Archive for

Les Municipales

Posted on March 26th, 2014

The first round of the French municipal elections took place last Sunday and change is afoot. The two major parties are on the nose, with widespread dissatisfaction levelled at the PS (Parti Socialiste) under Francois Hollande, who has a personal negative rating of 75%, and with the centre-right UMP (Union pour un Mouvement Populaire) because of several financial scandals and a wounding leadership struggle. The chief beneficiary has been the Front National, a far-right party founded in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen. It draws from French right-wing traditions of extreme conservatism and nationalism dating back to the revolution, with more recent influences from the Poujadist anti-tax movement of the 1950s and the loss of French Algeria in the 1960s. The party platform contains all…

Call 18 for pompiers

Posted on March 4th, 2014

Throughout France les¬†pompiers – the fire service – are held in very high regard. More than just firemen, they are the first people to call in most emergencies, from hunting accidents to snake bites to road crashes. Highly trained, they provide para-medical support before deciding what further ambulance or other care may be necessary. Everyone has a positive story about them. But did you ever wonder what pompiers do in their spare time? Here’s a video made by pompiers in Lille for the birthday of one of their mates. It was not well received by station bosses, who said it brought the service into disrepute: ¬†