France’s General Strike Holds Past Le Weekend

France is never far from the news these days for alt_news sites like this one. As we watch the European Union unravel as a result of policies imposed on member states aimed at turn 28 (soon to be 27) member states into a single, federal bureaucratic dictatorship run by a committee of faceless civil servants in Brussels, there is a mobid fascination in seeing hoe the three most rabidly federalist and politically correct members, Germany, France and Sweden fall apart as a result of governments’ embracing EU globalist politicies ahead of addressing the needs of their own nations.

Paris was once again at a near standstill on Monday as the general strike called by unionists and activist groups to protest against the reforms to the pension system planned by the government of President Macron, which unions and economists say would leave pensioned in poverty, closed communter line trains, buses and subways for a fifth day.

Macron, a deeply unpopular president from the beginning of his term of office, faces  one of the toughest weeks yet of his presidency, that has already seen France rocked by terrorist attacks and life disrupted by the “Yellow Vests” protests against high taxes and EU immigration policies. Now his government’s planned redesign of the complex French pension system is in danger as prolonged civil unrest could force withdrawal of the policy.

Macron and his advisers failed to foresee the problems likely to result from  combining 42 different retirement plans into one capable of delivering a more equitable, financially sustainable system. Unions claiim the move s an attack on the French way of life even though the government does not plan to change the current retirement age of 62 at this time.

With people living longer it is inevitable the retirement age must rose at some point.

The SNCF national rail network warned travelers to stay home or use “alternative means of locomotion” to get around Monday instead of thronging platforms in hopes of getting the few available trains running. Mysteriously, they cited safety concerns as justification for their advice rather than admitting few trains would be running.

Because of the lack of trains and other forms of public transport, he national road authority reported more than 600 kilometers (360 miles) of traffic jams at morning rush hour around the Paris region – up from 150 kilometers (90 miles) on an average day.

Traffic problems were worse on Monday than when the strike started last week, because many French employees managed to work from home for a couple of days or take time off. But businesses cannot continue to run on that basis for long if the strike continues.

Gabriella Micuci, an office worker from the Paris suburb of Le Bourget, walked several kilometers in cold rain before reaching a station on one of the two Metro (subway) lines that are automated and don’t need drivers. Other commuters used bikes or electric scooters.

“I left home earlier than usual, I thought I was going to be able to catch an early train but not at all,” Micuci told The Associated Press. “It´s a real catastrophe, people are becoming even more violent, they are pushing you.”

Encouraged by the biggest nationwide protests in decades, unions plan renewed protests on Tuesday and hope to keep up the pressure on Macron’s government to withdraw the retirement reforms.

Macron summoned Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and other top officials to a summit meeting on Sunday night to create a strategy for dealing with the crisis.

The prime minister will reveal the government’s plan on Wednesday, but this is only expected to urge people to defer retirement.

The reform is central to Macron’s vision of transforming the French economy though considering his open doors immigartion policy which has seen unskilled, illiterate migrants flood into the country, what he plans to transform it into is unclear, a fairy princess maybe?. Government ministers insist the current system is unfair and financially unsustainable, while unions say the reform undercuts worker rights and will force people to work longer for less. Macron’s main political opponent, Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen, and her Rassemblement National party point out that the immigration policy is unfair and financially unsustainable.

Seeking to head off public anger, Macron asked veteran politician Jean-Paul Delevoye to hold months of meetings with workers, employers and others to come up with recommendations for France’s new retirement plan. Delevoye is presenting his conclusions to unions on Monday. A similar exercise of colsultations at grass roots level with Yellow Vest protestors only served to deepen the division between the ruling elite and the people.

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bYellow Vest Violence Erupts Again, 23rd Straight week Of Protests

Clashes between Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) protesters and French riot police on Sturday (20 April,)during the 23rd straight week of protests across France. Police arrested 137 protesters Euro News reports.

Slash taxes now, French tells Macron after three-month ‘great debate’

France must slash taxes now, or face ongoing civil unrest. According to the French prime minister, this is the main message from an unprecedented three-month “great debate” in the wake of anti-government “yellow vest” protests. Announcing publication of the findings from two million online contributions and 10,000 hours of town hall debates around the country, Edouard Philippe said on Monday there was “huge discontent” in the country. Astronomical levels of taxation was one of the prime concerns, alongside unemployment, immigration, and surrender of national sovereignty to the European Union.

Macron Isolated After More High Profile Resignations. Pressure Mounts On French President
On top of the Yellow Vests debacle, which is now destabilising France as the anti – government protests continue, a string of resignations from the tottering government of President Emmanuel Macron has prompted Gérard Larcher, leader of the French Senate to warn Macron that his authoritarian tendencies were partly to blame for the civil unrest crisis and political instability that have weakened his presidency.

Ghosts Of ’68 Threaten Macron’s Technocratic Dream.
The idealistic hope that mass protests and civil disobedience could trigger real social change met with some success in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but looked to have died after the USA’s 1960s civil rights movement and anti – war protests. The recent mass demonstrations of Frane’s gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement in 2018, a movement … Continue reading

France: Yellow Vests Rampage After Founder Arrested


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5 January, 2019
Violence has erupted across France once again, days after French authorities arrested a key organizer of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement. After today’s protests began peacefully the Paris police once again used riot busting tactics, attacking the yellow vested demonstraters with teargas and batons as protesters began to get noisy during the so-called ‘Act VIII” … Continue reading

France’s yellow vest revolt against Macron will cause huge headache in 2019

Since the first incarnation of the EU an The Common Market, FRANCE has always been considered one of the bastions of European stability and a poster state for financial and political integration among European Union countries. But former Goldman Sachs banker Emmanuel Macron has thrown both France’s position as Germany’s chief sidekick and the dream … Continue reading

Germany and France furious after UK joins EU nations to BLOCK bid to dominate technology industry

BRITAIN has teamed up with the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain to block electrical and electronic engineering giants Alstom and Siemens from creating a mega Franco-German corporation to dominate European tech industry. Siemens and Alstom agreed last year to merge certain operations, creating a company with £13.5million (€15billion euros) in revenue and a workforce of 62,000. … Continue reading

Yellow Vests block Major Roads, Cause Transport Chaos In France

Reuters reports French “yellow vest” protesters wreaked havoc with road transport on Tuesday by occupying autoroute toll booths and even torching some of them. France’s biggest toll road operator, Vinci Autoroutes , said there were demonstrations at 40 of its sites and that several highway intersections had been heavily damaged, mainly in southern of France. … Continue reading

More Woe For France’s Macron,Now Gilets Jaunes Joined By Gilets Bleus

Uber Launches Anti – discrimination app in UK and France

Uber in France has joined the British branch of the company in introducing a new anti-discrimination button on its popular ride-sharing app

The option, listed in the “help” section of the app, allows customers to report drivers if they feel have been the target of verbal or physical abuse, discrimination or prejudice based on gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, or disability, French newspaper Le Parisien reports.

A 20-year-old man in France told the newspaper that he needed such an option last weekend after a poor experience with an Uber driver in Rennes.

“I summoned an Uber cab after a party. I was with my friend and we had a very banal conversation with the driver when he suddenly asked us: are you married? We answered: no. Then, he added: you are in a relationship? We said yes,” the complainant said.

“He became hyper-aggressive and asked us to get out of his car. It was the first time that it had happened to me. I did not want a problem, we went out and we had to finish the last kilometre of the walk. It was 3 am,” he added.

Similar discrimination has been reported in other countries like the United States, where a Palestinian Uber driver was accused of kicking out passengers in Los Angeles because they were Jewish.

View image on Twitter
Actress Frances Barber (pictured with Sir Ian McKellen,) complained that an Uber driver who took her home after this gig told her she was dressed disgustingly (picture pbs.twing.media)

 

A British woman reported she once got book an Uber cab to a liquor store but the driver  refused to allow her to carry alcohol in his car as he said his religion forbade it, (not hard to guess his religion then.) When the woman called the taxi company to.complain they said drivers are self employed so it was up to the driver to decide what he would accept in his car.  This is tota! BS. Muslims cant drink alcohol. There is no rule that they can’t have it in their cars.

While it is positive, though not exactly reassuring, to know that Uber are trying to protect users from discrimination, the do not appear to be doing much to protect fare paying passengers from crime. It is widely known in Europe, the USA and elsewhere that a common practice among Uber drivers is to accept payment from ‘guest drivers’ to operate a vehicle while the registered driver takes time off. Neither passengers, the company, nor regulatory authorities have any way of knowing who these people are or if they are qualified and adequately insured to dive fare paying passengers. And that does not even consider the possibility that convicted criminals are posing as legitimate cab drivers.

Meanwhile Uber itself continues to burn investors money while also continuing to ride roughshod over local public transport laws and regulations, by claiming it is not a taxi cab operator but merely a platform that puts people needing rides in tough with people offering rides. However, the lawmakers are catching up. Uber is facing massive fines and tax penalties in the USA and EU, is banned from certain counties.

Uber is just one example of how the internet has enabled and facilitated crime.The third world invasion of European and North American nations has been helped by the internet as much as by politically correct politics and globalist dominated media. Fraudsters, scammers,  paedos, dating site liars and former Nigerian government officials needing help liberating their money have all benefitted from the anonymity provided by the web.

Criminals have always been around but the internet has made it easier and faster to steal money. The various apps accessible from your own phone, the tracking software used by Goggle, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft etc. have made it easier for the criminals to access personal information and contact individuals on a daily basis. But that’s another article.

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Paris brought to a standstill by anti-Macron transport protests

On Friday, public transport workers in Paris staged a coordinated walk-out against Macron’s planned pension former which caused the worst disturbance to the French capital’s public transport network in more than a decade.

The strike represents the first major action taken against President Macron’s plan to standardized ‘universal’ pension system. The plan would see one single points-based pension system created out of the 42 different systems which currently are in place right now, the Local reports.

Massive traffic jams and large crowds waiting at the platforms with at least a few lines still working were both triggered by the protest.

Green Hysteria Is Destroying German Economy

Car making is Germany’s biggest earner (picture: Wikimedia commons)

This blog has reported many times that the mighty German economy is heading into trouble because it’s political elite, led by wannabe saint Angela Merkel is more concerned with climate change scaremongering and importing millions of illiterate, unemployable their world migrants in an orgy of virtue signalling.

The bigest single industrial sector in the German economy, automobile manufacturing, currently acts as the real engine driving the country’s economy, but as taxes rse to support a burgeoning welfare bill, and sales plummet due to the pomotion of expensive, inefficient and, it has to be said, incredibly dirty electric cars, it looks as if the situation may be in fora dramatic change for the worse according to new report from economists Matthias Weik and Marc Friedrich in a commentary at the online news portal of the (German Midsize Companies News – DMN).

This blog would not normally advise readers to take not of economists’ speculations but in this case their conclusions coincide with the opinions of a number of hard headed businessmen who see trouble ahead for the economic powerhouse that propos up the European Union.

Weik and Friedrich base their view of the economic direction of the German economy and how it is seriously threatened by the country’s obsession with climate considerations based on very dodgy science, and an irrational policy of opening the borders to all arrivals from third world nations, and how policymakers are neglecting key industries on evidence that Germany’s ruling elite are unduly influenced by certain left leaning academics whose thinking is heavily influenced by the so called Cultural Marxism of The Frankfurt Schoool of twentieth century econopmics.

Weik and Friedrich say German politicians have been naive and too easily influenced by noisy minorities and attention seeking scientists and  in their panic to save the planet from an alleged climate meltdown have, in the process of ruined the German economy.

“Everybody is talking about the climate, yet no one is talking about the economic climate,” Weik and Friedrich say. in common with many investment managers and industrialists, the two economists warn of a coming recession, one that will be “hard as nails” as the green activist and Social Justice Warrior onslaught on western, and particularly German industry intensifies.

According to the Weik and Friedrich, already “the seasonally adjusted and real order intake of German industry fell by 8.6 percent compared to the same month last year! For the tenth month in a row, it is going down!” So while the government and the Bundesbank juggle figures frantically, in fact Germany is already technically in recession. (The usual measure for growth / recession is GDP but when a government pumps €billions into the economy so it can hand out massive benefits to immigrants, which they spend in the economy, the resulting ‘growth’ is illusory.

“Companies such as Deutsche Bank, BASF, Bayer, Siemens, Thyssen, Ford have begun “massive job cuts or announced plans to do so in anticipation of the hard times ahead.”

The authors say that words, such as “unemployment” and “layoffs”, will soon be dominating the media and that “no one will talk about the shortage of skilled workers anymore, let alone climate change”.

The consequences of a major recession in manufacturing would send economic shock waves not through Germany but also throughout the European Union (EU) which massively relies on revenues generated by the German automotive industry, as has been well documented for years.

Weik and Friedrich write that Germany’s green and globalist policies have “negligently gambled away” prosperity and that the “coming climate change in the economy will nip all irrelevant sham debates in the bud.”

They add: “The heated discussions and hysteria are a sign of the famous late Roman decadence and a warning sign of the crash. For many who demonstrate today, there will be no jobs in Germany tomorrow.”

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Yellow Vests Week 43: Tensions Escalate Again As France’s Protests Continue

For the Yellow Vests movement in France, September 7th was billed as a come back from the summer break when there has been a lull in activity. France traditionally comes to a near standstill in August each year as the French head off on their annual vacation, and the protest movement was no exception.

Unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron tried to take political advantage of this distraction to advance one of his many unpopular policies, pension reform plans that will create a single national pension system with higher contributions for individual taxpayers and lower ones for business, thus stoking up the potential for an escalation of protests to the levels witnessed earlier in the year.

Former investment banker Macron is not trusted on the pension issue by 70 percent of the population according to polls and his plan is seen as a ruse to lift the retirement age to 64 from 62 and a continuation of broader policies to tax workers more to pay for the welfare state while cutting taxes for business and wealthy individuals in the name of economic stimulation and competitiveness in the world economy.

The vehicle fuel taxes that triggered the fist protests last year were ostensibly “green” but in effect they served the same purpose of relieving the tax burden on business and shifting it onto the general population.

The notion that business comes before environmental concerns reinforced by word going into the Newsdump Weekend that pesticide use in France will be allowed within distances ranging between 15 and 30 feet of schools and homes.  Environmental activists and the EELV environmentalist party expressing their opposition to the plans. Such policies have destroyed Marcon’s credibility as they contradict his pretence to be heading a ‘green’ government, having made grandiose but unachievable promises to phase out petroleum and diesel vehicles and make France a net zero emissions economy by 2040.

Thousands took to the streets of France to protest today, not in the huge numbers at the height of the movement in the early months, but significantly up on recent weeks.

Demonstrations took place in Paris, Bordeaux, Montpellier and Rouen as part of Yellow Vests’ “Act 43” rally. In some cities, particularly Montpellier, the protests turned violent with clashes between the participants and riot police. Violence was also reported in Rouen.

“The demonstrators threw projectiles on the police as protests continued into the night. Summations were made and there was the use of tear gas in response to the throwing of projectiles, the protesters were rejected and returned outside the perimeter,” the sub-prefect of permanence, Jean-Éric Winckler, said as quoted by AFP.

The first blockages Yellow Vests began early in the morning on Saturday, November 17, 2018 in Seine-Maritime.

Yellow Vests protestors in Rouen (picture: http://www.chb44.com )

​In Montpellier, between 1,500 and 3,000 people took part in the rally, with clashes also reported near the city’s station. According to AFP, some of the protesters fired projectiles, prompting the police to use tear gas.

Protestors in Montpellier use umbrellas as makeshift shields (Picture: Daily Mail )

Some incidents and clashes were also reported in Lille, where more than 600 protesters took part in the rally (according to a police source), while the Yellow Vests say the number of demonstrators there stood at 1,500.

Meanwhile, during a rally in Paris, an emblematic figure of the Yellow Vests movement, Éric Drouet, was fined twice “for organizing an undeclared event” and was ordered to leave the perimeter.

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Ghosts Of ’68 Threaten Macron’s Technocratic Dream.

The idealistic hope that mass protests and civil disobedience could trigger real social change met with some success in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but looked to have died after the USA’s 1960s civil rights movement and anti – war protests. The recent mass demonstrations of Frane’s gilets jaunes (yellow vests) movement in 2018, a movement which has spread to Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Britain, Italy, Sweden and Canada looks to have resurrected this style of political activism.

The yellow vest movement is not idologically fuelled as protests from the 1920s to 1960s were; it’s fueled by desperation and what Francis Fukuyama in a recent essay (Against Identity Politics (Foreign Affairs, Sept/Oct. 2018),termed the working classes’ “perception of invisibility” a view echoed by French geographer / author Christophe Guilluy who said that “the French people are using the gilets jaunes to say we exist.Unstoppable”: Christophe Guilluy on the cultural divide driving the yellow vests (via Arshad A.)

“Not only does peripheral France fare badly in the modern economy, it is also culturally misunderstood by the elite. The yellow-vest movement is a truly 21st-century movement in that it is cultural as well as political. Cultural validation is extremely important in our era.

One illustration of this cultural divide is that most modern, progressive social movements and protests are quickly endorsed by celebrities, actors, the media and the intellectuals. But none of them approve of the gilets jaunes. Their emergence has caused a kind of psychological shock to the cultural establishment. It is exactly the same shock that the British elites experienced with the Brexit vote and that they are still experiencing now, three years later.”

The author expands on how the working-classes have come to be excluded?

 “All the growth and dynamism is in the major cities, but people cannot just move there. The cities are inaccessible, particularly thanks to mounting housing costs. The big cities today are like medieval citadels. It is like we are going back to the city-states of the Middle Ages. Funnily enough, Paris is going to start charging people for entry, just like the excise duties you used to have to pay to enter a town in the Middle Ages.

The cities themselves have become very unequal, too. The Parisian economy needs executives and qualified professionals. It also needs workers, predominantly immigrants, for the construction industry and catering et cetera. Business relies on this very specific demographic mix. The problem is that ‘the people’ outside of this still exist. In fact, ‘Peripheral France’ actually encompasses the majority of French people.”

And the role the liberal metropolitan elite played in this?

 We have a new bourgeoisie, but because they are very cool and progressive, it creates the impression that there is no class conflict anymore. It is really difficult to oppose the hipsters when they say they care about the poor and about minorities.

But actually, they are very much complicit in relegating the working classes to the sidelines. Not only do they benefit enormously from the globalised economy, but they have also produced a dominant cultural discourse which ostracises working-class people.

The middle-class reaction to the yellow vests has been telling. Immediately, the protesters were denounced as xenophobes, anti-Semites and homophobes. The elites present themselves as anti-fascist and anti-racist but this is merely a way of defending their class interests. It is the only argument they can muster to defend their status, but it is not working anymore.

Now the elites are afraid. For the first time, there is a movement which cannot be controlled through the normal political mechanisms. The gilets jaunes didn’t emerge from the trade unions or the political parties. It cannot be stopped. There is no ‘off’ button. Either the intelligentsia will be forced to properly acknowledge the existence of these people, or they will have to opt for a kind of soft totalitarianism.”

By mobilizing 80,000 heavily armed “security forces” in an unsuccessful attempt to suppress dissent, as President Macron has, looks more like hard authoritarianism than soft totalitarianism. The boy Macron has of course tried to justify his heavy handed response by a fatuously claiming  he has a duty to defend “the social order,” i.e. to maintain the  domination of the ruling elite.

But the French elites are discovering the unsettling reality that it’s impossible to defend every traffic-speed camera, every bank, etc. from sabotage and that their working class challengers are smart enough to know this. I’ve often finished article calling for civil action against authoritarianism with the line, “THEY CAN’T PUT US ALL IN PRISON.” It is intended as a warning to those who would control society, rather than an exhortation to those who challenge authority.

The class analysis of the current crisis shows a reversal of polarity from the 1968 general strike of elite students and labor unions. Fifty years ago, the students of the elite universities, in an orgy of virtue signalling (the left never changes though they scream for change,)  lent their support to the trade unions and this combination nearly toppled the government with a general strike.

Now, students of the elite Paris universities, brainwashed with politically correct ideology on gay and trans rights, the desirability of mass immigration and the duty of nanny state to micromanage our private lives, are supporters of the technocrat elite, as the most fervent hope of most of these students is to nail down a position in a government department or QANGO, jobs which are threatened by the yellow vest dissenters.

The labor unions are also missing in action, as they are now adjuncts of the ruling elites, feeding at the same trough of tax revenues and corporate globalization-financialization profits and promoting the same policies that are damaging to working class living standards and social mobility: mass immigration, globasisation (which the working class recognise as exporting jobs,) Islamification of society, erosion of national sovereignty and cultural values and so on.

The gilets jaunes / yellow vests are a working class revolt against the elites, who like medieval aristocrats, regard the “lower orders” as stupid, infantile and in need of paternalistic guidance, and those among the working and lower middle class who identify with the elites: the pseudo-progressive hipsters, the aspiring technocrats and the comfortably secure state employees, all of whom are now on the elite side of the barricades.

The Paris elites and their enablers may find that the next general strike won’t immobilize Paris, it will strangle Paris from the periphery. The unions which were on the democratic side of the barricades 50 years ago may find their identification with the ruling elite challenged, and they’ll be forced to either remember their roots and side with the authentic working class (yellow vests) in a general strike or throw their support behind the undemocratic technocrats like Marcon and those in his administration, who planned to run France for the benefit of their own caste, the university educated, progressive liberal, globalist, soft left.

The quasi-progressives claim to be anti-fascist but are themselves the anti-working class fascists (Beniot Mussolini defined fascism as the collaboration of state and corporate business to exercise absolute power,) and are not appreciating the fact that the ‘stupid working class oiks’ of the Yellow Vest movement are exposing their self-serving hypocrisy. Like the US liberals of the early twentieth century, they are all for civil rights “so long as the niggers don’t leave the plantation.”

Here”s a news snippet that encapsulates exactly what is wrong with the way Marcon and his elitist cronies are trying to handle the crisis. “On Tuesday, the person picked to lead the country’s planned “great debate” on the issues resigned over her €14,666 monthly salary (£13,200; $16,800)” which is $200,000 annually, roughly seven or eight times the average worker’s salary.

Now what kind of plonker would put an academic who already has a well paid position in charge of establishing dialogue with truck drivers, factory workers and labourers who, thanks to elitist policies, are stuggling to make ends meet. That’s the kind of insensitivity responsible for triggering the anger that drives the protests, an illustration of class division in a nutshell. The fake-progressive technocrats are skimming $200,000 a year to defend an indefensible undemocratic neofeudal system of exploitation that handsomely benefits the few at the expense of the many. And the hypocrites call Marcon’s opponent Marine Le Pen “far right.” Bollocks.

 

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German car industry faces ‘existential threat’ from political attack and electric vehicles

Germany’s car manufacturers face an existential crisis and risk going the way of Britain’s once-mighty car industry within ten years, Volkswagen has warned in the grimmest assessment to date.

Herbert Diess, the company’s chief executive, said Germany is not ready for the revolutionary effects of the electric vehicle and is under political assault from those challenging the whole concept of car ownership and mobility.

He told VW suppliers gathered in Wolfsburg – the sanctum sanctorum of German auto preeminence – that the sector is under a competitive threat of the first order and must embrace root-and-branch reform to survive. “Nothing is guaranteed for eternity,” he said.

“If you look at the former bastions of the auto industry such as Detroit, Oxford-Cowley, or Turin, you can see what happens to cities once their dominant companies and industries falter,” he said.

“As things stand today, the chances are perhaps 50:50 that the German car industry will remain at the pinnacle of the world in ten years,” he said.

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