Tag Archives: francois hollande

Hollande’s affair – do you care? *Gallic shrug*

The President of France, Francois Hollande, held a a long-planned news conference today to launch policies to help France’s struggling economy. Along with cuts to government spending, he plans a ‘responsibility pact’ to incentivise firms to hire workers, and… oh, I’m sorry, am I boring you? You’re only interested in his liaisons dangereuses, the reported affair he’s having with the actress who is not his First Lady? If so, then you’ve a lot in common with UK journalists…

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 47 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrats must not apologise for cuts

Occasionally Nick Clegg, or his speechwriters create a phrase which deserves to live on in the political lexicon long after the rest of the speech has been confined to the political dustbin. The pre-2010 General Election debates were transformed by Nick referring to the “two old parties” and asking voters to “do something different this time”.

While the phrases were memorable, they were hardly that effective. Voters did what they did the last time they faced a Labour government mired in staggering incompetence and a Tory party leadership tacking to the centre while the grassroots howled. That was in the 1970’s when voters gave Labour a kicking and the Tories the mandate of largest party in parliament but no overall majority. In 2010 the outcome was the same with Labour weakened and the Tories becoming the largest party, except that on this occasion, the Liberal Democrats, from MPs to ordinary members, voted by a huge majority for a coalition. But while the phrases used in the debates were clever and eye catching, it was another of Nick’s phrases which should help set the tone for the party in the future. Nick said there would be “savage cuts”, while Vince Cable joined his Tory and Labour colleagues in saying that post-election there would, under a Liberal Democrat government, be “cuts faster and deeper than Thatcher”.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 38 Comments

Avant le déluge: If you want to follow the French presidential elections…

The UK is approximately 3687 miles from the United States of America, and separated by an ocean. The UK is approximately 22 miles away from France, and separated by a channel.

Yet there has already been more coverage expended on the race for the Republican nomination than there has been on the battle to become President of France. The White House trumps the Élysée Palace every time in the mind of the media even though France is closer and the result is more likely to impact directly on the UK.

However, …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments
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