Thursday, November 03, 2005

Le coupable

I'm sure that Barbara Lefebvre and Eve Bonnivard were mentioned in The Times a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn't find anything online. I did find this though ('De l’antisémitisme au terrorisme'):  
Barbara Lefebvre prétend détecter dans cette vision « une mollesse idéologique débouchant sur la dénonciation d’un seul coupable aux yeux de la planète » : l’Amérique.
If you want something in English, try this: 'Book Learning'.

Riots in Paris: the banlieues or suburbs can perhaps best be understood in terms of what we British are apt to call 'estates'  (cf. Broadwater Farm ),  high-rise developments with massive social deprivation.

Tariq Ramadan, on BBC WS Newshour last night, pointed out the irrelevance of French emphasis on 'cultural integration' (for example, banning the Muslim headscarf). These sort of measures, however, have widespread support (about 75%, I heard). Nicolas Sarkozy is taking much of the blame, for his incendiary language. He has introduced many of us to a new word: racaille, translated as scum or riff-raff. Although he seems to be politically isolated, his tough measures, again, have popular support. What impact this will have for la Presidentielle of 2007, we shall have to wait and see...

More riots overnight (2-3 Nov), though confined to the North-East of Paris, in places that will be familiar to anyone who has travelled by train (RER) from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the centre of town - Aulnay-sous-Bois (again), Villepinte... France Inter reported that somebody said (threatened) that the disturbances will continue until Sarkozy resigns. (Tariq Ramadan was on again, this time on Radio 4's Today around 7:34: they have kindly provided a direct link to this.)

Crisis too in Germany, where they are still struggling to put together a new government. All this puts the troubles over the man who was once Sarkozy's British equivalent as Interior Minister into perspective, though Britain has seen disturbances in its own cities.  Nick Cohen points to a general trend:
Across the planet, you heard the same demonic accusations of blood-sucking, corruption and secret influence about the Chinese business class in south east Asia, the white farmers in Zimbabwe and South Africa, the Spanish ‘whites’ in Latin America, the Jews in Russia, the Ibo in Nigeria, the Croats in Milosevic’s Yugoslavia and the Americans everywhere.


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