Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Right Royal posting...

I have never been a great one for reading tabloid newspapers as I found them to be politically motivated often lacking in any real substance and full of mainly bad news.Back in the UK I did buy the larger, both in physical size and substance, 'Sunday Times' in an effort to open my mind to more 'life comment' but inevitably found myself in the'Business section' or only glancing at headlines in search of a story to sustain my interest or simply reverting to the 'magazines' where I often found articles that informed me and drew me into the world of words.As the week advanced I would often glance at the pile of paper and consider the trees that were lost to provide myself and others with much information that we did not really need.

Since moving to France I have become less interested...one because my lack of French makes it very difficult to read the newspapers and two because I have adopted a 'need to know' attitude to news,by visiting the BBC's news homepage on the internet and checking via their headlines that the world is in fact still in turmoil but still turning.'One minute world news' does it for me. One thing that has often intrigued me about the news is how a story dies when it loses, in someone's eyes, its news worthiness.Flight 370 for example is no longer given any column inches yet the story is the same today as when it first 'broke' - it is still missing!. The people directly affected by the incident are still affected but apparently are not now worthy of consideration by 'the press'.

Where am I going with these ramblings I hear you ask...

The internet is of course a good source of information (and misinformation) and through it I try to keep up with the bigger picture of what is going on around us here in our adopted 'homeland'. Things are not great here from an economic perspective and the desire for this 'proud' country to hold on to its old ways in terms of  power,whether it be of the people or the politician may ultimately be their undoing. We have noticed the gradual changes in the cost of living here - this is normally the only measure we have of the bigger picture - but I have also found some interesting reading in the 'opinions' of Rafik Smati a French entrepreneur. He is, I find, very good at getting to the point and where we all know the world's view on French bureaucracy he defines it in a way that hits home.His headlines certainly catch your attention 'The French are lions lead by donkeys' got me reading! Love the fact that in one article he defines the new 'Labor Code' by weight, it weighs a kilo and a half by the way, which is an obvious burden to employers.He also gives out little snippets such as the 'Official Journal' of the administrative and fiscal system having increased from 15,000 to 23,000 pages per year in twenty years, the 'statute of the Assembly' has gone from 433 pages in 1973 to nearly 4000 pages in 2004 and the 'general tax code' is an easy read at 3450 pages long.  He also often 'has a go' at his country's 'relationship with power' citing the photograph at the top of this article as an (bad) example of this. With the queen holding her own brolly while the new mayor of Paris has her 'man' for the job. It was further embellished by the addition of a second photograph (below) added by Lee Hesse. Oh dear!!

P.S. Love the fact that both bureaucracy and entrepreneur have French origins - two words that do not have a lot of synergy.  

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