Tuesday 4 December 2018

Meanwhile, on the Streets of Paris ...

High visibility indeed
The French are free with the cobblestones and the CS gas, as I know to my cost - this from two years ago, when it was Hollande in the merde.   The excellent Musée Carnavalet, the history-of-Paris museum (temporarily closed right now) conveys nicely how there was a mini revolution staged in pretty much every decade of the 19th century.

Is this one a bit different?  Most commentators seem to think so.  These gilets jaunes have no obvious leadership or explicit demands - even of the Trotskyite 'impossibilist' kind like a two-day working week, three months of paid holiday and retirement at 45, per the usual French nonsense.  Instead, it would appear to be a distinctively Gallic version of the 'neither Left nor Right', broadly incoherent general dissatisfaction with the status quo that many identified in the Brexit referendum.  We read that in Paris there is no leadership, and that people putting themselves forward as representatives are liable to be attacked (physically) for doing so.  Pretty much anarchy, then.

Back in that 2016 episode I wrote this: 
In the red corner, a mob known as Nuit Debout, who ... are probably what Momentum would like to be when they grow a pair - so we may see some copycat action in due course
And that's the point for us here in Blighty.  How long before someone is mass-purchasing the hi-vis and it all kicks off here?  And who will it be?  

We may be sure Momentum are strategising like hell on this.  What if we start something - and then we find it's out of our control?  Or hijacked by the Tommy Robinson brigade?  But if we don't start it ourselves, it'll just happen anyway ... Maybe it will dish Corbyn ... Gotta do something to capitalise ... 

Back at the time of our own incoherent rioting, the criminal-carnival events of the summer of 2011, one of our esteemed BTL commenters posted (anonymously) that the disenchanted, under-employed generation of graduates that was festering in its bedsits and parental back-bedrooms would provide the 'officer class' that would make the next round of civil unrest an altogether more terrifying affair.  Momentum is a related phenomenon.  Potential trigger events are not difficult to envisage.  Crunch-time for UK 'democratic' politicians may be coming soon: what will they do?  

Maybe we will be glad that Macron gets to face it first.  What will he do?

UPDATE:  just took a look at Momentum's www and twitter - no mention of France.  They really haven't come up with a Line on this one yet.


Matt said...

Macron will surrender I predict as the rationale for increasing the diesel tax is the climate change claptrap.

Bill Quango MP said...

Macron has done what Blair did.
Back down from the politicisns favourite trick of putting up the price of essential fuel, to raise revenues, under the guise of it all being about “being green.”

He says it is just a temporary halt to the essential planet saving fuel hikes that must be bourne by the public.

But I expect, like Blair, those planned hikes never do get implemented.

Even though, every budget since the fuel strikes, each UK chancellor weighs the odds of getting some permanent, ever increasing, cash. Against the potential civil unrest it could cause.

So far, each declares sagely and generously, that in his budget, no such rise will occur.

GridBot said...

"And that's the point for us here in Blighty. How long before someone is mass-purchasing the hi-vis and it all kicks off here? And who will it be?"

Under the no deal scenario my money is on it being formally led by a momentum rabble. Under the narrative of "the 'stablishment has done this on purpose to make life 'ard for us workin' class lot". But there will have to be some kind of worsening of conditions trigger, that sets it off - if under no deal steady heads get together to cobble something together to keep the show on the road - we might not see any trouble at all.

Under the remain scenario my money is on Tommmy, and probably the farmers and fishermen. But this will be purely ideological (Rather than above scenario which is ideology plus trigger). If this movement doesn't get traction quickly - gets a critical mass of brexit supporters - it'll be quashed by the state. If it does get traction and takes off surely momentum will join in just because.

On the subject of the "under-employed generation of graduates that was festering in its bedsits" I have a few friends like that. Mostly useless and wet. But I also know a few that are well paid, work for respectable companies, take an active role in the labour union and are fully aware that they can (and do) use this solely to their own advantage. They are the ones to watch.

Sackerson said...

Get people working again. More chance if we're not in the EU. Stop all that nonsense.

Anonymous said...

It's like 1968 all over again! Then it was students and in the US too. I was at school and stayed with my French pen-friend in Paris at Easter just before it all kicked off.

Seems it's more than just students this time so Macron better listen.

Raedwald said...

They got a helluva fright here back in 2011 - spontaneous looting, arson, disorder they couldn't control. Really spooked.

5 dead I think we had. Sentences were savage; 1,292 rioters jailed for 1,800 years in total. 4 years for inciting riots on Facebook. But then they were reasonably congruent - mostly poor youths from inner city public housing, with a few privileged surgeon's sons playing anarchist.

Now it's different. They're left, right and unaligned; young and old, blue collar and low income middle class - C1, C2, D, E.

And Macron can't surrender because they all want different things. So savage State crackdown and an escalation of violence and damage or - and perhaps the safest *short term* option - let the pressure off, clean up the burned cars and wrecked shops afterwards and just carry on.

John in Cheshire said...

The Project Veritas investigations in the USA could indicate that our public bodies have also all been infiltrated by relatively intelligent and well educated collectivists who are committed to destroying our institutions from within. If we don't Leave the EU and a Leave movement gains traction, I'd suggest that it's the infiltrators in the Civil Service etc who will need to be watched.

E-K said...

So why is it OK when the French use CS and water cannon and yet Boris gets it in the neck ?


It won't be ordinary people who do the rioting in Britain. We never have. We used due democratic process peacefully and have waited patiently for 2 1/2 years while Brexit was sabotaged by the Tories.

All we'll do is stop voting. It's quite clear now that it counts for nothing.

In another guise I countered a Remainer that we were never thanked for our peaceful ways and said "The French do politics by riot" another rebutted this with "You're forgetting when *we* rioted in 2011"

Yes. All those lawless pensioners. Damn them. *sarcasm*

The truth is (as well as the youth riots - which we have too) the unionists set fire to lorries, blockade railways with detonators and flares and ordinary motorists set fire to Paris.

We are far more civilised in Britain but not credited with the sophistication of the French.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how when Trump's border guards use tear gas on the Mexican border it's an outrage, whereas (as anyone of my vintage knows) French riot police are a nasty bunch. On the other hand I recall the foxhunting demos and our wonderful bobbies breaking the teeth of quite a few ordinary country folk.

But take a look at this which has 0 UK media coverage, cos the victim isn't black.


Not nice.

On the other hand the usual black bloc anarchist types are in there stirring, as well as the "undocumented shoppers" we also have in the UK - see 2011 for details. This looks like destruction for its own sake.


It's just across the English Channel (see what I did there?) yet it's not exactly big news.

(Farage has just resigned from UKIP btw, is this the death of Brexit? It'll certainly embolden the betrayers of democracy.)

E-K said...

Well I don't know about the death of Brexit but it looks as though disorder is about to break out across the EU. It's not just the French.

Anonymous said...

If we Brits won't riot about the fact that our living standards are completely through the floor, (by which I mean a single wage supporting a family in an owner-occupied home), that in 2008 a massive fraud was perpetrated by thousands of people who got away scot free, having being bailed out by tax payers, that some of our towns and cities are completely unrecognisable (and going downhill fast) thanks to a bonkers immigration policy, that our elected representatives and frankly unelected leader are doing everything they can to frustrate the biggest expression of democracy in our country's history, do we seriously think expensive petrol is going to awaken the country from its Facebook-induced slumber? I can't see it happening.

andrew said...

Ek, the alumni of the grand ecoles and Parisians think they are sophisticated by birthright and the rest of france cordially hate them.

Collection de cons

Lord Blagger said...

They weren't clever in France.

SHould have blockaded the refineries, blocked 3 roads from Spain, and job done.

In the UK, its going to be far worse.

Just wait until the state admits its paying billions to Eurocrats for the pension fraud there, and cutting services here.

Plus the complete "screw democracy, do as you are told plebs"

Not going to be pretty.

Lord Blagger said...

The root problems remain.

13,000 billion owed for pensions and other debts. Rising rapidly.

209 bn a year going on debt servicing, and still it rises.

A few idiots will lash out and target migrants.

It's a failure of education as to why the Tooth fairy and Father Christmas aren't real.

Same myth as the government is here to help

So which way? Far left won't solve it, they will just burn more.

That leaves the far right. Doesn't take much to tip, but they can't solve it.

France is interesting, more so than Italy. Macron - toast.

Melanchon or Le Pen?

More likely a coup d'etat

Charlie said...

"the alumni of the grand ecoles and Parisians think they are sophisticated by birthright and the rest of france cordially hate them"

This. I currently contract at a (shit) French bank. If you're a permy and didn't come out of one of the grand ecoles, you can't be promoted above a certain level. As a result of this artificial limitation on the gene pool of the higher-ups, the management is absolutely terrible and the rest of the company detests them. Pretty much a microcosm of France itself.

Anonymous said...

I'm hoping that the US State Department will issue a strong warning to Macron about his brutal repression of this latest Colour Revolution.

Surely it is time for the CIA to begin arming the French "moderate rebels", or at minumum declare a no-fly zone over Paris ?

Nick Drew said...

just took a look at Momentum's www and twitter - no mention of France. They really haven't come up with a Line on this one yet.

James Higham said...

Guido masks?

GridBot said...


MayBot is the high chancellor Adam Suttler!

Fahrenheit211 said...

As regards potential to copy the Yellow Jacket style of protest from what I'm seeing it is most likely to be coming from what some call the patriot right and others call 'the Tommy Lot'.

I'm a Gab user and there appear to be a number of people on there who are aligned with Mr Robinson or who are Brexiteers who are pushing the idea that the Yellow Vest motif should be copied in the UK. I don't think the Left in the UK has the traction to pick up on this and create an effective mass movement using the Yellow Jacket motif, although I have seen Swappies arguing that this is a class based conflict at heart (a conflict that they of course being solved by Socialism) that they may believe may be exploitable.

I think that there may be a lot more going on with the Yellow Jacket protests in France than just a fuel tax hike, people there appear to be angry about a whole host of things, including social policy and migration.

These protests in France could hold the potential to spark a much wider conflagration in France and maybe elsewhere as well. Macron is in a bad position he has low popularity and is cursed by the fact that he was voted in, not by citizens who actively chose him and his policies, but because he represented what seemed to be the least worst option offered at the election.

Anonymous said...

" the Yellow Vest motif should be copied in the UK. I don't think the Left in the UK has the traction to pick up on this"

I don't know. In France the Black Bloc types are definitely on the bandwagon - it wasn't La France Profonde smashing Marianne's image, in fact they put a human wall round the Unknown Soldier. Who vandalises war memorials in the UK (hint - far-left rockstar sons and Islamists)?

I guess the fuel protests were against Blair so the SWP turned off the placard printing presses, whereas now May is in charge - sort of, just about. She has the tiller, but can't get the boat round... lee shore...

Lord Blagger said...


I suspect that both left and right will riot.

The left/green have traction. Let them go and blockade the refineries. I'm surprised the swampies haven't done this. Mind you they will need a few tanker's full of fuel to make the police think twice.

France is the interesting one. Far more so than Italy. So next election, Le Pen versus Melanchon. Game over for the EU with that choice unless they organise a coup d'etat