I have had time to think about Hollande’s 180° U-turn, now espousing policies that Mrs Thatcher herself would have been proud of. However, a politician’s words are (since Churchill at least, and after him Thatcher) always detached from reality to some extent or other.
So, the backroom boys have come up with a translation of Hollande’s programme, which if you remember was:
create some committees
identify possibly savings
make life and costs easier for employers
Wonderful, inspiring stuff. The translation below, however, gives us a somewhat more realistic interpretation:
“As part of their ‘Responsibility Pact’, employers will take on millions of workers NOW (even if they are busy staving off bankruptcy) and we will set up lots of committees to see how we might make life easier and cheaper for companies sometime in the future, but not before 2017 at least. We will also find ways to cut state spending to the tune of 50 BILLION euros by 2017, and this will be done without sacking a single civil-servant (because they vote for us). Don’t ask me how we will save this money; that is the task of one of our committees, and if they don’t find a way it will of course be their fault.
It’s true that we socialists have no experience of downsizing the state, cutting bureaucracy or reducing taxes, but we work fast. For example, it is only 18 months since the election and yet next month we set up our first committees to investigate where we might be able to save money. We may even – eventually – be able to cancel some of the new tax increases planned on top of the over 74 new or increased taxes since I was elected. And in any case, by the time the committees report, growth in the economy will make any implementation of their conclusions unnecessary. Either that, or Germany will have paid off our debts to save the euro. You may therefore ask why we are bothering with the committees if :
A) they will only report years from now and
B) we will ignore them anyway and
C) even if we try to implement cuts the unions will bring the country to a standstill
D) sustained and massive growth will cure all the problems so that we can carry on as before
Well, in answer to your question, “What is the point of this charade?”, please remember that we in the French political elite specialize in charades, and this one is intended to give the impression that I am doing something useful during daylight hours, the only time I am available of course.
VIVE LA FRANCE!”