Out of the ashes and rubble of the French Intifada MIGHT yet come the beginnings of real reform. This reform - led by Sarkozy - might be initiated NOW, but instead, the anti-Anglo-American status-quoists appear to be holding off real reform. Villepin (Chirac's "annointed" heir) appears to be have won what amounts to an early round in the 2007 presidential contest between him and Sarkozy. UK GUARDIAN:
A report drawn up for the French government has rejected calls for positive discrimination to help minorities find jobs, dealing a blow to the interior minister and presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy.Sarkozy had proposed a mixture of carrot and stick measures: (1) holding parents responsible for the delinquency of the children (by withholding some welfare/support payments if their children break the law); and (2) introducing some American-style affirmative-action type of programs (what the French have dubbed "positive discrimination" - an intellectually HONEST description!) to help the banlieue youths who are so motivated break out of the cycle of discrimination and poverty. [I have my doubts as to whether there are many banlieue youths who would take advantage of the affirmative action measures - were they to be introduced - because I believe many have ALREADY been indoctrinated/brainwashed by (and become a part of) isalmofascist gangs and cells.] Here's how Dow Jones/AP described the Villepin/Chirac versus Sarkozy debate:
French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said Friday it would be "a mistake" to punish the parents of juvenile delinquents, during a visit to a poor suburb engulfed by a recent wave of nationwide riots. Villepin was commenting on a measure that Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to submit to the Cabinet as part of a new crime prevention bill, one of the center-right government's responses to France's worst riots since the student-worker protests in 1968. "Punishing the parents without having taken into account the reality of their problems, I think it would be a mistake," Villepin said on a visit to an underprivileged neighborhood in Meaux, northeast of Paris. The interior minister's bill [drew] heavily on a parliamentary report on crime prevention, which recommend[ed] among other things that the government strip "negligent" parents of some state subsidies, handing control of welfare allocations to social workers.Here's how "Reuters" framed the debate:
France's prime minister and the ambitious number two in his government set out different visions on Friday for helping minorities find jobs, drawing what could become battle lines in the 2007 presidential election. In response to three weeks of rioting by disaffected youths in poor suburbs, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy explained in a newspaper article why he favours positive discrimination, or affirmative action, to cut high unemployment among minorities. "Proclaiming equality before the law is no longer enough: henceforth we also need to promote equality by (using) the law," Sarkozy wrote in an opinion piece for Le Figaro newspaper. "We cannot continue to accept that a growing number of individuals are allotted destinies written in advance."Villepin and Chirac OPPOSED both Sarkozy measures, AND the chief reason given was that they want to maintain the "French model." I think Villepin and Chirac are the reactionary/anti-progressives in this debate. And I argue that their position is absolutely LUDICROUS because the "French model" is a FRIGGING DISASTER IN EVERY WAY: it's lead to the intifada and high unemployment, low productivity, low growth, high deficits, the flight of their young entrepreneurial class to the UK and USA, and general economic/political and intellectual/cultural stagnation.
Sarkozy stuck to his guns despite opposition by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the person most likely to challenge him for the role of leading the centre-right into the presidential election. Villepin told a radio interviewer on Friday there was no place for positive discrimination in a state built on the notion of equal opportunities for everyone. "We say that when there are inequalities, we put them right. But we must not fix them by renouncing our French model, a universal model under which each individual is respected for who he is, independent of colour," Villepin told RTL radio.
Whether France thrives - or even survives - in this new century (as the UK and the USA have ever since the Reagan/Thatcher revolution a qurater of a century ago) - or whether France slides even further intoeconomic ruin, will be determined by who wins the Sarkozy-Chirac/Villepin debate/presidential sweepstakes between now and 2007.
If Villepin wins then France will become Western Europe's 21st Century version of the USSR. In other words, Chirac and Villepin NOW are behaving very much like Gorbachev was in the late 1980's: stupidly defending a system which is a total failure. The longer France resists embracing the Reagan/Thatcher/Hayekian model (and policies therein derived) the more difficult will be her recovery. TIME IS RUNNING OUT.
[ADDENDUM: Sarkozy is a tough SOB, and will not give up until he loses the election. Here's an example of his toughness (Xinhua):
French police has made another 1,540 arrests in the wake of the latest urban violence, lifting the number of rioters up to 4,740 with 3,200 caught in act, French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday. "Arrests didn't stop with the end of the riots," he reiterated his determination to eradicate illegal traffics and traffickers before the Association of France's mayors. These 1,540 people arrested have link to riots or divers traffics or delinquency. "Those who pillaged, those who behaved as delinquents have debts to pay to the courts in our country," he said.The number of arrests has been HUGE: 4,740 ARRESTS - with 1,540 coming in the last week! Wow! This number dwarfs anything I have EVER seen in relation to any rioting anyewhere at anytime - even in the USA or France in 1968, even during the Israeli Intifadas. I think this shows that Sarkozy (to whom - as Minister of the Interior - the police report) is deadly serious about defeating the islamothugs. I wish I could say the same about Villepn and Chirac. But sadly, I only see "dhimmitudinal" appeasement and "anti-Hayekianism" from these two clowns.]