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:
“Franceâ€™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 countryâ€™s history as a colonial power.”
“The last-minute cancellation of Mr Sarkozyâ€™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 â€œpositive roleâ€ 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:
â€œthe school syllabus should recognise, in particular, the benefits of the French presence in overseas territoriesâ€.