France is a country, a society, of entrenched monopolies….if the leaders of the various interest groups would just dress up in houppelandes and liripipes we should have no difficulty in recognising them as the successors of the masters of the trade guilds of the middle ages, carefully allowing only those who conformed to their rule to be able to work at a trade.
You can understand their attitude…to some extent. If they limited the numbers working at their trade they could keep their prices up and afford a bit of fur to line their houppelandes in the winter weather.
De Gaulle tried breaking the monopoly which he said was the permanent enemy of France…..the moneyed interest…so he set up the Ecole Nationale d’Administration to produce people to man the organs of the state.
As we can see today, the moneyed interest just sneered and made sure their kids monopolised the available places….and President Hollandouille busies himself stuffing people from his own time there – the ‘promotion Voltaire’ – into every well paid orifice the state affords.
His predecessor, President Sarkozy, came to power announcing that France needed reform and before his own party – startled that he actually meant what he said – could muzzle him he had attacked one of the sacred cows of France…..the monopoly of the artisan francais. The French craftsman.
One heard a lot about the wonders of the artisan francais in the time when the ‘living the dreamers’ monopolised what was written about France….he had served an apprenticeship (up to a point Lord Copper); his work was insured (it damned well had to be from what I saw of the breed); and he was a local independent workman.
It cost him a a packet to set up though and with unemployment growing the Great Reformer thought it would be good to allow people to try setting up their business without it costing the arm and a leg they would need to develop it.
Thus the new creation of something called the auto-entrepreneur who only paid contributions on what he actually earned as opposed to paying them on what some civil servant with no experience in business thought he should have been earning.
It has been a success. People have been able to try out their ideas without ruinous financial risk: people have stopped working on the black and have declared themselves – thus paying something into the state’s coffers as opposed to taking something out as being unemployed.
People may not make much money at it..not enough to pay the ruinous charges of the artisan francais…but enough to keep their heads above water.
A good thing, one would think, when times are hard.
So the Great Monopandouille wants to stop it.
Of course he does.
The scheme gives rise to unfair competition for the artisan francais.
While the simple answer would be to allow the artisan to operate under the same scheme as the auto entrepreneur which might make it financially possible for him to employ someone, unfortunately only paying up as a percentage of what is made would produce an immense shortfall in the social security budget, let alone leaving thousands of civil servants with even less to do than usual…and it would never do to try to reform the great monopolies of the health service and the state bureaucracy.
No,no…this product of the ENA, trained box tickers to a man, goes for the solution of the medieval guildmasters….if it doesn’t jump through our hoops it won’t be allowed to work.
After two years, it is proposed, the auto-entrepreneur must either cough up like the artisan francais or join the ever swelling ranks of the unemployed.
And very helpful that will be in reducing the deficit in the national finances.
With all the problems facing France, Hollande, Moi-je, President of France, can think of nothing better to do than to pander to interest groups to keep himself in power….which is what he did during his reign as secretary of the Socialist Party.
He doesn’t seem to have learned, to have understood, even to be aware, that running a country is a far cry from manipulating a bunch of brain dead would-be Borgias.
When his Interior Minister is busy allowing riot police to use tear gas at a demonstration where there are people with small children, could he not better employ his resources in clearing up the drug and crime ridden suburbs of the big cities where decent kids don’t stand a chance of setting up their own businesses…let alone entering the ENA?
But these are just ordinary people; people who have been marching in Marseille in protest at the lack of presence of the state in their areas, protesting at the corrupt police who are enforcers for the drug rings.
Much more important to reassure the bosses of the big companies that they can go on awarding themselves pay and perks at will…nomatter how dire their performance – after all, they’ve been to ENA. They deserve it.
Let it not be said, nor even whispered in Gath and Ashkelon, that the big cheese does not set an example in difficult times.
He has announced that he will not be lounging on the new garden furniture chosen by the light of his life for the presidential holiday home in the south of France.
No…he will be in Paris. At work. And so will his ministers.
They have to show they are there.
What is important, he says, is the impression.
Does he take the average French person for an idiot?
Impression of what exactly?
Selling off some of the wine from the Presidential cellars while those – far better – at the Lanterne (the house at Versailles on the books of the Prime Minister’s department but favoured by Hollande as by Sarkozy before him) remain at his disposal?
Announcing that the unemployment figures will improve – and allowing his ministers to do their bit by employing more and more advisors paid by the public purse?
The impression people have is that he is extracting the urine…..but what would you expect?
With the taxes he has imposed he has already extracted everything else.