevent or change.

Only the political Leaders at the head of the EU could change the current rules which permit this situation !!!  Any such change would require changes to EU treaties.        

This problem concerns not only President Hollande here in France but also other south European Countries and  Great Britain too !!!  Since David Cameron wants to propose certain changes to the Treaty of Lisbon, are the "Roms" in France and in Great Britain not the right impetus for some "Entente Cordiale" ? 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013


What can one expect next when Armstrong wants to continue competing and "Courts on Sport" seem unable to stop him !!!

Drugs in any sport, not in only Cycling, should be universally banned and the guilty "sportsman" should be banned for life !!!

What is lacking is a universally recognised Court, which can hear an appeal when a national Court has condemned an athlete.  

Cheating in sport, any sport, must be stopped.  Cheats must be made to know that any ill gotten gains will have to be returned, but with interest !!!

Any Cheat must be punished because he negates all the efforts which other honest Sportsmen make to get to the top !!!

Friday, 25 January 2013


The European International Press, Commentators and Politicians have all tried to present the admirable speech by David Cameron on Wednesday 23rd January 2013, as an attempt to ease his political problems at home in Great Britain !

This is why, they allege, he wants concessions not to leave the EU !   They say he wants to renegotiate the conditions of Britain's membership and then organise an "in or out" referendum !!!

This is whishful thinking on the part of "Europeans", particularly MEP's who do not want to recognise that there are many weaknesses in the way EU business is at present conducted. 

Cameron pointed out big flaws.  The lack of Democracy:  electors in the EU seldom have a word to say, as in the case of the Lisbon Treaty which was "waived through" by National MP's in all the EU member Parliaments (except in Ireland) !  

Cameron wants more Democracy in the EU and also a revision of the "Human Rights Act" !  The lack of control and the current overrun of EU overhead costs in Brussels, means that all countries in the EU will have to pay !!!

Cameron did not mention the problems of the Operating Structure of the EU, of the EUROZONE, etc....  There are many matters which must be debated if the EU is to become an Accepted Operating Organization !  The Lisbon Treaty and others must be updated but not necessarily destroyed !!!

One can only hope that EU politicians will now address the real problems Cameron covered in his speech, but  with an honest attitude !


Thursday, 24 January 2013


Idealogically speaking the creation of a European Block to oppose that of the United States is inviting !  Ultimately the question will be answered positively but on conditions and terms that modern politicians have not yet even considered !!!

David Cameron wants a revision of certain aspects of the EU Lisbon Treaty and many other factors and conditions that he chose not to identify in his delayed speech yesterday.

This revision must at least cover the following weaknesses in the Lisbon Treaty and the way the EU Powers conduct business:

   -   Democracy; at present does an EU elector have a word to say ?  The Lisbon Treaty is "THE" example of political manipulation, where electors had no word to say !!!

   -  MEPs are elected every 5 years, come what may, in their own countries.  Why are MEPs not also elected or re-elected at the same time when there are General Elections in their country ? That would update national feelings in the EU parliament !!!

   -  Closing the borders of the EU to immigrants into the EU !!!

   -  Deciding an EU foreign policy against Terrorist Activities !!!

   -  Giving the EU Parliament a structure where it can decide and vote on what should be done, with an Upper House, a Senate in fact,  where EU leaders vote to adopt laws passed by the Parliament !!!

It is for these reasons that this Blog is of the opinion that a UNITED STATES OF EUROPE is, at present, not a real option.  It will come but not before at least 10 years.

The EU is a basket of mixed countries !!!  Each has its own aims in being in the EU !!!  Some need the support of the "EUROZONE", others are Financially orientated, others are pre-occupied with the Tourist industry.

Some countries are top heavy in Industry.  However all countries protect their interests !!!  That is, in fact, the real problem !!!  

It will take time to create a "UNITED STATES OF EUROPE" !!!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, gave a good "wake-up" call this morning in his speech to the  Leaders of the EU !!!

The one crucial question in fact, to which everyone wanted a clear reply was, will he organise an "in or out" vote concerning the GB membership of the EU.

His answer is simple.  If the EU is prepared to revise the Lisbon Treaty to cover numerous weak points, revise also the obligations of smaller EU members which are not on the same level as the "3 or 4 or 5" big current EU members, discussions must start now !!!

David Cameron did not go into detail.  He did say that the EU was not democratic in its observance of the "rights" of EU voters !!!  The existence of the "EUROZONE" is not a problem for non-Eurozone countries.  Britain will keep Sterling as its currency !

If one has to summarise the Speech David Cameron made, it is clear he has no axe to grinde if the EU modifies the Lisbon Treaty after negotiations.  However talks must begin !  Any British vote on an "in or out of the EU" basis will be organised before end 2017 if Cameron is still in power !

This is a summary of a speech which lasted 50 minutes.


Saturday, 19 January 2013


David Cameron's announced speech on the EU has provoked animosity, anti-British comments in the International Press, particularly from EU "high-ups" !!!

The comfortable organisation of the EU fears that some "home truths" will be revealed in his speech.  The reactions from the EU have often been in the style that the British are not "Europeans" !!!

Without in any way knowing what David Cameron intends to say, there are a number of problems that can be pinpointed which reveal the confusion and political obstinance that reigns in the EU at present !!!

1)  The EU is not a "future Federal State".  It is a collection of heterogeneous countries each of which seeks to benefit from its adhesion to the EU.

2)  The EU seeks to impose EU "directives" to further its aims over the heads of EU electors !!!

3)  The EU is not democratic !!! It systematically sidesteps referendums in the EU: (The Lisbon treaty is a prime example !!!) 

4)  The EU avoids changes.  Its' MEPs are elected every 5 years come what may !!!  Should MEPs not be elected at the same time as local MPs every time there is a General Election in the country they are deemed to represent ?  Would this not bring the wind of change to EU affairs ?

5)  Should the EU Parliament not elect its Prime Minister and a Cabinet of Ministers for a period of about 5 years ?  At present key "Officials" (Barroso, Lady Aston, etc.) are "nominated"  by the European Council. 

Treaties, Constitutions and Conventions must be revised.  Old principles of 50 years ago must be updated.  A prime example are the numerous modifications to the European Human Rights Act.  Judgements covered by this Act infringe the Judicial Independence of British Courts and will certainly be covered by David Cameron in his Speech.

The following matters will, justifiably, also be criticized by David Cameron !!!

a)  Not every country wants or needs the EURO as its currency !!!  Saving the EURO at all costs, instead of allowing countries to "opt out", seems to be questionable if not ruinous !!!

b)  The non-control of immigrants into the EU cannot be   tolerated.  The EU must police its borders and other points of arrival like airports and ports !!!  The cost must be borne by all countries on an equitable basis !!!

c)  Imports from outside the EU must be controlled.

d)  Migration inside the EU must be officially controlled.

e)  The EU should determine an agreed Foreign Policy.  The united reaction by the EU to world events (Syria, Terrorist atrocities, etc.) is non-existent at present.

f)  Should the Death Penalty not be adopted for Terrorists who kill haphazardly ?  Likewise should the Death Penalty not be the punishment for murderers who kill again ?

These are but a few of the problems which are creating "bad will" in the EU.  David Cameron will certainly be critical on the ever increasing costs of the EU.  The reality is that every pound extra invoiced by the EU to cover its overspending, is money he cannot spend in Britain !!!

The EU needs a big overhaul.  We shall see how David Cameron attacks this problem !


Le projet de loi du Ministre de l'Intérieur, Manuel Valls, sur les élections locales, vise notamment à instituer la parité dans les assemblées départementales. François Hollande souhaite en effet que chaque candidat aux élections cantonales constitue un binôme avec un candidat du sexe opposé: un homme et une femme obligatoirement. Actuellement,ces Assemblées ne comptent que 13,5% de femmes.

Pour la gestion du département, le Président Hollande montre ainsi une exigence qu'il n'a pas à l'égard de la  famille ! Bientôt le mariage ne sera plus seulement une union entre un homme et une femme puisque deux personnes du même sexe seront  autorisées à se marier et à adopter des enfants...

Le Sénat toutefois vient de rejeter ce projet de loi sur la parité qui doit maintenant venir en discussion à l'Assemblée Nationale.


Tuesday, 15 January 2013


The European Union at present is not "united".  It has become a collection of countries which have joined the EU mainly to benefit from anything available which forwards their National Interests !!!

If Britain needs the EU the real question also becomes whether all the member countries of the EU have something to offer !!!  Or do they need the EU more for what they could get ?  To be a member of the EU is a question of "give" and "get" !

The question of what any country can get is again not simple to answer.  In the EU there are three levels of political "respect" !!!  

a) The 27 National Leaders, one from each country, who participate in the periodical Summit Meetings. 

b) The unelected members of European "Boards" like Barroso, who is head of the "EU Commission".  They are chosen and nominated by the National Leaders.

c) The elected MEP's (Members of the European Parliament). 

One way or the other, to try to push through a law or modification of current rules becomes a lengthy task.

The solutions to problems Britain has, or any other country faces, are opposed by any number of Minority Groups !  They are not necessarily politically motivated, they are minorities, often those who want to extend Rights, not  only Human Rights, but those of small groups.          

In these circumstances, a Leader like David Cameron, can well ask himself where he should start to unravel this mess !

The EU has an uncontrolled, illogical, approach to solving its own problems !  This is really the fundamental obstacle in the EU which David Cameron must unraval.  Other Leaders must also identify this reality and overcome it !!!  The alternative is to accept a stalemate situation !!! 

Monday, 14 January 2013


C'était la 31ème promesse de François Hollande: "J'ouvrirai le droit au mariage et à l'adoption aux couples homosexuels".  

Ainsi en 60 signes, l'affaire était réglée, la messe était dite... et le Président exprimait sa volonté de bouleverser notre droit de la famille, nos traditions séculaires.  Fort de son élection et de la majorité obtenue à l'Assemblé Nationale, le Président pourra donc tenir sa promesse...!

C'est la loi de la démocratie et les démonstrations de rue n'y pourront sans doute rien changer.

En revanche, l'ouverture de la procréation médicale assistée et de la gestation pour autrui, en faveur des couples homosexuels, n'a jamais figuré parmi les engagements de François Hollande.  Si de telles dispositions devaient être prises, c'est plus de la moitié des français qui s'estimeraient trahis.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Dans notre précédent billet "La Poste privilégie la Banque Postale", nous avions exprimé la déception des philatélistes, usagers de la poste.

L'intérêt que ce court billet a suscité est sans doute le reflet de la tension et du vrai malaise social qui règne actuellement au sein de ce groupe. Les salariés doivent s'adapter sans cesse aux changements...  Un accompagnement efficace et une communication plus claire pourraient contribuer à les y aider.

Le 21 décembre dernier, un projet d'accord cadre sur les conditions de travail dans le groupe été élaboré et les syndicats ont jusqu'au 21 janvier prochain pour se prononcer.

Par ailleurs, le ministre de tutelle de la Poste, Fleur Pellerin, a annoncé le 14 septembre 2012, au micro de RTL, l'intention du gouvernement d'embaucher 5000 personnes sur 3 ans (principalement jeunes issus plutôt de formation en alternance) sans préciser pour autant comment ils seront répartis: les métiers traditionnels du courrier, le colis, la banque postale.  

Maintenant, pour rassurer les salariés, il faut une politique de l'emploi lisible et concrète !


Tuesday, 8 January 2013


During "election campaigns" candidates promise all and everything electors want to hear !!!  Afterwards electors wait, and wait, but in vain !!!

This is true in Britain as well as in France and other countries of Europe.  Likewise it is foolish to expect a deputy of the EU (an MEP) to stick his neck out to promote a cause he promised on the election trail !!!

The sad truth is that none want to ruin their future chances or careers !!!  One could add that these observations are equally and even more true of high level Leaders in the EU.

On a local level, for example, what on earth stops Politicians from taxing at a rate of 95% directors or companies paying or receiving exhorbitant "Bonuses" ?  This irks all Voters as there are often flagrant abuses !!!

Could there not be an EU Directive on this issue ?  In France President Hollande wants to tax "unmerited" super high salaries or bonuses at only 75% !!!

There are many issues in the EU which are not addressed !  What everyone wants to know is what the Super MEPs do to earn their "Super  Salaries". 

Monday, 7 January 2013


No real Socialist in France wants to adopt openly, or to
defend, a policy which could criticise President Hollande !

However, President Hollande could perhaps revise his brutal intent to tax the super rich at 75% !!!  In Great Britain, a Socialist  Government in 1946, imposed a rate of tax of 99,25 %.

Later in GB this top tax rate declined !!!  Can one really expect anything else ?  When the profits of Private Enterprise, or initiative, are taxed at outrageous levels, no money or inspiration is left to encourage people to "gamble"  building a business ! 

In France certain lessons have yet to be learned.  To tax only the profits from initiatives means the owners will search for other havens or legal means to evade the Jaws of the tax legislator.

Another question which politicians do not wish to discuss is why the state with all its enterprises cannot make cost savings instead of raising taxes ?  Of course, that in turn could lead to redundances and higher unemployment !   

Sunday, 6 January 2013


Whenever he speaks, whether he is right or wrong in what he says, Sir Alex Ferguson has the ear of the Press worldwide !!!  Manchester United always benefit !!!

His overwhelming charism relegates most journalists to mere onlookers and even the English Football Association seem to be more than benevolent.

When Manchester United lose Sir Alex, when they are obliged to replace him for whatever reason, other clubs will express a huge sigh of relief !!! 

He has and must be credited with having restored the English (not Scottish) football reputation in the World !!!

He irritates many people,  but we have all learned to live with him !!!  True ?

Saturday, 5 January 2013


Depuis le 1er janvier 2013, les particuliers employeurs de personnel à domicile (femmes de ménage, auxiliaire de vie, nounous, etc...) doivent calculer les cotisations sociales, patronales et salariales, sur la base du salaire réel versé.  Le calcul des cotisations sur une base forfaitaire, plus avantageuse pour l'employeur est supprimé.

Afin d'alléger le coût du travail qui en résulte pour l'employeur, une déduction des cotisations patronales de 0,75 euros par heure travaillée a été mise en place.

Toutefois cette dernière mesure ne concerne pas les particuliers employeurs de plus de 70 ans, ou d'au moins 60 ans en perte d'autonomie, ou invalides qui bénéficiaient déjà d 'exonération de cotisations patronales de sécurité sociale. Cela ne signifie pas pour autant que ces employeurs échappent à l'aggravation du coût du travail à domicile au 1er janvier 2013! 

En effet, les cotisations salariales des femmes de ménage et autres aides à domicile sont dans la quasi totalité des cas prises en charge par l'employeur. Leur calcul sur le salaire réel entraine un relèvement de leur montant que les employeurs n'ont pas la possibilité de répercuter sur le salarié.
Pour les personnes âgées, celles dont les revenus augmentent le moins et qui pourtant ont le plus besoin d'être aidées, voient ainsi leurs charges aggravées et seront peut être amenées à renoncer à des services devenus trop coûteux ou à privilégier le travail au noir...



Les bureaux de poste, où nous étions gentiment reçus semblent  avoir bien changé. 

Aux mêmes guichets postaux,  les clients purs et simples de la Poste, se retrouvent "en concurrence" avec les clients de la "Banque Postale" que semblent privilégier les guichetiers.  Question de rentabilité ?

Les Philatelistes comme moi, ne peuvent plus accéder simplement aux guichets pour "consulter" ou voir les timbres dernièrement émis !!!  Ils sont sous le coude, derrière  le comptoir dans un classeur, invisible à la clientèle !!!

C'est tout au moins ainsi que celà se passe à la Poste de Cannes et à Paris!  Décevant , n'est ce pas ?


Friday, 4 January 2013


For at least the last 50 years there has been a constant cloud of suspicion hanging over the "Tour de France" cycle race that some riders were taking drugs to enhance their performances and their chances of winning.  This remark is true not only for France and French cycling but for all major countries and for cyclists of all nationalities.

Nowhere has the thin line been defined between medicines necessary to heal injuries and drugs used to enhance performances !!!  There is no systematic control of sportsmen and women before they participate in top class international competitions.  This is true for all sports, not only cycling, even today.

The Tour de France is a perfect example of what is not done !!!  Drug taking was rife and the death of Tom Simpson on the Mount Ventoux in 1967 was perhaps due to an overdose of drugs.

His death that day was supposed to be "the scandle" to end drug taking in the Tour de France and everywhere else in sport !!!  Has sport been cleaned of drugs ? 45 years later the answer is "NO" !!! 

In fact, his death was finally ascribed to the sweltering heat of that day, not to amphetamines which he had in his pockets etc !!!  No one around him was guilty of any neglect !!!

Sportsmen who take drugs to enhance their performances are cheats.  They are thieves who steal the glory (and even money) from clean competitors.  

45 years later and even recently new culprits have been identified, but nothing has been done to fundamentally change things !!!


Britain and many other EU countries have signed-up to and, endorsed, the principles of the EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

The real question is, in view of the costs involved when appeals to this court condemn countries to support the ultimate costs, where do liabilities end ?

One cannot define the limitation of HUMAN RIGHTS !!!  But can one not redefine, limit, the obligations of Member Countries ?  Should EU countries be obliged to pay for protecting the Rights of non-EU, foreign residents ?

It is time that the EU addresses this problem !!!  Who will do this ?  Manuel Barroso, the European Commissioner ?  Or will it be David Cameron ? 

Britain has a serious problem with respect to illegal immigrants who all seek to join the Utopia world in  Britain !!!   To be quite clear, it not a few Liberals, led by Clegg, who could oppose this major change.  There are many Socialists who would also favour a "British Law on Human Rights" !!!

Thursday, 3 January 2013


There is something very true which this Blog wants, not  to reveal, but to repeat. That most sports have their origins in Britain, at a time when none of the sports had   any sort of official organisation !

The organisation of a Sport belongs now, not to anyone in particular. It belongs to "International Federations" which respect the rights of its "International Members" ! 

These "Federations" can be, could be, domiciled anywhere, but they must respect the "Internationally Accepted Common Law" and "Company Law" principles of its adherents.  One member, one vote, etc. whenever any important decisions must be made, and at least two candidates at any election !!!

Accounts must be clear.  They must explain where income has come from and where expenses were disbursed .

Cricket is a sport which is well known and practised principally by "anglo-saxon" countries. This was also the case with Football .

Now Football is bigger than many of the countries in which it is practiced.  It is certainly bigger than "Switzerland" where FIFA now has its headquarters !!!  A lot of money is involved when Member Federations participate in "FIFA" Cups etc ! The financial accounts however, are not to very informative !

Should member "Federations" of FIFA not get together to provoke a less opaque and more open Organisation ? Similar observations also apply to "EUFA". 



What a sensation !!!  But really is it not something which happens in football ?  What "makes" football what it is ?

As an ardent QPR supporter since 1946 I know the club has had its share of ups and downs.  Just like Chelsea in fact !

Harry Redknapp is using common sense when he criticises overpaid but underperforming stars who do not want to be counted when the going is tough or simply bad !!!  The transfer window is open and Tony Fernandes, the owner of the club, will really enjoy a New Year without certain "handicapped" players !!!

Redknapp has now got what he wanted; two wins, one at home and one away !  What more can he ask for ? 

Well, perhaps the next league match !  Is this not against Tottenham Hotspurs where he was until recently the manager ?  Would another victory at Loftus Road (on  January 14, 2013) not bouy his spirits and those of all still around him ?

Happy New Year, Harry !!!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


What does a country, like France or Great Britain, have to do when it is faced with crippling and increasing costs for Social payments to "those out of work", or to be more precise, to layabouts who in fact never really "want to work" again ?

Basic HUMAN RIGHTS principles impose obligations meaning that they must be "supported".  Alas, lending help temporarily should also have a limit !!!   Is there really a limit ?  Should any "aid" not be automatically reduced month on month ?

Youngsters who have left school without any meaningful qualifications also create increasing problems:  when they have no work, and no money, they turn to crime !  Not just once, but repeatedly.  If they are then caught, if ever they are then judged, are they then punished in order to "deter" them from becoming habitual criminals ?

Politicians plead there are not enough prison cells available.  Is that acceptable ?  Or should one use "layabouts" or "habitual criminals" to build more prisons in areas where unemployment is high ?

Doing nothing solves nothing;  do any politicians have other solutions ?



Tuesday, 1 January 2013


In his "New Year Wish" message to the French Nation, President Hollande clearly isolated his main wish, his first desire and intention, which is to reduce the number of unemployed in France during the year 2013.

This is admirable and expected, even awaited !  The problem is whether he can deliver what all countries in EUROPE have also been aiming to do for the last two or three years !

President Hollande is also intent on taxing the rich !  This is one of his 60 election promises, now even more urgent after the Constitutional Court invalidated his recent law !

Will taxing the "High Earners", the Rich, really encourage entrepreneurs, young and less young, to risk investing their money and then to be taxed if they make huge profits ?

President Hollande has time to reflect and weigh the effect of what he does or intends to do.

Does the fact that certain personalities seem to be emigrating from France (to protect their financial interests ?) not ring a bell ?