Sarkozy Cancels Trip To Martinique and Guadeloupe

I still feel very ambivalent about Nicholas Sarkozy. Clearly France needs reform, and he seems to be the most likely politician to bring it, but some of his words and deeds worry me. His attitude towards positive discrimination as a step towards equality of opportunity for the ‘new French’ is obviously a point in his favour (at least for me it is), on the other hand his ‘tightening’ of the immigration laws is a step in entirely the opposite direction. France needs to resolve its ability handle cultural diversity, not turn its back on it. Today we have another example of what makes me nervous:

“France’s colonial past caught up with Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday as the interior minister cancelled a Caribbean trip to avoid protests over what some claim are political attempts to glorify the country’s history as a colonial power.”

“The last-minute cancellation of Mr Sarkozy’s trip to the French overseas territories of Martinique and Guadeloupe is the latest sign the government has raised racial tensions by introducing a law calling for schools to teach the “positive role” of colonisation.”

In a globalised world, internal politics and external politics are hard to separate, especially when there are parts of France which lie outside the geographical frontiers of Europe. My point would not really be whether everything was bad about colonialism or not, but about what someone who claims to be in favour of ‘deregulation’ is doing introducing a law which states:

“the school syllabus should recognise, in particular, the benefits of the French presence in overseas territories”.

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About Edward Hugh

Edward 'the bonobo is a Catalan economist of British extraction. After being born, brought-up and educated in the United Kingdom, Edward subsequently settled in Barcelona where he has now lived for over 15 years. As a consequence Edward considers himself to be "Catalan by adoption". He has also to some extent been "adopted by Catalonia", since throughout the current economic crisis he has been a constant voice on TV, radio and in the press arguing in favor of the need for some kind of internal devaluation if Spain wants to stay inside the Euro. By inclination he is a macro economist, but his obsession with trying to understand the economic impact of demographic changes has often taken him far from home, off and away from the more tranquil and placid pastures of the dismal science, into the bracken and thicket of demography, anthropology, biology, sociology and systems theory. All of which has lead him to ask himself whether Thomas Wolfe was not in fact right when he asserted that the fact of the matter is "you can never go home again".