France’s Thatcheresque Heroine

The Telegraph has a very fascinating look at Sabine Herold, the 21 year-old leader of the French reformist movement Liberte J’Ecris Ton Nom.

Herold is one of the most unique people in politics – a 21 year-old with the looks of a model and the brains of policy wonk who is unafraid to stand against France’s powerful unions. She stands firmly on the side of individualism, capitalism, and the value of hard work and determination. She stands as a model against the political and social decline of France, and hopefully she will be able to spread her message throughout the country.

Here, she has been called Joan of Arc. "That is stupid," she says. "I love Britain. I love Margaret Thatcher. I love the way you have overcome the unions and are not afraid to privatise. I love the way you work so hard. In France, we have become lazy and staid. We think only of weekends, holidays and how great we once were. We need a dose of Thatcherism."

Amazing how a young woman can be far wiser than the old men who are running France into the ground.

UPDATE: Those who read French can visit the homepage of the pro-liberty group.

7 thoughts on “France’s Thatcheresque Heroine

  1. Damn those unions for establishing weekends and holidays and damn the French citizens for wanting to keep them. Herold’s ravings hardly sound very polished. She seems as if she’s become the Ann Coulter of France (although hopefully a prettier version) even though she seems to lack the life experience, policy savvy and rhetorical skills necessary to be an effective right-wing mouthpiece. There’s no doubt France has a problem on their hands that needs to be addressed, but following this immature girl’s ideological time warp back to the worldview of a century ago is definitely not gonna be their salvation.

    The fact that she rails against unions for establishing and maintaining holidays and vacations is a glaring example of either the arrogance of nobility or the ignorance of textbook idealism. If it’s the latter, I would get a kick out of seeing her utopia come true, and seeing her enslaved to a 120-hour week at the sweatshop without those dreaded holidays, vacations, and unions and see if she still thinks it’s so swell. If she keeps pandering to the mindless social regression of “Thatcherism”, her wish could very easily come true.

  2. Save the straw mans for another time.

    The unions in France have made it impossible for anyone to have a normal life. Would you like to live in a society in which your kids can’t go to school because the teachers are on strike, you couldn’t get to work because the buses and metro are closed, and your garbage is piled high because the trash service is on strike? Or is it so wonderful that the French unions have a stranglehold on politics, and use mafia-like intimidation methods to silence political opponents. Would you like to live in a state where working overtime nets you a jail sentence?

    The situation in France is exactly like Britain in 1979, and like the UK then, France needs someone with the tenacity of Lady Thatcher. Elsewise, the transportation systems will continue to be closed, the schools will no longer be open, and the trash will continue to pile in the streets. If something is not done, France will collapse.

  3. Jay reding,

    “She stands as a model against the political and social decline of France”

    Who the fuck do you think you are?
    the US are just like Antiq Rome was: corrupted, in huge debt, sick and twisted.
    check it out:
    1-“Jackass” is a funny show. It just shows how people get bored-crazy in your country.
    2-Columbine(and many other school massacres) happened in the US, not in Europe
    3-litteracy rates and child death are equal to those in african countries for part of your population
    4-most of your population has consumed 5 times more that they actually should have(I’m not talking about obesity here…). no wonder economic growth was high in the last decades. The problem is that now, you’re in debt for the next generations
    4-your president…
    5-you really think you produce champagne, when you only make carbonated wine!!

    who’s declining again?

    I’m so sorry that people like you -pretending to be clever and educated- are creating a rift between the EU and the US.
    Everything above is -if not exagerated- just part of the US. I still like this country, but I just wanted to show you that you have problems too.
    What are you exactly trying to prove with your anti-french rethoric? Does it make you feel stronger to say the others are declining? you have stocks in weapon company and thus you want to start a war against france to raise the price of your shares?
    you obviously have a superiority complex. be careful. Rome wasn’t made in one day, but collapsed in less than a minute. from the inside.

  4. That’s the problem I have with France. The French government continually loves pointing out how bad America is, while ignoring their own problems. The union strikes in France are making it impossible for the average French person to go about their lives. France has serious racial tension between natives and the North African population. The French government sold weapons to Iraq, cracked down on Iranian pro-democracy groups, and sheltered Hamas.

    My problem isn’t with the French people – it’s with a government who stands from a sinking ship and snipes at America. Yes, we have our problems, but that doesn’t give Chirac, de Villepin, or the nutjobs at Reseau Voltaire the right to paint the US as some kind of monster. If France wants to be a great nation they have to earn it. Criticism of America while covering up deep problems only makes France look petulant and foolish. It’s unfortunate that a nation with such a great history and culture has to descend to such a level. Hopefully the Sixth Republic will get it right – I’ve little hope for the current government.

  5. France, like the United States, is a democracy. If the majority of French citizens find the evil unions so oppressive, they’re perfectly free to elect a government that would damage the unions. The naive Ms. Herold certainly has the right to lead the charge to convince people that limited union power, mandatory unpaid overtime requirements, fewer (or no) vacations, and declining wages and benefits is in their best interest. I would think it would be a tough sell, but it’s worked on Americans.

    As for me personally, I never have a problem with people fighting to improve their livelihood as long as they don’t resort to violence. Those who do should face legal consequences. There are economic consequences to abusing the privileges of union strength and if the strikers push too far, they will discover them and learn from them. I have little problem with the peasants of the economic system having more power, such as the case with Europe. Since you don’t view the working person in France or any other country of the world as being anything more than a vessel that transports profits to their boss, it’s perfectly understandable why see the least bit of peasant empowerment as being so destructive to a society.

  6. Again, the average French person is being screwed by the unions. You try living in Paris without schools, transportation, hospitals, or any other key services that are crippled by unions that have grown drunk with power. They aren’t defending the rights of workers, their lining their own pockets while limiting the political freedoms necessary to remove their cronies from office. The situation in France has nothing to do with your straw-man argument. Unless the power of the unions are decreased, it is the average worker who will lose.

  7. Is it really a French problem or is it a southern european problem? France is in the middle of northern and southern europe, and seems to be drawn to the backward tendancies of Southern Europe in recent years. I agree the unions have too much power there, and something needs to change. But Jean-Pierre Raffarin I believe is the man to get France on the right course. You yourself Jay, have given Raffarin his due on this site. Furthermore, I think the fact that crime is down and roads are safer due to Nikolas Sarkozy’s tough measures as Interior Minister show progress. This Frenchman of Hungarian origin has really cleaned up a lot of France (though some of his policies like banning booing the national anthem are rather archaic), and it gives me hope. You also ignore Francis Mer, the current French Finance Minister. Mer is big advocate of privitization and the first former industralist to have this position since the beginning of the Fifth Republic. Mer supervised the privitization of Unisor, and has made France the home of the world’s largest and most profitable steel industry. France seems to be doing fairly well at a time when some of our southern european “allies” are struggling. Spain still has the most strikes in Europe (twice as many in as in France), and is dogged by regionalism which will ever prevent it from becoming even a mid-sized power. Italy’s PM Berlusconi is busy passing laws so that he can be immune for some pretty damning coruption charges. France has some work to do, but when one looks further south we see bigger problems. You are only painting part of the picture, which is misleading an honest analyis.

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