Saturday, March 25, 2006

French students: I have my rights.. I HAVE MY RIGHTS!

France: The revolution marches on for cushy jobs given to lazy students.

A delicious sense of people power has gripped the French and most of all, the students I mingled with a few days ago as they marched arm in arm through the boulevards of Paris, shouting their anger with the government. To the barricades, they went, these revolutionaries, to fight for their rights - to pensions, mortgages and a steady job. Such odd revolutionaries. No heartfelt cry to change the world, but a plea for everything to stay the same. For France to remain in its glorious past: a time of full employment and jobs for life - a paternalistic state to take care of them from cradle to grave.
I think there was a Public Enemy song about this. "Got to give us what we want Gotta give us what we need Our freedom of speech is life time jobs sucking on the taxpayer t**ts. We got to keep the powers that be Let me hear you say Chorus Keep the power Keep the power Keep the power Keep the power Keep the power Keep the power Keep the power Wheve got to keep the powers that be.
In an echoing stone courtyard at Paris University, Marion and other students are making banners to carry on their march. "Mr Villepin, you are not the king", they read, a reminder of what happened to France's aristocracy after people power won out in times gone by. "I haven't studied hard to get nothing at the end of it," says Marion, with indignation. "I've earned the right to a secure job."
Actually you have earned the opportunity to compete for a job that may or may not be secure in today's world.
A secure job like the one her parents and grandparents enjoyed. A recent survey suggested that for most of the young in France, the real dream is to become a civil servant - a fonctionnaire. To work in government offices with regular hours, long holidays, and a 35 hour working week.
The results of a socialist cradle to the grave mommy country. Bless them.
As the world around them changes at a baffling rate, her students want the old certainties back - but these are certainties France can no longer guarantee. No country and no government could. Yet the belief in an all-powerful government is a very French creation, an attachment that goes deep. "The government must create jobs," Victor, an economics student tells me as he prepares to march again.
This would be the kind of economic program you stay far away from unless you want to be laughed at. France is doomed, they have to change or they will get left behind. They do change the people will revolt and it reverts back to the same old same old. They will become a broken part of the EU economic engine which allows places like China and India to keep gaining at a fast rate.

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