All the stuff you never knew you needed to know about life in rural France.....and all the stuff the books and magazines won't tell you.

Monday, 18 October 2010

I think I'll go on strike too.....

Anti-Sarkozy Demonstration & Riots (33) - 06Ma...Image by philippe leroyer via Flickr
But there's a lot of competition for peoples' attention.

The analog television is going down at midnight...supposedly to be resuscitated as digital television a few hours later, but noting those ominous caveats about viewers depending on secondary emitters those few hours could stretch into days.

So for the next week everyone will be fiddling with their remote controls trying to recode the television and the DVD player, except for those over 70 or rated as being over eighty per cent handicapped who have the right to free assistance.....and will thus spend the next month fiddling with the remote control and the DVD player after the free assister has done his rounds.

Still, the lack of television will spare us from the verbal infelicities of our masters.....Rachida Dati confusing inflation with fellation and the Minister of the Interior - the one with a criminal record for racist remarks - threatening to bring in genital profiling!
I'd like to see how the gendarmerie go about that one....

Then there's the problem of petrol stations closing down....the shortages are spreading into the countryside and I bet that when the supermarkets run out that crook down by the bridge will put up his prices....not that it worries me, I have a central heating tank, but a lot of people still run petrol cars or worry about illegality - very timorous, the French.

It seems the government have tried to open up the refineries...well,round Paris using their emergency powers and ordering people in to work - except the said people say they can't get there because strikers are forming a human chain in front of the refineries concerned and they can't get through.
Very timorous, the French.

I don't think the schoolkids busy burning cars and blocking the Champs Elysees pose too much competition to me, though.....the school holidays start shortly and they won't be bunking off from that!

So why I am thinking of going on strike?

Tax. That's why.

One of Sarkozy's bright ideas for freeing up French business practice was to do away with the Taxe Professionelle. Wonderful!

Except that local government drew a fair bit of its revenue from the Taxe Professionelle.

Another of Sarkozy's bright ideas was to reduce the number of civil servants on the central government transferring them to local government....and its payroll.

Now, if you've eaten sufficient fish, you will immediately recognise that the combination of these measures gives rise to problems.

If you haven't, then open a tin of sardines, which is what Monsieur Attali should have done before writing a report on how to boost French competitiveness which proposed privatising pensions and putting up VAT!
Don't know where he keeps what passes in his case for  a must be away for genital profiling.

So, local government now have to work out how to make up the shortfall in their resources.

Make economies, perhaps?

Over their dead bodies! (I wish.)

The local versions of Monsieur Attali have seen fit to build new offices to accommodate all the new staff they have taken on and to buy land in order to build a new gendarmerie station at the very moment that what is laughingly called the gendarmerie service is being reorganised into different sectors and will be leaving the bailiwick altogether.

No, the shortfall will have to be made up from the property taxes...taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation.

So unless I can sell the house, I'm facing two whopping bills next year, which is enough on its own to infuriate me, but what has made me incandescent is the following little detail......

The area is relatively poor, so the mini Attalis have decided to ease the burden of the property taxes by establishing exonerations and exemptions......wonderful!

Who benefits?

Blasted families with three kids!

You know...the ones for whom the supermarkets package pork chops in packs of five....the ones who don't pay any tax!

I've had a better idea than going on strike....

I'm going down to the illegal gyppo encampment that the bold gendarmes have managed to ignore since time out of mind and I'm going to borrow a chainsaw.

Then I'm going to the supermarket  to take station  alongside the meat counter.....

And anyone who so much as looks at a five pack of pork chops is going to be genitally reprofiled.
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  1. 'Genitally reprofiled??' Yikes. So, I am assuming you believe your advesaries will be male. Anyway, when we were in France the trains were going on strike about every 10 minutes or so, yet they always seemed to be running.

  2. mrwriteon, never let it be said that I am going in for gender based discriminatory practices....I am quite happy to upend a few French women over the freezer compartment in the interests of equality of treatment.
    Someone's got to improve the French score in that department.

    I think at the moment the unions are wondering what to do for an encore...

  3. Interesting bits on the international news regarding your part of the planet, particularly the terrorist alerts...

    As to your "genital reprofiling...ouch!

    They should offer a loopole for retirees...

    I thought the house was already sold??

  4. Genital profiling... hmm. That's a great biometric ID device. Can I have one on a badge or security card? Do I get a prize if it doesn't fit?

    As for the local government debacle - read it with interest as it is the line of work I am in. None of it bodes well. None of it.

  5. I can't stop laughing at genital profiling.

    Brilliant post funny (even when it's not meant to be)...this has really cheered me up! Thanks x

  6. e, unfortunately it was only the little house that was sold...Wuthering Heights is still with us...
    As for terrorist alerts, the police will be too busy chasing schoolkids off the Champs Elysees to take any action.
    And I get so fed up with subsidising the national breeding programme ......

    Steve, this is surely an idea you could introduce in your place of work....

    Ayak, glad it cheered you up!
    And neither can I stop laughing!
    The worst is that the minister concerned is a bit like Roderick Spode, leader of the Black Shorts in The Code of the Woosters, always storming about and shouting so I'm not altogether sure that he didn't mean what he said!

  7. I was genitally profiled once.



  8. Pearl, clearly it did not happen in France then, where it would been at least in triplicate unless involving planning permission when it would be in quintiplicate.

  9. Oh no Fly, it could have happened. Because in all the "iplicates" probably got lost anyway. C'est bizarre. C'est pas possible! I just want to know where the hell the French store (and lose) all those iplicates. Perhaps you could offer to store all that paper nonsense at Wuthering Heights and maybe get yourself an exemption!

  10. Delana, a new slogan...France, Land of the Iplicate!

    They would never trust me with their iplicates...I might do something terrible with them - like read them.

  11. I reckon this tv switchover was timed to coincide with the strikes and hide all the dissent from a lot of people who have buried their French heads in the sand.

    We're there for a week from early Saturday - blockades permitting.

    Good luck with the house sale - it does sound a lovely place and it is sure to be viewed a lot. Only positive thoughts being sent.


  12. Looks like I might be renting for quite a while yet. If house prices are stable and taxe fonciere rockets skyward, it might not be a wise investment.
    I'm exceptionally glad I only live 5 mins from work which I can cycle if necessary and the boys go to school by school bus or foot. In France you have to factor in probable life-irritating forces like transport strikes and petrol shortages when you choose where to live. As well as taxes. It's a complicated calculation these days!

  13. French Fancy, it is a nice house...just too big for two! Thank you for the positive thoughts, as well. Much appreciated.

    Good luck with the trip....I think the Figaro has a web site with a list of petrol stations out...but I do know that the situation in Maine et Loire and Brittany is dire.
    I haven't checked where the rolling blockades are on the motorways...but I think the Figaro might have something on that as well.

    Sarah, nothing simple about France!

  14. With all the sexually-charged gaffes by French politicians, it makes you wonder if their mind is fully on their work, doesn't it?

    If you would like some help in setting your neighbours' cars on fire, or blocking the roads, count me in. :)

  15. nodamnblog...Freudian slips showing somewhat I feel....
    As to the offer of help, I suppose we could always say that we were only trying to integrate...when in the dock.

  16. Good luck Fly! I can just picture you manning the barricades. Be lovely to see you on French TV (when it is broadcasting that is!) ;)

  17. Hadriana's Treasures, yes, I'll be the one with the chainsaw....

  18. It sounds like a mess! We're not quite that bad yet, but we're getting there. In our case, though, they've got the unions pretty much silenced.

  19. Mary Anne Gruen, American friends tell me that they just don't know where the U.S. is going...apart from downhill and, apparently, unstoppably so.

    If only the French unions were unions as I understand them from the U.K., spreading across public and private sectors.
    In France they're concentrated in the old state industries and in the civil and public the vast majority of working people just aren't represented.

  20. Eventually the whole country will go on strike. France will stop. Full stop. But I'll have to keep hoovering. Maybe I'm in the midst of genitally reprofiling. Or is that a chauvinistic statement?

  21. Dumdad, if you work out how to go about genital reprofiling with a hoover, tell the Interior Minister...he needs a bit of assistance!
    Better, demonstrate it on him...
    Mark you, by then EDF will have decided not to buy in any more electricity from abroad....

  22. Hilarious. Thanks for the link to this post ‘Fly’. Often wonder how long it’ll be before the French wheel out the old Guillotine again. It worked before in culling the aristocrats, it would work just as appropriately this time around with the bureaucrats.

    Nationalised genital reprofiling. Vivre la nouvelle terreur…and get their nuts on a few blocks.

    Do you have a blog posting which describes which part of France you lived in?

  23. Phil, I couldn't let you miss genital to blog posts I'll have a look....but it's the Loire Valley in any case.