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Rantings of a Sandmonkey

Be forewarned: The writer of this blog is an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey. If this is your cup of tea, please enjoy your stay here. If not, please sod off

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Playing politics with the riots

With the French riots entering well into their second week strong as ever (918 cars burned so far), one has to wonder of the effects of those riots on the french political scene and how it will affect Chirac's government. Interestingly, it seems that the government is split over the riots and both de Villepin and Sarkozy playing politics with them in hopes to advance their future presidential ambitions. And despite the hype, it seems that Sarkozy maybe gaining from all that's been going on. But it is also a philosophical rift. De Villepin stands for those who would preserve the principles of equality and “Frenchness” in dealing with immigrants: demanding that they remove their headscarves and fit in with the culture. Sarkozy has spun a complicated, twin-stranded message. He has advocated tough action against violence, in an appeal to the right. But he has also backed affirmative action in jobs and education, in an appeal to the centre-left. He has provoked a row in his own party by suggesting that immigrants should be able to vote in local elections. On Monday morning it looked as though this saga might be the downfall of the endlessly ambitious Sarkozy. His weekend remarks that criminals were “scum” and his vow to “hose down” the lawless estates were taken as a declaration of war by some immigrants, and shocked centre-left commentators. Chirac, spotting a chance to promote his protégé de Villepin, emerged from two months of near-silent convalescence, to call for “respect” in the use of language. But de Villepin may now have sabotaged his own cause. He has been jumped on by MPs since losing his temper on Wednesday, retorting, “Since you know everything, you give me the answers”, to one MP, and shrugging his shoulders in a manner seen as dismissive and arrogant. Some in his party have also criticised him for allowing a junior minister openly to attack Sarkozy - and for appropriating the riots for his own battles against the Interior Minister. Meanwhile, Sarkozy’s tough talk has won support in some unexpected quarters, including some residents of the troubled suburbs themselves, fed up with the violence. His rise to prominence, during an earlier spell as Interior Minister, was due partly to his tough stance on crime. Hmmm........


At 11/06/2005 05:47:00 AM, Anonymous Tina said...

I think Sarkozy will come out on top on this one. Even the residents of these suburbs know they can never improve their lives through rampages. Respect is earned it can never just be "given". If these people have been shut out of french society, and it sounds as though they have, then Sarkozy's method is the best for the people. Give them a hand up and not a hand out.

Welfare is always a trap and it's the elitists way of saying "you are not capable of being equal to us".

We have seen in Iraq that, given the opportunity, the Iraqi people can overcome every obsticle. They are opening 30,000 businesses every month.

If Sarkozy wins on this one, you will see better schools and more opportunity and perhaps a sane method of bringing their immigrants into the mainstream of french society.

At 11/06/2005 10:30:00 AM, Blogger CanadianGoose said...

I wonder what kind of effect this has on the French people.


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