Well, I think this is the dispute that's going on between Monsieur Sarkozy, whose [sic] the, what passes, I think, for a conservative figure in French politics, who really wants to crack down, and who wants to say to these people you can behave like respectable French citizens, or we're going to take action and we're going to clean up these street. And then Monsieur de Villepin, whose [sic] currently the prime minister, whose line is basically that we should accommodate their grievances, and all the rest of it. And judging from Chirac's speech, where he says we have to understand their grievances and their alienation, I think the European tendency to appease these people is coming into play in the French cabinet. And I would say the one consequence of that is that a lot more people are going to be voting for fringe parties in the next election. We forget. The last presidential election, 20% of the French electorate voted for the fascist candidate.He goes on to imply, quite strongly, that Europe is the canary we should be watching in this particular mine.
I'm sometimes accused of being terribly pessimistic when I speak in North America. And I always tell Americans and Canadians . . . there may be a lot of bad news in the world, but the one advantage North Americans have, is that Europe is ahead of you in the line.I think he's right on both points. Read the rest.