Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy isn't Thatcher

While I am somewhat pleased that the vile Royal has been defeated (her warnings of riots if she doesn't wins spoke volumes - she'd rather win out of fear than positive reasons to support her), Sarkozy will - at best - tinker.
The more I have heard and seen from him, the more certain things come out. He has advocated using the EU for protectionism against the world, but that France should be more open and competitive in Europe.
France is not yet desperate enough for Sarkozy to be able to do what he needs - he needs to break the back of state welfarism, of a welfare state that pays people to do nothing, that penalises councils for not building enough soulless public housing.
That is why, on balance, I believe France will endure some tinkering, the worst of what France has will be amended - much like Germany under Angela Merkel - but it will simply stop France slipping further behind.
The equivalent in UK history is 1972- with Ted Heath, who tried to reform the British economy, but failed - and Britain had to endure 7 long years of discontent, strikes and stagnation. Stagnation that proved the economic bankruptcy of statist big government socialism, and kept the Labour Party out of government for over a decade - in other words, until it rejected socialism.
Sarkozy could prove me wrong - 53% of the vote is a decent mandate for change. However, Italy under the vile Berlusconi, and Germany under Merkel have both been disappointing (Italy continues to slide backwards). Sarkozy will face a hard summer, those who suck off of the state tit in France, or the EU tit or indeed wish to pretend that they are owed the monopolies and privileges of the state, will protest and fight - but the majority of French voters resist this. It will be a sign of how little interest some socialists have in democracy as to how many of them are with those damaging property when the protests come.


uk_kiwi said...

Germany under Merkel disappointing? They've had the best growth in years, much better realations with the US, the German people are calling it the largest industrial boom since the 1960s!

Doesn't sound all that disappointing really. Or are you just in denial that a strong state can actually encourage growth, and is in fact necessary for a strong economy?

James said...

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