Overheard in the bar, Paris-Toulouse TGV near Bordeaux…
A French saloon bar bore, who has apparently just returned from a spell abroad, is in the process of berating “national decline” to the barman. Apparently these students are deluded, irresponsible fools, France is in the Middle Ages, and two of the escalators weren’t working at Montparnasse this morning! (Jesus, what would he have made of Oxford Circus tube?) Only la rupture can save us, etc, etc.
But which society had he been experiencing that made him consider France to be stuck in the Middle Ages and to be desperately in need of, ahem, “modernisation” and “reform”? Why, Sweden, of course. A few minutes later, I saw a huge full-page ad in my newspaper taken out by Alcatel to boast of how the takeover of Lucent would give them the world’s biggest laboratories and that they would be spending twice Alcatel’s â‚¬2.6bn annual R&D budget in the future.
I can’t imagine a British CEO getting away with that.
Returning to Britain, I see that Peugeot has decided to transfer production of 206s from the Ryton plant in Coventry to somewhere with less job security and lower wages…after all, that’s what we all need, no? Whoops. They are zapping 2,300 workers at Ryton to transfer the work to Mulhouse..