Still more déjà vu: Culture Wars (again)

Gender-neutral language A couple of years ago, people fought culture wars about the semi-substantive issue of écriture inclusive [gender-neutral language]: should the French language ‘favour’ the masculine usage. The Mots-Clés (‘Key Words’) group described French as a ‘phallocentric language’. France’s High Council for Equality between Women and Men urged public authorities to avoid ‘sexual stereotypes’ in their communication. Gender-neutral text certainly can have the effect of slowing … Continue reading Still more déjà vu: Culture Wars (again)

Rogues gallery

Lovable Old Rogue Jacques Chirac died last week. Minister for 3 years. Mayor of Paris for 18 years. Prime Minister twice. President of France 1995-20007. In the wake of his death, pollster Ifop asked who was France’s greatest 5th Republic President. Chirac came the reply. First equal with de Gaulle. Both 30% support. [Polling Note: Macron got 7%.] But haven’t times changed. A 2013 Ifop … Continue reading Rogues gallery

Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, Those days of soda and pretzels and …

This panorama of an often over-heated summer has to begin (as did those summer months) with ‘Lobstergate’. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days were off and away with a marginally overcooked story about lobsters and Parliamentary Grandes Bouffes. Continue reading Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, Those days of soda and pretzels and …


The initial reaction of misguided Républicains party leader, Wauquiez, was to describe the result as ‘not meeting the expectations raised by their campaign’. After all, expectations must surely have been relatively high for a party list led by a Eurosceptic Catholic philosophy teacher whose previous campaigns were largely confined to opposition to same-sex marriage. Continue reading Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

It’s Euro-Election time!

In under two weeks, a deeply-indifferent France will finally arrive at the moment not too many care about. The 9th set of Euro-Elections for the little-loved European Parliament. Few, excepting those directly involved, ever get really excited by Euro-Elections. However, pollsters Ifop-Fiducial say half the electorate declare themselves ‘interested’, with 20% having ‘lots’ of interest. Really? Maybe ‘academic’ interest? Polls consistently tell us that barely 40% … Continue reading It’s Euro-Election time!