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Monday, 31 March 2014

LOCAL ELECTION DISASTER SPURS HOLLANDE INTO ACTION !


The catastophic Local Election results for the Socialists  in France last Sunday were confirmed yesterday when many more Councils swung from the Socialist Left to the Conservative Right.  Also 14 towns were conquered by the Extreme Right.  Like last week, "abstentions" were again at an all-time high.

President Hollande is expected to announce sweeping changes within the next few hours.  Will his friend Jean-Marc Ayrault, the Prime Minister, be replaced ?  Will he discard half the Ministers in the Cabinet, which is what electors are expecting ?

To say that voters are disgruntled is an understatement !  They are simply worried stiff by increasing taxes, rising unemployment and the continual dithering of the President who delays any and all decisions as long as he can.  What electors want are policies to kick-start the Economy.

Current problems will not just go away because on May 25 2014 in France the EU election of MEPs will take place. The Extreme Right (or National Front) is expected to make many gains at the expense of Socialists and the Conservatives.  It is already quite clear that the Election Program of the National Front has been favourably received by the electorate. 

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FRANCOIS HOLLANDE CONDAMNE AU CHANGEMENT!


Les élections municipales des 23 et 30 mars 2014   marquée par la débacle de la gauche ont, de l'aveu même du Premier Ministre, constitué un "moment de vérité" et les français ont voulu envoyer "un message clair".

Encore faudrait-il que François Hollande sache décrypter et comprendre le message !  Pourquoi plus de 150 villes ont elles basculées à droite? Pourquoi le Front National-Rassemblement bleu marine a-t-il remporté la Mairie dans 14 villes et vu l'élection de plus de 1200 conseillers municipaux ?

C'est bien la politique de François Hollande des deux dernières années qui a été sanctionnée:  sa "boîte à outils" très vite raillée faute de résultats, son choc de simplification annoncé et toujours attendu, son pacte de responsabilité, énorme coquille vide jusqu'à maintenant ...

Gageons que les élections européennes du 25 Mai prochain confirmeront et amplifieront le message adressé aux politiques le 30 mars !

DML
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Friday, 28 March 2014

FRENCH GOVERNEMENT RESHUFFLE SOON !


The catastrophic results obtained yesterday in the first round of the Local Elections by the Socialists, added to the plunging popularity of President Hollande in Opinion Polls during recent months, means that a reshuffle of the Government will now take place sooner rather than later !  In fact, as soon as possible after the results of the second round of voting are known next Sunday.  

The idea was aired several weeks ago when it became clear that 36 Ministers (18 Men and 18 Women) were a handicap when quick decision making was necesary.

Speculation has surrounded the future of the Prime Minister, Jean-Mark Ayrault !  Will the Foreign Minister, Laurant Fabius, (who was Prime Minister under Mitterand from July 1984 until March 1986) now accept to replace him ? 

If, as seems to be the case, Hollande wants a second term as President, he must act now.  His dithering must stop. The continual increases in taxes must also stop !  The State must lead by directly investing and helping private businesses to do likewise. 

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Thursday, 27 March 2014

LOCAL ELECTION RESULTS STUN SOCIALIST HEIRARCHY !


There have been many inquisitions on the bad results obtained by the Socialists in the first round of the Local Elections in France last Sunday.  The results have stunned the Socialist Heirarchy in Paris !

In direct interviews on television die-hard Socialist voters revealed that they either abstained from voting or voted for another party due to, -

     -  Mounting unemployment (3.34 million, ie + 35 000 in February 2014)  
     -  Uncontrolled immigration,
     -  Closures of Factories or Businesses,
     -  Increases of Turnover Taxes and other taxes,
     -  General Insecurity.

To put it another way, simply explaining the reasons for the General Economic Downturn or Crisis in France instead of acting, is not enough !

What the "Voters" want is "Action" in Paris to reverse or correct the trends !  Reshuffling the Government may be necessary to save some faces but what voters want, is -

     -  More direct Investments in Government Projects,
     -  Lower Taxes, 
     -  Less Immigration.

The National Front has gained many more votes because their main message hits home with the unemployed, i.e. less immigration !  This same Message will also gain many more seats in the coming EU Elections of MEPs in May 2014.  Not only the Socialists but also the Conservative Right in France fear this !  

The time is gone when everyone chuckled over Hollande's dilemma when he sacked his Lover for a new  younger Mistress in January !   He no longer has the time to dither, he is now expected to act and to get France back on an even keel !

However,it may already be too late to save his face in time for  next Sunday when the Vote of the second and last round of the Local Elections takes place !                            .                                    

Monday, 24 March 2014

ELECTIONS MUNICIPALES : GAGNANTS ET PERDANTS !


Consternant le Premier Ministre Jean-Marc Ayrault qui, dimanche soir, face au désaveu de la gauche n'a trouvé que cette seule parade, appeler "Les forces démocratiques et républicaines à faire barrage au Front National"...

Spectaculaire mais prévisible la très forte percée du Front National ! Certains se sont pourtant déjà empressés de parler du "pouvoir de nuisance du FN" pour le deuxième tour...  Parle-t-on en ces termes du Front de Gauche ?

Enfin si l'UMP a fait des résultats honorables, la virulente tribune de Nicolas Sarkozy parue dans Le Figaro du 21 mars n'y est peut être pas totalement étrangère !

DML

 

FRENCH LOCAL ELECTIONS: THE SURPRISE.


Before the vote it was expected that the National Front (or Extreme Right) would get a good slice of the votes, but the one they finally got was much bigger.  This was the first surprise.

There was also a second surprise because the abstentions at 38.6% were the highest since a long time.  A closer analysis revealed that the Socialist non voters were mainly responsible for the increase in the number of abstentions.

Since 1960 when De Gaulle created the 5th Republic there have only ever been two main Parties in contention at elections, the Socialists and the Conservatives, but with the National Front there are now three !

Yesterday only a few Mayors got more than 50% in the first round voting and were therefore elected.  Next Sunday there will be many three cornered run-offs with National Front candidates.  As usual beaten candidates will be touted for support but no one wants to admit to the possibility of  "making a deal" with the National Front.

This week will see feverish activity on the Local Level but there also be repercussions at the higher level of National Government.

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Saturday, 22 March 2014

SARKOZY S'INDIGNE , LA GAUCHE AUSSI !


Sortant de son silence, Nicolas Sarkozy a fustigé les méthodes employés par les magistrats à son encontre ( voir LE FIGARO du 21 mars).

S'agissant plus particulièrement de la mise sur écoute de l'ancien Président de la République , le gouvernement et toute la gauche s'est indignée d'une possible comparaison avec les méthodes de la Stasi ! Pourtant n'est ce pas ce rapprochement qui spontanément vient à l'esprit ? (cf notre article publié le 9 mars dernier dans ce blog).

Quant à François Hollande qui recevait jeudi 20 mars le Président du Conseil National des Barreaux et le Bâtonnier de Paris, soucieux de dénoncer la banalisation des écoutes, il a invité ses interlocuteurs à "prendre de la hauteur" une façon d'esquiver le problème en cours...

Par ailleurs, jusqu'alors qui s'est étonné que soit publié dans la presse le contenu des écoutes, et qui s'est ému de la violation du secret de l'instruction ? La Ministre de la Justice, Madame Taubira est restée bien muette sur ce point !

DML

 

Friday, 21 March 2014

HAS ALEX SALMOND ONLY CREATED MORE DOUBTS ?


In the debate on Scottish Independence one could ask whether Alex Salmond has not created more problems in the minds of the voters than they had before he started his campaign !

Did he not launch his campaign before he had all the answers to the main stumbling blocks and before he was in a position to calculate and weigh all the financial and economic consequences ? 

Is he now really in a position to present a balanced Budget with a 5 or 10 year Plan to Voters together with the consequent income taxes they are expected to pay ?  Every voter wants to know how he will be affected by what he is planning to do.

Normally when countries want independence it is to escape from oppression.   The collapse of Russia in 1991 and the Ukraine now, are perfect examples.  However David Cameron is not like Putin and he will never send troops to the north of the Border !  Should Alex Salmond not heed the principle of less haste to get more speed ?

Should the Referendum Question on 22 September 2014 be answered with YES or NO as proposed, or should it be phrased in such a way so it needs a NOW or NOT YET answer ?

There is nothing wrong with Scottish Independence ultimately if everyone, Scots and the others, are agreed on the details of how to "carve up" equitably all the rights and obligations !

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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

PUTIN IMPOSES HIS RUSSIAN WILL EVERYWHERE !


Ukrainians were seduced by the idea that they could one day join the EU and in this way escape the clutches of Russia.  When their Russian President, on the orders of Putin, wanted to end all discussions with the EU, there were revolts and President Yanukovytch was ousted from power.   He fled to save his life !

Putin was rankled by this setback.  He blamed the Western Powers who had subversively influenced the Ukrainians.  Had he not stopped the West with his veto in UNO from sending a Peace Keeping Force into Syria ?

Putin got his revenge !  With the benediction of the Russian Parliament, not UNO, he sent troops into  Crimea.  After a hasty and rigged Referendum he annexed Crimea which now has become a province of Russia ! 

Will Putin now send a Peace Keeping Force of the Russian Army into Ukraine ?  After all there are millions of ethnic Russians there !  Also Ukraine will vote on May 25, 2014 to elect a new President.  BUT, as Crimea has been "confiscated" there will be less "Russian" Voters to support any Russian candidate !

The West is now still considering sanctions against Russia.  This blog has already proposed the exclusion of Russians from all Sporting Events, and why not also the cancellation of Hosting the World Football Cup in Russia in 2018 ?  Would Football supporters really be safe there ?

The bigoted use of the Veto by Russia in the Security Council of UNO also begs the question of why Russia should not be expelled from UNO !  This would also permit a revision of the current rules of that Organisation !

Putin respects nothing and no one !  Is that right and acceptable ?

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Tuesday, 18 March 2014

FIFA BRIBES SCANDAL


At last some of the details of the FIFA Bribes Scandal have been revealed.  Once again money is at the root of all the evil. 

What has been disclosed now is perhaps only the tip of the iceberg, far from the complete story.  More will probably be revealed once all the questions have been answered about "Who knew What and When" !

No one in their right minds has ever been able to understand how Quatar, a non-footballing Nation with no stadiums and no experience to speak of, could be "awarded" the right to host the Finals of the World Cup in 2022 !  Everyone was dumbfounded, were they not ?

This Blog has repeatedly said that the Rules of FIFA need to be modernised.  Time limits must be enacted for elected officials.   Particularly the Membership of the Executive Committee and the role of President should revolve in such a way that no person or the country he represents can exeed two terms of office !

It can only be hoped that before the next elections of Officials and of the President no current members will be allowed to stand for re-election.  Were they not all somewhat naïve ?  Once is enough !

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Saturday, 15 March 2014

RUGBY UNION ABANDONS FAIR PLAY PRINCIPLES ?


The last three matches of the 6 Nations Rugby Union Championship have been scheduled with kick-off times which are two hours after the end of the previous match.

In view of the fact that three countries still had a chance to become champions, does this not give a distinct advantage to those countries which play later and which know the result of the previous match or matches ? 

Has the Rugby Union not abandoned the principle of "fair play" just to obtain better fees from the televising of the matches ? 

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

PHONE SPYING : AYRAULT KNEW NOTHING !


The Phone Spying "scandal" in France was provoked by judges who permitted the eavesdropping of the private phone of former President Nicolas Sarkozy and that of his avocate.   

According to the French Press, the conversations were transcribed by the Ministry of the Interior and made available to the Minister, Manuel Valls.  Christine Taubira, the Justice Minister like Valls pleads that she was not informed of all the detail !  As a result neither President Hollande nor the Prime Minister Jean-Mark Ayrault apparantly knew anything before a few days  ago !  

No one really ever knew everything !  And now the public believes no one !

Briefly said this whole affair got out of hand.  How  can a past President or anyone seek advice from his advocate in cases like this ?  The Opposition clamoured for an official enquiry but the Government said it did not want to interfere with an on-going judicial hearing !  Finally the Prime Minister was interviewed on television but explained nothing ! 

Now, no one is satisfied !  Neither the public nor the politicians.   Would it not have been better for everyone if a full blown debate had taken place in Parliament as requested by the Opposition?  Is that not the "chosen" place in history where such quarrels should be settled ?  

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Tuesday, 11 March 2014

THE INVASION OF UKRAINE


Ukraine, a member of the United Nations Organisation since 1945, has been invaded by another member country, namely Russia.

Russia however, is also a permanent member country of the Security Council and has the right to use a veto !   Ukraine is not a permanent member of the Security Council. 

Has the UNO Assembly discussed the problem of this invasion ?  As a member of the Security Council does Russia really have the right to invade any country when it alone thinks it is necessary ? 

Should Russia not have consulted with all the other members of the Security Council before acting ?

Are there not any UNO rules which could lead to the suspension of a member country and its Veto ?  Or is there really nothing UNO can do ?

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Monday, 10 March 2014

SHOULD MEP's NOT BE ELECTED AT THE SAME TIME AS MPs ?


After the elections of MEPs throughout the EU in May 2014 (22/25), little will change in the EU Parliamentary Assembly during the next five years.  
 
However, during those coming five years (2014/2019), there will be at least one General Parliamentary Election to elect National Members of Parliament (MPs) in all the EU member countries.  Even if a new swing is recorded in National elections this will have no effect on the sitting MEPs of that Nation before 2019 !

This exemplifies how the "Wind of Change" in National Elections has no immediate effect in the EU Parliament !

But, if a new Prime Minister is elected, then the new Prime Minister will represent his Country in the European Council !  Is all this normal and logical and Democratic ?

Simply said another way, MEPs at present are quite happy to be protected from the "Wind of Change" ! 

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Sunday, 9 March 2014

AN "ELECTION" IN TOTALITARIAN NORTH KOREA !


North Korea is the perfect example of a totalitarian state.  The actual President is Kim Jong-un who "took over" after his father named Kim Jon-il died on December 17, 2011. 

Just like the one to-day, "Elections" are held every five years but, the result is a foregone conclusion !   There are 687 Districts and only one candidate is chosen by the only political party, for each District.  Voters have a choice of voting YES or no !  Mistakes are not tolerated ! 

The result will be a 100% vote in favour of all that President Kim Jong-un is doing in North Korea at the moment.  He is also a candidate and is standing in his father's old constituency or District ! 

To underline the fact that mistakes are not tolerated,  one should not forget that the uncle of Kim Jong-un, named Jang Song-thaek, was executed together with all the members of his family on 12 December 2013. 

At first he appeared to be advising or even "grooming" the current President.  No real reason was given why he was phased out.  No one was accused of executing him.  Lets just say that this "totalitarian" President could not save his uncle !

Incidentally, North Korea is a member of the United Nations with the name "Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea".  The Republic of Korea (i.e. South Korea) is also a member of UNO.  

For good measure one must add that Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of UNO was born in the Republic of Korea  on 13 June 1944 ! 

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MANUEL VALLS CHOQUE PAR LES ECOUTES TELEPHONIQUES...


En octobre 2013, Manuel Valls s'était déclaré choqué par les révélations du "Monde" selon lesquelles l'agence américaine de sécurité, la NSA, avait espionné massivement les conversations téléphoniques des français.

A-t-il été tout aussi choqué d'apprendre la mise sur écoute des conversations entre un avocat et son client, en l'espèce Maître Herzog et Nicolas Sarkozy ?
 
Ainsi que le soulignait Maître Szpiner ce 9 mars au micro de RTL "le secret professionnel est la pierre angulaire de toute défense et de toute justice".  Un client doit en effet pouvoir s'entretenir en toute confiance et en toute discrétion avec son avocat tout comme un patient avec son médecin.

La justice française serait elle tentée de recourir aux méthodes de la STASI si bien illustrées dans le film allemand "La vie des autres" écrit et réalisé par Florian Henckel von Donnersmark?

DML
 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

TRADE SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA ?


The choice of sanctions against Russia for invading the Ukraine with an army of 30 or 40 thousand armed soldiers, is not easy.

Russia's excuse for invading Ukraine is to protect Ethnic Russians who are considered to be in danger in the East !  The simple fact that Ukraine does not even have the means to start a civil war is glossed over ! 

It seems that Russia wants to recover Eastern Ukraine !  To this end Russia is now in place with its army to do just that !  Added to this no one in the West or even in Russia really wants a war !

Currently any trade sanctions would have little effect !  Russia with its Exports is the biggest supplier to the EU and with its Imports is also the biggest customer of the EU !  In particular Russia supplies Siberian Gas to several EU countries.  The biggest single EU trading partner of Russia is Germany.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, appears to be more than just reticent at the moment.  If the West imposes Trade sanctions on Russia, Putin's riposte would clearly be to impose Trade sanctions on the EU and this would hurt and penalise Germany first and foremost ! 

If the EU then wants to help a bankrupt but Independent West Ukraine to join the EU (after the East has been annexed by Russia), it would first of all have to provide West Ukraine with finance to help it to reorganise itself !  This also makes Merkel hesitant.  Will Germany again have to pay ?

At the moment it would seem there is only one simple sanction which could make Putin think twice.  A world-wide ban which prevents any and all Russian Sportsmen from competing against any non Russian sportsman anywhere !

Putin will then have to answer questions from his electorate !

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Friday, 7 March 2014

PUTIN'S ETHNIC RUSSIAN APPROACH SPLITS UKRAINE !


Without a war, with no political legality, but with a token Russian army, Putin has aroused and won over the support of ethnic Russians living in Ukraine, which includes also Crimea.

The USA and the EU have clearly stated that they do not want Ukraine to be split into Western Ukraine with the East being absorbed into Russia.  This may be the "Wish of the West" but blood and kinship cannot be ignored !

In fact, Western Ukraine revolted against its former Russian ethnic President Yanukovytch, who chose a pan-Russian solution for Ukraine with Putin, instead of joining the EU as the ethnic Ukrainians really wanted and had expected.

After the collapse of the URSS in 1991 at least 10 satellite countries (including Ukraine) recovered their National Independence and almost all are now in the EU ! 

What Putin really wants is security for his Russian fleet in the Black Sea and to continue selling Siberian Gas via the Ukrainian Pipeline outlets.  Putin does not really want the Financial Costs of reorganising a bankrupt Western Ukrainian economy, particularly as the Russian Rouble is also unstable !

Does this not mean that Western Diplomats need to adopt a new strategy ?  Putin's objectives seem to be clear !  A new Game of Political Chess could start !

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

UKRAINE INVASION : ECONOMIC SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA ?


Politicians are now pondering what sanctions can be decided against Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, purely on the pretext that Russian civilians living there are in danger ! 

Russia invaded after a Putsch ousted  President Yanukovych who then fled to Russia to avoid being lynched by retaliating Ukrainian demonstrators ! 

The obvious Economic Sanction the West would like to impose on Russia is a reduction of the sales of Siberian Gas sold in Europe. This Gas flows through a cobweb of pipeliness and helps to heat numerous European countries.

The income helps to shore-up Russia's brittle finances and the declining parity of the Rouble.

The knock-on effect of this dependence on Russian Gas should lead Political Leaders to reconsider their future strategies about building more Nuclear Power Stations to provide more electricity to replace Gas entirely.

The 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant disaster in Japan frightened many people, above all the politicians, but surely lessons have been learnt.  In this area France is well placed; it even exports electricity,  to the UK for example !

EU leaders meet in an Emergency Summit in Brussels to-morrow.  "Tit for Tat sanctions" can be expected afterwards because Russia will not simply take everything on the nose without reacting !

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Sunday, 2 March 2014

UNO MUST CHANGE : TYRANTS MUST PERSONALLY EXPLAIN !


Whenever mass bloodshed is tolerated in a country, suspicion falls on its Leader.  The typical despotic Dictator or Tyrant has the power to do whatever he thinks is right.  He is the Head of State and he controls his armed forces.   He has total control over servile lackies and there is no Democracy; no criticism is tolerated, it is quickly punished ! 

Some Tyrants lead countries that are members of the United Nations Organisation (UNO), but this fact is no guarantee that UNO can intervene if Vetoes are used in the Security Council. 

Is this right or accceptable ?  If a country benefits from the use of a Veto, should its "Leader" not be duty bound to explain in person, in the UNO Assembly, the reasons why he has used his veto ? 

In accordance with Article N° 1 of its Charter, was UNO not formed to guarantee Peace and Human Rights in this World ?

Leaders cannot be allowed to hide behind their delegates in the UNO Assembly or even behind their Diplomatic "Ambassaders" elsewhere in the world.  

Ban Ki-moon, if only for his own posterity, must make UNO more effective by proposing changes in the way it operates and applies its rules !

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Saturday, 1 March 2014

UK FLOODING DISASTERS : WHO IS RESPONSIBLE ?


Normally when there is a disaster it gives Politicians at all levels the chance to attack.  This does not seem to have happened this time.   The obvious question is "why".

Serious widespread flooding like this year happens about five times in a century but flooding on a smaller scale happens almost every year in some coastal areas.  Coastal towns normally have sturdy sea walls to protect  their inhabitants.

Flooding this year has been caused by exceptional overspills from rivers and streams.  Building permits for some houses were granted by councils even when the land was known to be at risk of flooding.

Are Local Councillors not elected to alert people at higher echelons when something must be done to protect inhabitants ?   Were complaints like this acted on ?   At what level was nothing done ?

The Prime Minister is now wasting money on a "mopping-up" exercise.  If money had been properly invested in the previous 20 years or more to prevent flooding there would be less problems now !

The Opposition does not attack the Government because the last Socialist Government was in power for 15 years !   Is it not time that flooding problems are taken seriously and that long term plans to act, are jointly drawn-up by Socialists and Conservatives and updated by all future Governments ?

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YANUKOVYTCH AT LAST SAFE IN RUSSIA !


Like a scared rat former President Yanukovytch secretly fled Kiev to finally reappear yesterday in Rostov, Russia.

It took him almost a week to get out of Kiev, away from baying Ukrainian masses who now want him to be tried for civil war crimes !

Yanukovytch still claims to be the "legitimate President" of Ukraine but one thing is certain.  Yanukovytch will never again dare to return to Kiev.  If he does he will be lynched and he knows it !  Ukrainians want him "dead or alive" !

All this he admitted yesterday in a Press Conference in Rostov, Russia.  He maintains he was illegally deposed as President but also lamented that Putin was sitting on the fence instead of acting.

He said he would only go back to Ukraine if his security was guaranteed !  What he really hopes is that a Russian Army will come to his aid !

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