Stanley's blog

Archives for France

Jacques Delors, in Alternatives Economiques, has produced an absorbing analysis of the current problems facing European integration. He rightly attributes the lack of interest in Europe of public opinion to the fading of memory as to the original aims of reconciliation, solidarity, freedom and the end to war. He identifies three reasons for the lack… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Still playing war games

The recent collision of the British and French nuclear submarines in the Atlantic Ocean has been widely reported and there has been considerable astonishment that it could happen. The fact that both boats were operating without their sonar systems was obviously a contributing factor. And it is understandable that the sonar systems cannot be used… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

In a debate on French TV, President Sarkozy said the UK’s VAT cut had “absolutely not worked“. “Britain is cutting taxes. That will bring them nothing. Consumption continues to decrease,” he said. The British Prime Minister’s spokesperson, when asked about this, said: “The Elysee [Palace] have been in contact this morning to assure us that… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I commend the Insitute for Strategic Studies’ Chaillot Paper 111, written ny Marcin Zaborowski. This publication of 126 pages gives a clear and readable account of George W Bush’s legacy and provides an indication of where American foreign policy may next be heading. I’ve encapsulated below the key elements. America’s grand strategy changed during the… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

I asked a young French official at the Commission, a socialist, whose views I value, his reactions to my post of 4 October on Financial meltdown post-Congress. Here is his response: – I’m torn between radicalism (the system is rotten, let it die) and cynical pragmatism (that’s capitalism, you can try to tame it, you… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Barack Obama goes home

Kuwait – Afghanistan – Iraq – Jordan – Israel – West Bank – Berlin – Paris – London, was the Barack Obama itinerary for the past week. The ‘celebrity tour’ element was a great success. However, the tour was part of his American electoral campaign, and the degree of its success will be seen in… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Celebrity politics

As thoughts of vacation drift before our eyes, we may perhaps be permitted a little musing. The two biggest political names in July 2008 are Nicolas Sarkozy and Barack Obama – who meet today in Paris. The French President’s Mediterranean Union Conference was a great success; his Irish visit does not seem to have ruffled… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

We face the challenges and effects of globalisation in our daily lives – economic, political, social and cultural. Except, apparently, in defence. The retention of an independent nuclear capability is central to the defence strategy of both France and the UK. But what does this mean? Circumstances could perhaps be conceived when France, or even… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

“Beyond the platitudes and projects lies the germ of a brilliant idea”, said The Economist’ leader of 12 July, before the “Union for the Mediterranean” was launched yesterday in Paris. The event was a great success for Nicolas Sarkozy and French diplomacy. The atmosphere was good and the body language and informality at the final… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick

Vanessa Mock writes in today’s Independent (UK) about the new, high-speed train between She is, sadly, right that the new service risks giving new meaning to the term “gravy train” with critics likely to seize on it as the latest example of how taxpayers’ money is being squandered amid ongoing scandals and revelations over MEPs’… » read more

Posted by Stanley Crossick