dimanche 13 avril 2008

Below the streets - the sewers!

France's Rumplestliskin President, now widely discredited and whose naked photo recently sold for 15 Euros on ebay, remarked during the interminable presidential elections last year, that he intended to "liquidate the heritage of 1968". The left, such as it is in France, reacted with predictable bluster and outrage, L'Humanité even went so far as to ask its dwindled readership to send in their memories of the famous year, forgeting that it acted as a bulwark against the failed Spring uprising. But Sarkozy's remarks are never that clear and always provisionary. Perhaps he means France is to do away with what is left of the 'Welfare State' - its over-strong hostage taking unions, its oh too generous retirement arrangements and its indulgent protection of personal liberty. Yet, as is clear to everyone, he was just playing to the (near deserted) gallery, for the heritage of '68 liquidated itself long ago. The students currently in the streets are its mourners and its ghosts.

Then again, even that is too pat. It was mooted strongly in the media last week that the government was to liquidate the family rail card that granted cheap train fares to the low paid. After the smallest of protests the idea was itself, liquidated.