L'Humanité in English
Translation of selective papers from the french daily newspaper l'Humanité
decorHome > Editorial > They are Taking us for a Ride...

EditorialWorldPoliticsEconomySocietyCultureScience & TechnologySportInternational Communist and Labor Press"Tribune libre"Comment and OpinionBlogsLinks
About France, read also
decorANTI-CHINESE RACISM ON THE STAND decorBudget. Michel Sapin wants to make security rhyme with austerity decorCGT Air France. All the violence dooms them. decorJustice: how the Macron law grants out impunity to bosses decorNo Terrorists, But Lunatics decorAusterity Spoiled Economic Growth Over Last Six Months decorOECD Pits Active Workers Against Retirees decor“We Never…!”: The French Bourgeoisie’s Shameful Collaboration With the Nazis decorSocialist Party Seeks to Close Ranks Behind European Budget Pact decorThe Cult Film and Documentary Maker Chris Marker Has Passed Away decorWorkers’ Rights Notably Absent From the French Government’s Plan For the Car Industry decorThe CGT Calls Mittal’s London Olympic Honors "Obscene"
About Capitalism, read also
decorCapitalism is destructive and unsustainable – It needs to be replaced decorThe capitalist reality is worse than its caricature... decorTo Desire to Make Capitalism Moral is, in Reality, to Demand its Suppression. decorGeoffrey Geuens: « Financial Markets Are Not Faceless. Their Face Is That of the Oligarchy » decorRound the World , Opposition to Capitalism Continues decorThe Perceived Causes of Radicalisation decorGlobal Crisis Boosts World Social Forum in Belem decorSamir Amin : The New Challenge of the Peoples’ Internationalism decor“Yes, American Capitalism Is In Crisis” decorCan we go Beyond Capitalism ?
About Working Conditions, read also
decorThe Great War As Seen and Lived By "Ordinary Folks" decorFrench Product or Product Made in France? decorAnother Suicide at France Telecom decorToyota, the man-breaking machine.


by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

They are Taking us for a Ride...

Translated Sunday 27 September 2009, by Alison Billington and reviewed by Bill Scoble

Avoidance strategies. Political commentators, happy to find again their dominant media position in September in order to point out to us ‘what we really ought to think’, had a whale of a time earlier this month, practising the art of fitting in the most important things with frivolities and explaining to us how and why it’s logical that the UMP [1] sets the tone of ’all the debates’ like a ’melting pot of ideologies’ .

We must be dreaming. The delays concerning the tax on carbon alone, which took up part of the Prince-President’s party’s summer campus debates, illustrate Sarkozy’s tactic of occupying the media territory. From the presidential speech to that of Fillon [2], of Borloo [3], Bertrand [4], or Copé [5], the spectrum is quite wide-ranging. We should have waited for Alain Juppé [6] who, with disarming frankness, set about dotting his ‘i’s and crossing his ‘t’s when everybody was trying to beat about the bush. "The carbon tax is obviously a tax," ventured the ex-Prime Minister with his pullover on his shoulders and a sidelong smile. In spite of the obvious cacophony, we could nevertheless hear this shrewd remark from a professional journalist with an inside knowledge of the Right : At least the UMP makes all the debates internal. That’s its very own focus and that’s its strength." It’s agreed. Close the proceedings!

That very day, a certain Minister for Culture [7], with charm enough and stylish turns of phrase into the bargain, succeeded in getting the name ‘Mitterand’ applauded in front of the Sarkozyist militants…a sure sign of consensus politics, we’re told. The week-end operation ‘communication plan’ had succeeded. The only thing missing from the list of killings to delight the naïve, was François Bayrou [8] supposedly rallying ‘to the centre left’… you read that correctly. Owing to the re-opening of parliament, the Modem-PS [9] alliance is yet again a subject imposed on us. As if the leader of the Modem party’s ‘offer of talks’ could offer a real leftist alternative to advance deep social change. What a joke !

They are taking us for a ride…For all the while there is a reality that is even clearer to French eyes: that of social dramas on the rise and their attendant ills: mass unemployment, new taxes, new threats against our pensions, in particular against women’s, the dearer cost of living, the end of free prescriptions, rises in fuel and electricity prices that turn purchasing power to a cinder, and in hospital bills etc. Paying to survive: that’s Sarkozyist logic. They can repeat to us on all stations and channels that "the light at the end of the tunnel’ is visible," but the darkness visible on the horizon contradicts this propaganda. In spite of a term of positive growth, which incidentally has only legitimized new bonuses to traders, we are well and truly in the epicentre of the crisis and the government’s ‘small measures’ will take us nowhere near the end of recession, as the dramatic figures for productivity show.

Moreover, how can we believe that businesses are not going to regain their profits by freezing salaries or by ’adjusting’ their number of workers yet a little more, and blasting all buffer measures such as partial unemployment ? Without measures equal to the task, the current recession is sure to deepen in the months to come.

So we would be wrong to yield to a general feeling of a ’return to normal’. François Fillon said again yesterday that they would not increase contributions, that they would take no austerity measures . But that is exactly what they are doing right now! "We need a new world!" the UMP shouts without a smile. In truth, all those who monopolize the main financial interests have only one objective: to set the old capitalist system in motion again, exactly the same as before the crisis broke out. The film director Michael Moore declared yesterday at the 66th Mostra film festival: "Capitalism is an evil and evils must not be reformed, they must be eradicated…" As good a way as any to return to the main point.

[1UMP: Union pour un mouvement populaire or the Popular Movement – a Rightist political party.

[2Fillon: François Fillon, Sarkozy’s Right-wing Prime Minister.

[3Borloo: Jean-Louis Borloo, a Right-wing politician, currently the Minister for Ecology, Energy, Sustainable Development and Town and Country Planning (Regional Development).

[4Bertrand: Xavier Bertrand, right-wing politician who played a foremost role in Sarkozy’s 2007 campaign.

[5Copé: Jean François Copé, Right-wing politician who acted as president of the UMP

[6Alain Juppé: Right-wing politician who served as Prime Minister from 1995-1997.

[7Un certain ministre de la Culture – this is Frédéric Mitterand, nephew of François Mitterand.

[8François Bayrou : centrist politician. President of the Union for French Democracy (UDF). He transformed the UDF into a new political party called the Democratic Movement, widely known in France as the MoDem.

[9Alliance MoDem-PS: the Democratic Movement and Socialist Party alliance.

Follow site activity RSS 2.0 | Site Map | Translators’ zone | SPIP