Unlike some on the left, I wasn’t a great fan of Hugo Chávez, but the bile directed at El Commandante from the right is revealing. True, he said some vile things – being the sort of politician who got carried away with his own rhetoric and… Read More
‘You can’t always get what you want,’ sang Mick Jagger in 1969. ‘But if you try sometimes, well you might just find, you get what you need.’ The Rolling Stones frontman isn’t mentioned in How Much is Enough, which is a shame since his lyrics… Read More
‘The shape of a city changes too fast, alas!, for the heart of mortal man,’ wrote Charles Baudelaire in one of his most famous poems, The Swan. Baudelaire wrote it around 1859, when many of the narrow old streets of Paris were being bulldozed by… Read More
François Mitterrand, French president between 1981 and 1995, died 16 years ago. Well, so they said. But turn on French radio or TV, look around a bookshop, or scan the feature pages of a French paper, and old Tonton is still with us. Perhaps it… Read More
This is a stand first.
Almost as soon as you drive off the ferry at Calais there are signs for the Camp du Drap d’Or – the ‘Field of the Cloth of Gold’ – the site of the infamous meeting in 1520 between two of the biggest egos of 16th… Read More
LIRE CE BILLET EN FRANçais Battered by the economic crises of the 1920s and and 30s, European politicians clung to the gold standard because it was the only thing they knew. The gold standard dictated permanent austerity and relentless downward pressure on wages. The result… Read More
Far from the May Day rallies, François Hollande visits Nevers to invoke the ghosts of the French left.
A leading figure in the far-right Front National (FN) has offered to endorse Nicholas Sarkozy for Sunday’s deciding second round of the presidential election, but only on condition that the president backs FN candidates in June’s parliamentary elections wherever they face a direct challenge from… Read More
Marine Le Pen grabbed the headlines in yesterday’s vote, but in politics, like football, results are everything. Le Pen will not be in the second round run-off on 6 May. The salient facts are that François Hollande comfortably surpassed François Mitterrand’s first round score in… Read More