Les Blogeurs and the Euro Con

I owe an apology to the French. Like others who have seen French politicians in action, I had simply come to the conclusion that contemporary France is hopelessly cynical and self interested. I was wrong.

Any country that can produce a blogger like Etienne Chouard has not given up its values; not yet.  The superfatted European Constitution, the biggest con job in the history of  Europe, is now in considerable trouble because of the blogeurs of France. 

Chouard's critique is absolutely straightforward. I quote from his website, putting his conclusions in italics.

1. A constitution must be readable to allow a popular vote:  this text is unreadable. 
2. A constitution does not impose one political party or another:  this text is partisan. 
3. A constitution is revisable:  this text is locked in by a requirement of double unanimity.  (All 25 member governments plus their parliaments must unanimously agree.)
4. A constitution protects from tyranny by the separation of powers and their balance:  this text does not. 
5. A constitution is not granted by the powerful, it is established by the people themselves precisely to protect themselves from arbitrary power, through a representative assembly that is independent, elected for that purpose and revoked afterwards:  this text ratifies European institutions that have been created over fifty years by those in power, who are both judges and interested parties.

His conclusion? 'Une mauvaise constitution  qui révèle un secret cancer de notre démocratie.'  In English: "This is a bad constitution, which reveals a secret cancer of our democracy."

Thomas Jefferson couldn't have said it better.  Nor even Voltaire.

The French referendum has now turned into a horse race. Just a few months ago the ruling class had it all wrapped up;  a popular vote was just a formality.  Now the French blogosphere has arrived in a nick of time, and nobody knows what the outcome will be. It's going to be very close.

How did Chouard get so involved? Like most bloggers, he was busy living his life until he could no longer ignore the evidence of political abuse and media bias. Then he started to read.

"Six months ago... I was in favor of this document, without having read it, like everyone else.  It was just on the principle of 'advancing Europe'...  I really believe that the immense majority of Europeans... like this beautiful idea of a linked Europe, more fraternal, stronger.  It is a dream of peace, consensual, very democratic.  I had not read the text and I did not have time:  I was too busy with work...

And then suddenly, people who were not against Europe began to sound the alarm.  ...  I started reading... and the more I read, more anxious I became.  Finally, today, I can't go on. I can hardly sleep any more, I am afraid, simply, to lose the essence of democratic government:  protection against arbitrary power.'


So, here is my apology to France:

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard bureaucratique est levé

Or, a little more up to date:

Aux ordinateurs!  (Computers, for the rest of us).

Sometimes it feels great to be wrong.

I owe an apology to the French. Like others who have seen French politicians in action, I had simply come to the conclusion that contemporary France is hopelessly cynical and self interested. I was wrong.

Any country that can produce a blogger like Etienne Chouard has not given up its values; not yet.  The superfatted European Constitution, the biggest con job in the history of  Europe, is now in considerable trouble because of the blogeurs of France. 

Chouard's critique is absolutely straightforward. I quote from his website, putting his conclusions in italics.

1. A constitution must be readable to allow a popular vote:  this text is unreadable. 
2. A constitution does not impose one political party or another:  this text is partisan. 
3. A constitution is revisable:  this text is locked in by a requirement of double unanimity.  (All 25 member governments plus their parliaments must unanimously agree.)
4. A constitution protects from tyranny by the separation of powers and their balance:  this text does not. 
5. A constitution is not granted by the powerful, it is established by the people themselves precisely to protect themselves from arbitrary power, through a representative assembly that is independent, elected for that purpose and revoked afterwards:  this text ratifies European institutions that have been created over fifty years by those in power, who are both judges and interested parties.

His conclusion? 'Une mauvaise constitution  qui révèle un secret cancer de notre démocratie.'  In English: "This is a bad constitution, which reveals a secret cancer of our democracy."

Thomas Jefferson couldn't have said it better.  Nor even Voltaire.

The French referendum has now turned into a horse race. Just a few months ago the ruling class had it all wrapped up;  a popular vote was just a formality.  Now the French blogosphere has arrived in a nick of time, and nobody knows what the outcome will be. It's going to be very close.

How did Chouard get so involved? Like most bloggers, he was busy living his life until he could no longer ignore the evidence of political abuse and media bias. Then he started to read.

"Six months ago... I was in favor of this document, without having read it, like everyone else.  It was just on the principle of 'advancing Europe'...  I really believe that the immense majority of Europeans... like this beautiful idea of a linked Europe, more fraternal, stronger.  It is a dream of peace, consensual, very democratic.  I had not read the text and I did not have time:  I was too busy with work...

And then suddenly, people who were not against Europe began to sound the alarm.  ...  I started reading... and the more I read, more anxious I became.  Finally, today, I can't go on. I can hardly sleep any more, I am afraid, simply, to lose the essence of democratic government:  protection against arbitrary power.'


So, here is my apology to France:

Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé!
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard bureaucratique est levé

Or, a little more up to date:

Aux ordinateurs!  (Computers, for the rest of us).

Sometimes it feels great to be wrong.