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French Election: Religion & Politics?

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France goes to the polls in 10 days to elect a new president. Will the National Front’s Marine Le Pen pull off a Brexit-style victory?

French Ambassador in Dhaka Sophie Aubert was delivering a lecture on France’s foreign policy and its challenges at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies or BIISS in Dhaka.

Aubert said religion is a “complex issue”. “We must be very careful before the misuse and manipulation of religion at the political level.”

France is at war with this jihadist movement outside the country: Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. In the Middle East, in Iraq and Syria. Despite the fact that the French are not “really” living these wars, they’ve already been labelled as War of Religion or the “Invisible WW3”.

In fact, most of Le Pen’s voters are rejecting Islam and its conviction, still shaken by the attacks which happened in Nice or Paris and also more recently in London and really concerned by the national security.

The three biggest concerns of the French are:
1 – immigration (coming first for 38% of the population)
2 – Security (coming first for 30% of the population)
3 – unemployment rate (coming first for 12% of the population)

Having these numbers in mind, the French population also feel like they are facing a cultural and ideological threat with Islam first being the most practised religion in France feeling like the country is losing its identity. In fact, a lot defended her when she mentioned back three years that Muslims holding prayer services in the streets of Paris (Chateau Rouge) felt “like an occupation.”

On April 23, the French will go to the polls to cast their ballot for one of eleven candidates, four of whom are polling at or near 20 percent. Two weeks later, they will choose between the top two vote-getters. Any of the top four could conceivably make it to the second round.

The population is sick of the traditional politics: left wing, right wing… Bye! They ready to give a chance to “newest” parties such as Le Front National and Le Parti Communiste! Of Mélanchon. The latter had a dramatic seven-point surge recently, unexpectedly turning France’s roller-coaster presidential race into a possible four-way contest where anybody could be elected really. And 32% of the French population still doesn’t know who they are voting for…. Scary…

Well, religion doesn’t govern our politics nowadays but certainly dictates the community’s choices regarding candidates. Hence Le Pen’s rise these last couple of years.

À vous de juger!

Frenchie xxx

Riots in London

Hello everybody,

I hope you having some great holidays overseas or in Britain. I am sorry I did abandon you for a couple of weeks enjoying France and places in Europe with my family.

Some news, I heard about a riot in Tottenham last night and I have to be honest with you my sister told me about it from FRANCE!  I have tried to find some information and French people as always, have their opinion on this story.

Article below from forargyll.com:

The Prime Minster is on holiday, The Deputy Prime Minister is on holiday. Foreign Secretary William Hague is supposedly in charge.  As far as we know, Home Secretary, Theresa May is not on holiday. The Acting Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is Tim Godwin.

Last night (6th August 2011) saw riots in Tottenham in north London that were horrifyingly reminiscent of the 1981 riots in Toxteth in Liverpool, the 1985 riots at Broadwater Farm, also in Tottenham and the bad days of barricades, burning vehicles and riots in Belfast and Derry.

Last night police cars were stolen and driven to Tottenham High Road where they were set on fire – as was a London double decker bus. Commercial and domestic properties were fired, petrol bombs were visibly being thrown and looting was rife. Police vehicles arriving to take up position behind the scene were openly and repeatedly stoned. Hooded youths in the riot area ran up to the police lines at the edge of it and openly threw bricks over the heads into whatever lay behind them.

There are serious questions to be asked both about police tactics on the night and about the current philosophy of policing.

The Tottenham riots appear to have been born from an incident on Thursday 4th August 2011, when police shot dead a 29 year old black man, Mark Duggan, in an exchange of fire. Tottenham currently features serious gun crime and drugs crime.

Last night there was no rule of law running in Tottenham. There was no serious prevention of the development or of the spread of the rioting.

Yet, by the time of writing – 10.00am the following morning – not one of those made any presence to establish that the incident was being taken in hand.

At 10.00pm a statement was issued from City Hall from the office of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnston; and the Tottenham MP, David Lammy, issued a statement. That was it.

The Charity Shield football match is at Wembley (not far away) this afternoon, between Manchester United and Manchester City – with significant tensions between their factional fanbases to deal with. The Hackney Carnival is today. The police would already have been stretched between these two events. Now there is the north London situation as well – and another night to come.

 

Where is the government? Of course these guys are new to power and have not faced anything like this – but where is the evidence that they are even engaged? There is none.

Rudderless does not come close.

 

On the one hand, this country is seriously and expensively over-governed, with local government, devolved national government, UK government and European government – and the more of it there is the less anyone seems to be capable of action or to feel directly responsible for anything.

These are the big issues.

The immediate one is the simple act of government.

We need to hear from Theresa May. We need to hear from Tim Godwin. We need to know that the Prime Minister is coming home at once, and that the Deputy Prime Minister is doing the same.

And if we needed the army to back up the police should the situation worsen – do we have any such army capability left at home?

At the moment there is no sign of anyone on the bridge as London literally burns.

Update 13.10 7th August: The first Government to be seen and speak on this matter was at 13.00 today and was not the Home Secretary but her subordinate, Home Office Minister, Lynne Featherstone.

 

French opinions

bravo les anglais sont  dans m…e comme nous

Congratulations the British, they are in the shit like us.

 

Les anglais payent leur propre nature….”faux culs”  c’est pas nouveau, même Napoléon en a fait l’expérience….

English pays the own nature “phoney” it’s not new, Napoleon experienced it as well….

 

Eh oui … mêmes causes, mêmes effets, On dit que le Gouvernement de Sa Majesté est encore plus laxiste que le nôtre en matière d’immigration.

Same causes, same effects, we say that the Government of Her Majesty is even more over liberal than ours in terms of immigration.

Eh oui, nos amis britanniques connaissent aussi les affres de nos concitoyens qui voudraient vivre tranquillement dans leurs banlieues, alors que la racaille y est aussi omniprésente. Ah la société pluriethnique quelles délices!

Our British friends know the torments of our fellow countrymen who would like to live quietly in their suburbs, while the villain is omnipresent. Ah the multiethnic society, what delights!

As you have noticed French people comments are xenophobic comments. I’ve read a couple of comment and I can tell 70% of them are fascist. What is happening in my country? I believe the next election will be tough and surprising…

XXX

Top 20 Myths about France and the French People

I was chilling on the web when I had the curiosity to Google “French stereotypes”. I found a fantastic article on www.about.com about the top 10 myths about France. Let’s have a look at it.

1.       The French are Rude

I completely agree with Kelby Carr, we are not rude, we just “rude-back”. In fact, we react impolitely because people do or say something that is rude to our values.

When I first came in the UK I was really surprised by Britons’ attitude:  they never greet the bus driver, people in elevators, people in buildings and so on. And I am still not really used to it to be honest.

Also, here people just walk up and start talking and to my point of “French” view, it is just so rude!

2.       French People Hate Americans

Not true at all! Americans are welcome in our country! I met loads of American there and I always had a good time speaking with them. However, I am not a big fan of their attitude sometimes (speaking loudly, not saying hello and so on) but again ALL the Americans are not the same and a lot of them understand our culture very well.

Apart from Mac Donald, I am not a big fan of their junk food either. It not really our fault, we like healthy food. 😉

3.       French People Stink

Very surprised to hear that!!!! We are the best perfumers of the world!

4.       French Women Don’t Shave

What?!? Maybe my 99 year-old grandma do not shave but I can definitely say that we do and in Paris you can find Beauty salons every 3 meters and all of them are busy!

5.       All Women Go Topless at French Beaches

Ok. And what? I do go topless, nobody like to be half tanned!

However, I can confirm that ALL of us aren’t going topless at French beaches.  And as Kelby said” you won’t feel out of place keeping a bikini top”.

6.       Visiting France is Too Expensive

Yes, indeed. France is very expensive now. In fact, it is more expensive than the UK. But, some stuff remains cheaper like housing and transportation.

7.       All French People Smoke Cigarettes

No, most people in France do not smoke.
24 % of women and 36 % of men smoke in France which makes 78% of women and 64% of men not smoking.  I do smoke and most of my French friends do.

8.       A France Vacation Only Appeals to Women.

Why? France is not a women country, we do have load of men and they are enjoying themselves over there. So, why not you guys?

9.       You Must Speak Fluent French to Visit.

If you will be visiting a big city you do not need to be fluent in French. However, you should learn this sentence by heart “Bonjour, parlez-vous anglais?” as it is rude to speak directly in English to someone without asking.

Please note that if you are going to visit a little village or province, learning French is crucial!

10.       French Toilets are Disgusting.

Euh … Maybe?!? It depends where you are going. Public toilets and Mac Donald’s toilets are just super repulsive and real Parisians never used them.

So, I have to admit that our toilets are not the cleanest of the world.

I will add to these stereotypes:

1.       French eat eat snails

J’aime les escargots, c’est délicieux!

Before

After

Yummy! I eat them and love them. But like every food, some French people like and some don’t.  And we are not the only one. Snails are eaten in Spain, Italy and Greece. Asians put snails in the soup. Africans eat delicious big snails.

2.       French eat frog legs

Frogs’ legs are one of the better-known delicacies of French and Cantonese cuisine but “J’aime les grenouilles seulement quand elles sont bien cuites.”

Yummy! Only if cooked correctly as it is very hard to cook. It’s just delicious. It has got a delicate flavour tasting somewhere between chicken and fish.  But again, it’s not something that every French likes.

Before

After

3.       French women stay thin.

Let’s be clear, French are not all thin. The percentage of overweight people is not nearly as high as in the UK, but we are catching up to you.

I am 1m60 for 45 kilos and I eat without deprivation and all my family is kind of the same (2 sisters and 3 brothers and parents).

I think it comes from our school education. At an early age, teachers teach us how to eat. And I remember one of my teachers saying “eat everything you like with moderation”. Ever since, I eat this way: I love Mac Donald but I don’t go their everyday. I like French pastries, foie gras, wines, French fries, Orangina, hamburger, Big Mac, butter, bread but again I do not eat them every day.  I like eating and trying new flavours but moderate portion.

Here a very interesting article on the French Paradox: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=62088

4.       French always strike

Tellement cliché!

Of course, we strike but not every day and Medias speak about us only when we strike. We are rebellious, unsubordinated, and stubborn.

We want our voice to be heard and we like our opinion to be taken into consideration by our politics and I think it is a right and it is the only way to be heard.  Sorry, we are not sheep like in other countries 😉

Of course, I hate the consequences of a strike: no trains, no metros, no petrol sometimes and so on.

5.       French people wear berets

Mon Dieu! That is a super cliché: A glass of red wine, a loaf of bread and a beret. This is an old fashioned view of France and most of French people believe that is it because of this old cliché that we didn’t win the right to hold the 2012 Olympics. First of all, the beret is originally from Greece, it is said that the Pays Basque introduced the beret in France. In fact, the beret is mostly worn in that region more than anywhere else and is referred as the beret Basque. 

6.       French kiss both cheeks

Yes indeed and more than anywhere else in the world! It is a form of greeting. And it is not only between males and females OR females and females but it is becoming common between men and men but this is up to personal choice.

However, when being introduced to someone we don’t know, females will cheek kiss and the males will just shake hands.

7.       French love Napoleon

Napoleon was an iconic and charismatic leader. He gave the French glory and nearly ruled Europe and at that time France was a proud and superior nation. He also gave all the countries he conquered to all his family and he surrendered at the battle of waterloo.

Besides, the Napoleonic Code is still in place legally throughout Europe apart from the UK.

We all wish France was that fantastic, iconic, influential, super powerful nation again.

8.       French call the British ‘the roast beefs

Trop drôle!

To be honest, I’ve never heard that from a friend or maybe once by a sales associate (talking about a rude tourist) but a roast beef if the way you Briton cook beef which is not our favourite way of cooking it.  So, it’s unfortunately referred to British we do not like. In fact, it is an insult.

Little modification, my fiancé has just read my post before publishing it and he said to me that ever since he wrote on Facebook that he’s living in the UK, he had received some wall messages as How are you roast beef or How are you doing in the roast beef country? LOL!

I really wasn’t aware of that but it seems that guys like to joke around this term.

9.       French are romantic

Of course, we are! And our French kiss are the best you will never experiment!

Pictures form: Skyrock, yayamusic.canalblog.com, stupiditiz, escale-ebook.com, nicdou.blogspot.com, money.unblog.fr, philippe-caza.blogspot.com, http://s-kro.humour-noir.over-blog.com,