A new scapegoat

This may interest mainly Christopher and John Mackie, who tend to blame Alex Salmond for everything, and rightly so in many instances.  But now that Wee Eck is no longer an MP, can I suggest replacing him with Mrs Merkel’s blue-eyed boy, Emmanuel.

According to a recent French poll Emmanuel Macron has sunk even lower in the popularity ratings than last moth.


You don’t need to read French to understand the figures. Macron has the lowest rating of the last four presidents at the same stage in their presidencies, that is after the honeymoon period when the gloss has well and truly worn off.  He has even surpassed – or should that be underpassed – the lamentable François Hollande.

19 thoughts on “A new scapegoat”

  1. Oh God, the frog has left me! Am I to understand that he has descended to 15 % rating?
    Can you tell us why?
    What has he done or not done to get in the mire quite so quickly?

    Re Trump, he really is going off the rails completely, at this rate half of the USA will be out of a job if he carries on! What is really needed is a large gilded cage and put in Trump and Kim il whatsit and exhibit them to the public in the Victorian style in a travelling fairground, would make a fortune!
    Personally I find it difficult to conceive that people are taken in by the blandishments of politicians, they are so generally obviously mentally ill as to need a strait jacket well ahead of the vote. Perhaps people get what they deserve! Is this the case with Macron?

  2. Sheona: It’s early yet for Little Manny Macaroon. Lately I’ve taken to blaming Malcolm Turnbull for everything. After his likely fall from power in the next year or two I might well take heed and start blaming LMM!

    Janus: Voters are fed up and fickle. They’ll give candidates a go, but they’ll quickly turn on them if they prove useless.

    CO: Little Manny Macaroon’s disapproval rating has increased by 15pc from 27pc in June to 42pc in July. There are several factors. The first is that LMM was never actually that popular. France’s convoluted two-round election system means that voters vote “for” the candidate they actually like in round 1 and “against” the candidate they can least stand in round 2. Barely over a fourth of French voters were actually enthusiastic about him. That he won 2-1 in the second round had more to do with the French not wanting Don the One in a dress than great affection for him. The second factor is that LMM is a pompous buffoon who seems to think he’s Louis XIV in a smart suit. Franky Netherlands attempted to come off as a “regular man” with his faux-folksy style. It was a train wreck, it was akin to Hillary Clinton speaking in a Southern drawl. In order to contrast himself with his predecessor, LMM places himself above the fray and bangs on about hos his ideas are to profound for words.

  3. I do like your description of Macron as a pompous buffoon and he certainly seems to have adopted Versailles as a playground, Christopher. His party has shown itself rather incompetent in running the Chambre de Députés (House of Commons) because so many of his MPs are complete newbies with no experience whatsoever. Macron giving his first address to both houses at Versailles was seen as very pretentious. At the moment the law forbidding elected representatives from employing family members as secretaries, etc is going through. It is very bad timing that Macron is organising an office and staff for his own wife. Normally the president’s wife does voluntary work. Macron has fired his army Chief of Staff because the latter had the nerve to object to cuts in the military budget. Trump’s visit on 14th July was not a great success with the French people. Trudeau was wise to have found a subsequent engagement to get out of that one. There have also been mutterings about Macron imposing new laws by presidential decree. The word “dictatorship” has appeared in the press.

  4. Sheona.

    Your description of Macron sounds spookily like Trump. They apparently get on very well, which is not really surprising.

  5. Sheona: Macron really is a strange case. He insists that he’s from outside the system, yet he cavorts with France’s political and intellectual elite. Mitterrand, Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande and now Macron. They surround themselves with the same éminences grises. The former presidents did so openly, Macron lashes out at anyone who dares accuse him of doing what he most obviously does. Macron, to my knowledge, is the first French president to openly disparage France. Yet, he wraps himself in all the trappings and fineries of France’s illustrious past. He’s far too much like Obama. France is in for five miserable years if he rules the country as Obama did. One hopes that French cynicism, something that has served that country so very well over the years, helps them to see through the illusion sooner rather than later. By all indications, they already are. Some have pointed out that Macron, in style and substance, is like Napoleon III. Even his use of Versailles reflects France’s last emperor. I’m hardly surprised that en Marche! are hopeless. It takes many years for a parliamentarian to actually be good at being a parliamentarian. At that point they’re tainted by political compromises and favours. If Macron expects much help from Berlin, he’s badly mistaken.Merkel’s made it perfectly clear that she expects him to focus on sorting out France’s problems. Schulz has been revealed as a damp squib and his tone deaf pronouncements have, bar a major upset, virtually ensured that the next government will be a Black/Yellow coalition with a strongly pro-reform junior partner keen on sorting Germany’s mounting problems out.

    Araminta: Mercifully, French presidents don’t have the same might their Americans counterparts do. US presidents can rule almost as dictators. Even if the opposition takes control of the lower house which controls finances, a government shut-down almost invariably causes more harm to the legislature than the executive.

  6. Sheona, the word ‘dictatorship’ had been seen in the press.
    Well, to be honest, maybe that’s what is needed.
    Democracy of late, seems to be resulting in silly situations. Joe public is far to fickle to allow him to much say in the running of the country.
    I would rather see Theresa May with dictatorship powers, than the current crappy situation.

  7. Gazoopi, I’d like to see May with Thatcher’s firm hand or even handbag.

    Macron is as you say, Christopher, an “énarque” like all his predecessors. He has now cut housing benefit as part of a campaign to improve the economy. At the same time he is increasing the pay of France’s 2.2 million “fonctionnaires” or civil servants. That should really improve the economy!

  8. Gaz: Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. The only thing keeping the rabble currently collecting dust in the halls of power somewhat under control is the realisation that they will be swiftly removed if they get out of hand.

    Sheona: After Fillon foundered, I predicted that Le Macaron was the last gasp of the French establishment. After him, there’s no credible “mainstream” figure left. In the first round, Le Pen and Mélenchon were within 5pc of Le Macaron’s result. Most politicians have to be in power for several years before they completely lose touch with reality. Le Macaron has managed to achieve that lofty goal within months. That is, if he ever was actually in touch with reality at any point in his life. We could well be in for a nasty result in 2022 if nothing changes in France. If the centre holds until 2022…

  9. “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others.” The fact that Churchill said it, does not make it true. Democracy has brought this world into a terrible mess. To be perfectly frank I have more faith in the Chinese and Russian systems than I do in any western democracy.

    Of course there are and have been through history, many styles of democracy, but as it is practised in the west, I would say with conviction, that it is particularly appealing to the least able and most venal members of society.

    I would argue as I have done before, that a qualified vote is what is required to bring sanity back to the Anglo Saxon world. But as Rhodesia discovered, a qualified vote, even one that is open to all races is not considered democracy.

  10. Sipu: By bringing up China you’re coming very close to opening a can of worms that will be difficult for you to contain. China has effectively re-established something not dissimilar to what they had during the imperial era with some nominal concessions to a nominally republican/socialist ideology. Russia, similarly, has restored something that is in practice not unrecognisable to its former imperial system. Their systems of government cannot be copied or emulated. They’re products of Chinese and Russian history and shared experience. If we are to learn anything from the past century, it is that alien ideologies and forms of government don’t necessarily bear palatable fruits.

    The forms of democracy practised in the West are hardly uniform. Germany remains, in essence, a very liberal dictatorship. People have no real say in how the country is governed and the contempt of its ruling classes is obvious. Switzerland, Norway and Denmark can’t be faulted for their systems. In both cases, the lunacy of their political classes have frequently been thwarted.

  11. I agree with sipu, universal suffrage without qualification did no favours at all for the West. The common good was tossed out of the window in favour of the ‘more for me’ charade.
    The old way of property and goods ownership as qualification had a lot going for it. Those people had already invested in their society rather than skidding over the top like scum on strawberry jam with no allegiance to anything!

  12. CO, your support the haves vs have-nots on specious grounds. Old money is enjoyed by wastrels and thickos – no more deserving of suffrage than the plebs.

  13. Janus: One easily forgets that the likes of Cameron, Blair, Major, Heath, etc. were very much bourgeois. They can hardly be considered Britain’s finest leaders. The former French and Russian aristocracies had such an incredible sense of entitlement, despite not being the ones who actually worked or produced much of the countries’ wealth, that they managed to drive their entire order to ruin.

  14. janus, if you look at the various reform acts the property qualifications were lowered over the century. By the end it was quite possible for the skilled working man who chose to buy his house to qualify for the vote. I do not think this was the privilege of ‘old money’. Check out the 1867 Act.and those thereafter.

    Why is it specious to think that anyone whose assets are not immediately portable has a greater stake in society? And therefore is more likely to want a stable environment which devolves onto the whole of that society and thus benefits everyone?

  15. CO: Through my work, I gain a lot of insight into the daily lives of people sitting courses. There is, of course, always that vacuous band of entitled brats who think that having managed to survive 20 years on earth without choking on air is a sign of their worth. Then there are the surprising students, the ones I would be tempted to write-off if I wouldn’t have known more about their situation. There was one student in a summer course who was a single mother who had to work two jobs to pay for housing, food and very basic healthcare. She was exhausted — her work is labour intensive — yet she still managed to complete her work on time, even if not always to the best quality. Others grew up in houses where the parents were migrant field workers. They are trying to manage, trying to life themselves up. Yet others are refugees from South East Asia, their children and grandchildren. Their memories are tainted by years of living in squalid Thai refugee camps. I have a far easier time sympathising with them than I do with the bores who grew up in pampers houses.

  16. CO, it is not about ‘a greater stake in society’. Suffrage is about the fundamentals of ‘no taxation without representation, a basic civic right more important than rewarding selected citizens with seats in the upper house or other ‘honours’. There are numerous reasons why acquiring property cannot be a qualification for a vote – not least that ‘service’ has always been regarded as honourable work which generally disqualify the servants from owning anything! But their tax bills have to be paid. Is it your contention that the lower working class can have no say in government – disenfranchised like…….women, until a hundred years ago?

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