French dressing

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In France at the mo. President Sarko is getting tough on gypsies and the left has been organising some protests against this.

Whilst I dislike Sarkozy and his crude populism, I’m not sure how successful these marches will be. Sure, they are a welcome opportunity for the Socialist Party to unite together on an issue, but there is little correlation between the French left enjoying energetic demonstrations in the streets and electoral success.

Opinion polls suggest that although Sarko is not personally popular most people agree with his anti-Roma policies. The President’s stance appeals to people who are convinced that all gypsies are criminals and who dislike the idea that foreigners can come to their country to claim benefits.

Sarkozy’s indiscriminate anti-Roma measures should be opposed. However, instead of simply decrying Sarko’s ‘racism’ the left must also formulate a message on this specific issue and on the wider question of immigration that simultaneously i) upholds socialist values and rejects prejudice and ii) addresses people’s concerns rather than dismissing them.

Useful fact: Anti-ziganism = Hatred of gypsies.

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One Response to “French dressing”

  1. TeonGordon Says:

    Yeah, and I think that our own politicians here could heed some of that advice as well. I think on the whole the British are a tolerant people but launch some kind of defence mechanism when they feel that they are not getting a fair deal. Perhaps by tackling some of the problems that are really biting them, such as lack of social affordable housing, then they may also see a more cohesive society.

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