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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Ruffian out and Villian in

The Frog King, President Jacques Chirac of France (the place that surrounds Paris) has appointed his special friend Dominique de Villepin, replacing Raffarin as Prime Minister. Unliked by the French people almost as much as the Americans (well, the ones like Colin Powell who know where Paris, France is) this move was obviously a calculated effort to generate a groundswell of resentment across France.

Strangely enough, with unemployment over 10%, and French arms sales to Eastern Europe, Iraq, Taiwan and parts of Africa languishing, Chirac is counting on the old addage that a Frenchman is going to be a lot happier if he's busy complaining.

Villepin has no real knowledge of the economy, but is an excellent student of history. This being the recognised skill set necessary to turn the economy around, Chirac expects miracles from his understudy.

The Green Party said that with the nomination, "Jacques Chirac insults the French." The French Green party that is. The Kiwi Green party was probably complaining it insults Tibet. I doubt the strong words by the Greens from both countries will make much difference. China is still likely to go ahead with arms deals with France, and Helen is bound to sew up a Free Trade Agreement with China also, with a footnote that one of the first products on sale will be NZ branded democracy.

This special package includes a complete statute on Parliamentary Privilege to allow the Chinese Government officials to get stuck into open debate. The Winston Peters add-in will ensure China's borders are protected from undesirables, such as NZ's best and brightest turning up to seek their fortune. In fact, they will be sent back in chains as part of a new student exchange program. We'll take their students if they give us back our graduates.

All of this is an effort to restore confidence in the French government after the country's decisive rejection of a constitution for Europe. I'm not sure its going to work. And over in NZ, with Labour polling a little lower than last month, I wonder if there will be a resounding NON! on election day?

Posted by ZenTiger | 6/01/2005 11:58:00 pm