Thursday, 29 March 2012

Before the event.

France in general and Toulouse in particular are strange places to be at the moment. Another under-age, cold-blooded murder this morning in the news - this time in the north, in Dieppe - and ever more hand-wringing, criticism of video games and the usual section of society believed to have been responsible. There is so much mistrust and it's very, very worrying, for it only seems to be getting worse. You read reactions in the press and it's all 'Round up the usual suspects', even though no-one has the courage to say so overtly. At the same time, Sarkozy continues to climb in the polls, Hollande loses ground and the candidates' manoeuvring continues. This election is going to be very tight, at least in the first round. French society is provoking public opinion in the manner of Napoleon's army's border occupations a couple of hundred years ago: they would amass at a border and wait for the other nation to attack in panic, opening the way for generous reparations once the (almost) inevitable victory over the 'agressor' was in the bag. Will the French public react like an unsettled, nervous army? We'll see. If they do panic, the price may be high. Or maybe not; maybe they'll finally get the president they secretly really want...

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