A French election is not like a US election.


SWMBO and I are suitable objects for mockery by Joe Scarborough.  We speak French, are proud of that and are correctly to be described as Francophile.  We subscribe to TV 5 Monde and watch it a lot.  IMO Mr. Jefferson was correct when he remarked that all civilized people have two languages, their own and French.

We were watching the election extravaganza on TV 5 on Sunday when the polls closed in France.  They all closed at the same time, 8 PM EDT.  Within 30 seconds the network announced the outcome and the victory of Emanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen.  Evidently the French have the whole country wired together in such a way that reporting is instantaneous.  There were a few precincts/districts/whatever not reporting but only a few.  I presume these are the result of overseas voting or something similar.  It was a remarkable demonstration of highly effective electoral administration.  Turnout was reported at 78%.  This was also remarkable although the French media seemed to think it was low.

There were 11 candidates.  Some were a little silly when viewed from outside the system.  There was one man who ran from the Atlantic end of the Pyrenees Mountains.  This is a charming region but not likely to serve as a national political base.  And then there was Francois Fillon, a former prime minister and centrist who went down in a classic political mess caused by his own foolishness in hiring his wife and son for "no show" government jobs.  H probably would have won without that.

The two winners are fascinatingly un-American:

Marine Le Pen, the daughter of  an old combatant of the Algeria War.  He was a paratroop intelligence officer in the Battle of Algiers and evidently is not a "people person."  He founded a relentlessly nationalist, anti-Muslim, isolationist and xenophobic political party.  Le Pen received 37% of the working class vote.  Her support is concentrated in the economically devastated industrial north and in the sunny south where people are faced on a daily basis with what many see as a demographic and culture menace across the Mediterranean Sea.  Le Pen was raised in a privileged way with attendance at elite schools and residence in elite neighborhoods but that does not seem to lessen working class support for her.   She is a very considerable orator but the other candidates are rapidly closing ranks against her and telling their supporters to vote for Macron.

Emanuel Macron is 39 years old, a former investment banker, finance minister and a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA).  He is pro-EU, pro-immigrant and a movie star or shirt ad model type.  the most interesting thing about him is his marriage.  His wife is 24 years his senior.  She was his high school Latin and French literature teacher at a Jesuit school in Amiens.  He was 15 when they became "an item."  She divorced her first husband to marry Macron in 2007.  She has three children by her first marriage.  They live with the Macrons.    Interestingly the French are simply not interested in his private life.  I remember the case of a pretty blond teacher in the NW of the US who fell madly in love with a 14 year old boy in her class.  I seem to remember that she was a phys ed teacher.  She eventually went to prison as a child molester.   They married after she served her sentence. 

This illustration of the difference in attitude toward life between most Americans and the French is striking this matter.  Mme. Macron will probably e the first lady of France.  pl 






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113 Responses to A French election is not like a US election.

  1. David E. Solomon says:

    My wife is 9 1/2 years older than me. We have a friend who is fifteen years older than her husband and a neighbor who is twenty-two years older than her husband.
    Such age differences can often make for excellent marriages.
    We are coming up on forty years since we met and thirty-eight years since we married.
    That said, I do not know much about Macron, but I think you are probably correct in saying that the difference in age between the candidate and his wife is probably the most interesting thing about him.
    Otherwise, he sounds very much like an investment grade Clinton (either one) or an Obama.
    We all know where they got us.
    But, if I were French I would probably vote for Macron, even though in our last election we voted for Jill Stein (and do not regret that vote).

  2. Sam Peralta says:

    Col. Lang
    Yes, there is a huge cultural divide between us Americans and the French. They don’t care so much about our apparently prudish ways at least in terms of political appearances. President Mitterand had a mistress that was well known to the public. President Hollande’s initial “first lady” was his girlfriend and until he was caught riding a scooter for trysts with his new found paramour. There’s something to really appreciate about their attitude to sex and relationships.
    The polls were rather accurate for the first round. And if that accuracy continues for the second round Macron will become president defeating Le Pen by double digits as the establishment parties all back him. That would mean a continuation of the status quo. Macron seems keen to depose Assad and backs all the Borgist ideas on foreign interventions. Of course, as another Davos man, he is firmly in the EU & globalist camp. The media will be promoting the line that populism has been defeated and is done for now at least on the continent. Merkel & Juncker must be very pleased.

  3. The Beaver says:

    Macron is just repeating what his friends at the Quai d’Orsay and the two Embassies in DC and Turtle Bay are telling him , including Nathalie Loiseau, now at l’ENA but used to be in the office of Alain Juppé when France was looking for regime change in Syria back in 2011.

  4. Laguerre says:

    “H probably would have won without that.”
    You mean F(illon), I think. Hollande would never have won.
    Macron is a stronger figure than you suggest. Friends of friends know the family, and apparently he is personally intensely ambitious. He is probably playing the game of Theresa May and keeping quiet until safely elected (the latter highly likely). At any rate, he’s played a pretty good game for a first election, and came in top. Evidently he’s going for the young vote, who normally don’t go out to vote. Some good ideas too. Personally I go for that, but I have no idea whether it will turn out well. At any rate better than Le Pen.

  5. jld says:

    A summary of the election whith plenty of graphics and a HUGE thread of comments (in French though) from mostly disgruntled voters.
    Under a quote from the late Coluche.
    “Si voter changeait quelque chose il y a longtemps que ce serait interdit.”

  6. Fred says:

    Just back from Paris. France 24, or perhaps the BBC, (I only caught about 40 minutes of news trying to find out the details on the shooting on the Champs Elysee) said the usual turnout in presidential elections was ~85%. Doesn’t this breakdown go along similar urban-rural voting patterns? That seems about the only similarity to the US election I could see. Isn’t there a superficial similarity in the establishment unifying against La Pen to one of the themes of Houellebecq’s novel?

  7. The American teacher you are probably referring to is Mary Kay Letourneau. Letourneau is the name of her first husband. The student she so famously had the affair with and whom she later married was first in her second grade class and then again later in the sixth grade class she was teaching at the time of the beginning of the affair. Some reported that her first husband was terribly abusive to her.
    I don’t care how cosmopolitan a person is, somehow this sort of affair indicated something was terribly wrong or twisted in the psyches of the two people, though apparently they were able to make it work. The story always shocked me as a mother of two young boys.
    As for adult men marrying older women, I find that completely acceptable. But personally, as an older woman myself, I would not want to finish the job of “raising” my husband.
    I thank you, however, for your explanation of the French system of voting. It appears that they have a similar choice as the one we had: the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea sort of choice. When the world is so divided by the factions of people with such differing political beliefs, it makes me nervous. I tend to hunker down with the family and friends I have and hope the rest of the world finds us too boring and too lacking in importance to concern themselves with us.
    I will, however, remain loyal to English as the best language, which I find actually more cosmopolitan than French, who tried for a long, long time to keep their language “pure.” A study of the history of the English language might convince you. Remember that the Norman Conquest of England did do much to “Frenchify” (my experession) the language which was originally quite Germanic: “Anglo-ish.” I loved to recite Old English to my kids, especially the opening lines of Beowulf. The gutteral sounds and the sentence structure always convinced them I was putting a curse on them. The French sounds of parts of the Middle English Canterbury Tale sometimes seemed too prissy for my taste, and of course I do believe that Chaucer did that purposely as a reflection of the pligrim he was describing at the time.

  8. asx says:

    “all civilized people have two languages, their own and French”
    Interesting what Mr. Jefferson thought of the native French.

  9. SaDudexcellence says:

    If I may weigh in and offer a bit of a French perspective:
    I think you will see Macron win but not as widely as projected, something more around 55-45. You have to remember that 15 years ago Chirac defeated Le Pen the father 80-20 to appreciate that this will be a (silent) earthquake in french politics. In a way the fact that Marine Le Pen was expected in the second round is also an earthquake. In 2002, her father drew hundreds of thousands of opponents in the streets during two weeks.
    About the swiftness with which results are announced in France, it’s not so often that we hear praise for French administration, so maybe I should not say anything… however what you reported is not completely accurate:
    Yesterday the polls closed at 7pm, and the first estimations were given at 8pm but they were certainly not on a majority of the votes but on a small fraction from a panel of voting locations that is chosen so as to be representative of the whole country. If you are interested in more details (and speak French) this is explained in more details here: http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2017/04/23/resultats-election-presidentielle-2017-comment-sont-fabriques-l_a_22050624/
    The real final results actually come much later. Interestingly, some foreign media yesterday were reporting raw vote counts from the governments as they became available. For a large part of the evening these placed Marine Le Pen first because she is stronger in rural areas and these tend to report faster than cities (less votes to count), while the estimate broadcast on French channels from a lower number of votes but forming a more representative panel was actually quite close to the final result.
    Also we actually vote the old fashionned way: with paper ballots in enveloppes, that are manually opened and counted. This in my opinion is actually a very foulproof democratic process compared with electronic votes.
    Finally: about the attitude of French people towards the love affairs of their politicians, it’s not that we approve unfaithfulness, it’s just that we do not consider it our business and we have a tradition of valueing privacy sometimes over transparency.

  10. Why the impact on U.S. markets?

  11. wisedupearly says:

    Your comments strike a chord with an article in Vox on the Hillary disaster.
    Vox writes that Hillary knew more clearly what she was against than what she wanted for the country (she knew very clearly what she wanted for herself).
    Macron appears to be another highly capable manager/organizer who lacks the ability to actually “lead” acountry. Their tactic of distraction is to continually talk up external threats.

  12. trinlae says:

    Yup, think Clinton Foundation with older money: Rotschild bank investment banker and partner.
    French get to pick oligarchy front man or right win nationalist front woman.
    Sound familiar?

  13. fasteddiez says:

    Colonel, Il me semble que le président va devenir le prochain caniche des Américains.

  14. Kooshy says:

    Colonel, As Babak may say, the difference comes from the US’ puritan based properly culture. Zoroastrianism has the same basic principals (Good deeds, good thoughts, good words)

  15. turcopolier says:

    The “native French?” As opposed to what other kind of French? pl

  16. turcopolier says:

    “As for adult men marrying older women, I find that completely acceptable.” I suppose it is understandable that you would think that. Mr. Jefferson did not say that French was a superior language to English. He said it was a language of civilized discourse. I agree with him, but, then, my Norman ancestors brought to England many of the loan words you mention. What surprises me is that English survived the Norman conquest. Romano-Briish had not survived the Anglo-Saxon invasion. pl pl

  17. MartinJ says:

    I was in the centre of rural France over the past few days. It was delightful to see steady streams of people on a Sunday heading to vote in the local mayor’s office. In the UK weekend voting doesn’t traditionally happen because – patronisingly – the working classes can’t be trusted to come out and vote after a full evening of drinking on a Saturday night. Less happily the heart of rural France, in Burgundy at least, looks devastated with villages and towns half closed down due to a failing economy. Its clear to see that people are turning away from established parties to find something to halt the decline.

  18. Patrick S. says:

    Because they are relieved that Macron the globalist and staunchly pro-EU man will most likely win. It’s a good day for privatization and the free flow of international capital.

  19. Allen Thomson says:

    Well, this is interesting, assuming it’s true:
    It’s in Spanish, the message is that Le Pen has given up the FN presidency to get lefty votes. Good luck with that, Marine.
    “Marine Le Pen abandona la presidencia del Frente Nacional para buscar votos en la izquierda.”
    Francophones here might want to see what the French press is saying.

  20. Prem says:

    There are rumours that Macron is involved with Mathieu Gallet – the CEO of Radio France. Gallet looks very much like he just stepped out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalogue.

  21. turcopolier says:

    ” … is involved with Mathieu Gallet” A gay relationship? pl

  22. asx says:

    His observation is not very kind to those who speak nothing but French.

  23. Jack says:

    It would seem that running Macron on another party ticket was a very good idea in this climate of revulsion of the major parties. He seems to be cut of the same cloth as the mainstream Socialist party of Hollande. A pro-EU, globalist platform combined with a continuation of the social welfare state.
    Even if the FN gain more votes relative to 2012 the establishment will get another presidential term. It is highly unlikely that they will consider the issues facing the voters that backed Marine Le Pen. Looking at the map of voting it seems France is also divided along urban/rural and regional lines, like the US.
    What the US election is proving is that the status quo establishment is very powerful and not easily dislodged. Since the lives of the Deplorables are not going to get any better with status quo policies and there is no consensus due to the deep political divisions, the simmering discontent will continue to gather steam. While more wars and the external enemy du jour can distract it is no longer fooling many.

  24. Prem says:

    Yes. It is just a rumour and Macron has denied it.
    They do look overly groomed for heterosexual men, but then they are French.

  25. Jack says:

    Considering that the polls very pretty accurate for the first round, it will require a political earthquake and a real shift in voter sentiment for Le Pen to win. Even if all Melenchon voters mark their ballot for her it will not be sufficient. In any case, even if she wins she’s not going to be able to get France out of the euro as I understand that it requires a constitutional amendment. However, she can be a big thorn in the side of Juncker and his band of plundering Eurocrats.
    My own swag is that Macron and many in the establishment saw a great opportunity to re-brand as a new alternative. Clearly he was well financed. His youthful looks and lack of any scandals that sunk Fillon got him the position to be the standard bearer of the establishment in the runoff. My guess is that his administration will be staffed by the same cast of characters who have run things.

  26. SRW says:

    Great article about the French and the French election. I have only been to France for a day trip twice. I will definitely think about an extended visit to the country we own a lot of gratitude to for our independence.

  27. Jack says:

    It looks like Bordeaux however went for Macron. The Pinot vs Cab/Merlot battle.

  28. PeterHug says:

    Now that I think about it, mandating that anyone planning to vote should drink heavily enough the night before to be severely hung over when they vote might encourage a certain amount of cynicism on the part of the electorate.
    On a more serious note, this election’s vote-counting once again exposes the American approach to running elections as a complete disgrace. There is absolutely no excuse for any uncertainty in the votes.

  29. charly says:

    You mean the DM following franc? The Euro is not the problem but the 3% budget deficit rule (which doesn’t apply to France/Germany)
    And about the Swiss custom union arrangement. It comes down to following EU rules, paying EU budgets and not be part of the decisions. It is workable for Switzerland with a population less than 1% of the EU because it wouldn’t change a thing but it wouldn’t work for France.

  30. kooshy says:

    Colonel, on the other hand,this fellow marrying his 24 year older high school teacher, at age 15? it could be they were stucked in one of many Parris’ islands on the river seine. Sorry couldn’t resist that either.

  31. The Beaver says:

    Fake News
    It was started by a Russian website:

  32. b says:

    If Macron goes for the “young vote” he will fail:
    30% voted for the hard left candidate
    21% for Le Pen
    18% for Macron
    Find it hard to believe that those 30% anti-globalists will turn to Macron now.

  33. keninparis says:

    Colonel, those are the rumors that have been adressed and denied in the press by the candidate.
    “If I were homosexual, I would say so and I would live so.”
    Moving on…

  34. mauisurfer says:

    Valerie Giscard d’Estaing, shortly after being elected in 1974 was involved in a dawn collision with a milk float while driving home a woman who wasn’t his wife.
    Giscard D’Estaing’s poll ratings soared, possibly because female as well as male voters warmed to the chivalry of a French president who would give his mistress a lift home.

  35. F5F5F5 says:

    There were persistent rumours about gay relationships, which Macron denied and the French shrugged off as usual when it comes to the bedroom.
    However, Macron seems psychologically dependent on his wife. She discreetly but actively participated in his grooming, and she is the main intermediary between her husband and his advisors.
    Macron doesn’t strike me as very stable. He went off the rails several times, howling in exaltation at the end of speeches, having bouts of overexcitement during interviews, etc.

  36. Bill H says:

    Don’t know how pertinent this is to the subject, but my grandmother, whom I adored, was wont to say that her side of the family was “pure English.” I worked hard to keep a straight face, considering how many times England was overrun and plundered by Romans, Vikings, Normans… Did I leave anyone out? Anyway, and had French kings.

  37. Kutte says:

    Good luck to the French with their little-baby president and his mum.

  38. robt willmann says:

    This brief article from the Stanford University Computer Science Department in 2007 says that electronic voting machines were used in the French presidential election for the first time in 2007–
    I do not know if the electronic voting has continued, and how extensively, or whether it has been declared illegal. If electronic voting machines are used at all it is bad news.
    Here is a different article indicating that the machines were used, and an explanation of the paper voting system–

  39. Wunduk says:

    Good background reading: Return to Reims. French sociology professor explores his family roots in the deindustrialized North, and finds a huge split between the former leftist base and its leadership.
    Bit like the Hillbilly Elegy.
    @ SaDudexcellence: Margins between the four leading candidates are small nation-wide, but distinct on the ground. Rural Northern France has clearly yielded a plurality for Marine LePen, as did a belt along the Mediterranean. How realistic would it be to assume that the Fillon and Melenchon votes would rally behind Macron? Declared intentions to vote for Macron as the second best candidate might be taking into account what is perceived as the socially acceptable opinion. And declaring support for LePen is not part of the ‘habitus’ for the majority of French, though protesting against the Front National is no longer a obligatory part of it, neither.
    @MartinJ & James: Filllon is the Thatcherite, not Macron. Rural France is in economic decline for about 30 years. Pinning it all on the Euro is leaving out the deeper roots for the decline. The sociaty has split not only into haves and have-nots. The pension system (25 differerent pension funds) is making it pretty much impossible to change careers once you have one. French businesses do undervalue the average worker input, have not apprentice-journeyman-master system, and maintain steep hierarchical steps. This results frequently in sloppy workmanship as the bosses do not check, and the workers do nor care. French bosses are very interested when they come to my part of South-West Germany to learn about the qualifications of the workers, but once the demonstration of the education part is over, and the tour starts with the co-directorship of the workers, they switch their ears off. I expect the same thing to happen with all the Republicans (including Invanka) who are now coming to Germany to learn about the dual system. The business leadership of France which I have so far met refuses to enter into partnership with the employees to create better products. A trade arrangement like Switzerland won’t help as it does not improve neither quality of the products nor productivity.
    Macron might be the one who could offer some good ideas to solve this long-standing economic decline, and make France function again. And in order to finance this, he’s going to sell several billion Euros worth of assets. So yes, banks will be happy (Patrick above noted it). But reducing Macron to the offspring of the global financial aristocracy does not do justice to the French situation.

  40. YT says:

    Mr. Solomon, sir,
    Yes, this age difference ‘tween [globalist] m. macron and his Mrs. most probably attracts the attention of those that under mahomet influence.
    I recall M. “Redingote Grise” left quite an impression on the Marmelukes for his Josephine was 8 yrs. his senior – reminding ’em of the age gap ‘tween their prophet and his first wife.
    My memory fails me like never before… (even tho I am but a year younger than m. macron) but were(‘nt) the Marmelukes later disillusioned with M. “Redingote Grise”?
    I wonder if m. macron too shall [eventually] disappoint those under the influence of mahomet in future…

  41. Dubhaltach says:

    In reply to James 24 April 2017 at 06:54 PM
    Except of course that in the unlikely event of a French exit from the EU the UK’s economic interests vis-a-vis the EU and the French ones would be diametrically opposed.
    Honestly where do you people dream up this stuff? What material do you ingest first? Can I have some? I’ve never actually experienced escapist fantasy as real and wouldn’t mind trying it out for fun.

  42. LG says:

    yes. Rumours galore that his marriage to the older lady was a front to get middle aged women’s votes and his not so hidden affair with a man would help gather the gay vote.

  43. Eric Newhill says:

    Je pense que Le Pen et Trump seront allies.
    Macron est un caniche, mais il ne gagne jamais.

  44. Bill Herschel says:

    I wonder whether you mean Hendaye or a little farther north. It’s all beautiful, although I prefer the completely undeveloped beaches farther north still, from Lacanau Ocean on down. Too many surfers, many too many, but still wonderful. Nothing like that exists elsewhere on the planet. Breakfast or dinner at Le Kayoc, Lacanau Ocean, on the ocean is spectacular. Sort of anti-matter to the Riviera.
    Macron is a French-cut Tony Blair, and I give the vampire squid an enormous amount of credit for getting him in. They know the electorate better than it has ever been known before. They have taken DT to school in the first hundred days, and he is an avid learner. Yes, vampire squid has heretofore referred to Goldman Sachs, but they are only one tentacle. Jamie Dimon, Petraeus, Clinton, etc. etc. Many tentacles, all well paid, all obedient. The Saudi’s must be beaming. They have probably beheaded a half dozen immigrants just to celebrate.

  45. JRenard says:

    Macron, the son of secularists who admits to gay relationships, is pro-immigration, pro-globalism, pro-EU, pro “discrimination positive” (affirmative action), anti-Russian, and said Hillary was victim of a vicious Kremlin plot.
    France went from Land of the Saints and Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence to Camp of the Saints and Submission all in one generation.

  46. Sarkozy might have got away with a scooter. Hollande – no chance. His 5% approval rating was kind to him. The French are all at sea with their politics but they still know what’s what when it comes to style. Macron would do well to kit himself out with a Harley-Davidson if he’s given to playing away. They might be old hat in America but those machines retain a certain cachet amongst my continental friends and a plastic politician like Macron is going to need all the help he can get.
    Moving away from the train crash of the French presidential election – bye-bye, France, every Englishman’s second country but no longer the Frenchman’s first – the real action, as so often nowadays, is a little further away. I’ve been delving into stumpage fees and the like and it seems that with the proposed Canadian tariffs the American public, or some of it, is beginning to wake up to the big untold secret of the Trump election campaign. If tariffs are put on imported goods prices will go up.
    How much, and to what extent exchange rates might alleviate the inflationary effect, is currently being debated in their usual foul-mouthed and rambling way by the habitues of the ZH website. But amongst all the internet clutter on the site you find some who get it. If the proposed tariff on Canadian lumber does bite, one section of the American public at least is getting to grips with the fact that Fair Trade is not “Free Trade” and if you want Fair Trade it costs.
    “Free Trade” as currently practised means that cheap or subsidised foreign labour must win against home labour. Prices go down, which is nice for us all. So do wages, at least for the jobs left to pay wages on. It’s profitable for those doing the off-shoring but disastrous for those whose jobs are off-shored.
    Eventually the “social costs” (what a nice antiseptic phrase and how much misery it covers up) of unemployment, underemployment and inadequate wages outweigh the advantages. That’s where we were at the time of the Trump election campaign. I say “we” although I’m not an American, because the same process has been underway in Europe, even Germany; it’s just that we most of us haven’t woken up to it yet and many Americans have. Trump also understands, or did, that “Free Trade” with exchange rates that can be monkeyed around with is just another name for subsidised labour.
    The remedy was obvious. Bring the jobs back home. That was one of the themes of the American election. Looking on from outside it’s difficult to be sure, but I think it was one of the main themes that accounted for Trump’s victory.
    But First World wages are and have to be higher than Third World wages. If you offered an American textile worker the same money as a Bangladeshi textile worker can live on he’d laugh at you. Until he and his family started starving. Prices must therefore also rise, in proportion to the amount of jobs brought back home and in proportion to the labour component of the final price.
    Therefore real wages have to rise to take into account the rise in prices. If it’s not going to end up with an uncontrolled inflationary disaster there’s only one way that can happen. Real wages at the bottom have to rise. Real wages and incomes at the top have to fall. That must lead to a dramatic reduction of the income gap – back to levels we haven’t seen since the 70’s and 80’s, if then.
    That was the untold secret of the Trump election campaign. It wasn’t just the super-rich and the cronies who’d have to pay for bringing the jobs back home. The top ten per cent of earners would find their real incomes cut. The deal for the top ten per cent was that they’d get less but live in a more stable country with a more sustainable economy. It was a deal that was never put on the table.
    At the moment the deal’s not going through anyway. There’s been some tinkering with the H-1B visas – though that’s about “internal offshoring” – some nice noises made about stopping American companies re-locating, and that’s about it. But it’s early days. If the Trump administration does in truth go for bringing the jobs back home, if Fair Trade is to replace “Free Trade”, that deal’s going to be on the table fair and square. If so, it’ll be more than a few malcontents on an off-beat website who’ll be examining it with some degree of concern.

  47. LeaNder says:

    What surprises me is that English survived the Norman conquest. Romano-British had not survived the Anglo-Saxon invasion
    Pat, may I babble? following you off-topic? It may be related to the linguistic distance between the commoner and the court, plus elites over the ages, at least partly. Written and spoken language. Not that that does the trick, entirely. French was the polite language of the European courts for a long time too, way beyond its national boundaries. Latin survived even the Norman conquest as the language of English law. … to cut matters short. Wordwise, both the Latin (plus Greek) and French have left strong traces. La cuisine, comes to mind. …
    A Swizz prof in English linguistics once used the term “bastard language” for English in his class somewhat provocatively. Probably this made it stick. The context was the difference between analytic and synthetic languages. The only prof in linguistics, who could have led me on the path to linguistics more generally, or historical linguistics more specifically. 😉
    If one keeps Latin in mind, it’s obvious that you need to be much more aware of grammar then on the surface for English. … Similar with French. Noun male or female, the verbs, grammar. Steeper initial learning curves for every other language then English. …
    Maybe I should read this book. Our Magnificient Bastard Tongue:
    Those who have learned English as a second language will recognize McWhorter’s assertion that “English really is easy(-ish) at first and hard later”; for that, he says, we can “blame… the Danish and Scandinavian” influence.
    Nice thing to be introduced to the ultimate culprit. 😉
    Here is a review:
    The second half of the book is an interesting corollary to McWhorter’s “English is a bastard” proposal; since the English we revere today is the result of having essentially incompetent speakers mangle it thoroughly a millennium ago, why would we protect it now? It’s a strange twist when suddenly the book starts talking about grammar rules after discussing the details of language change, and it’s not entirely fluid. But he makes a good point, and I think it’s an argument worth having in battles against prescriptivists; language is much more resilient than it is given credit for.
    So, on the whole, a pretty good book, if occasionally a bit too insistent for my taste. It’s worth a read, especially if you’re into this kind of stuff.

    All I can say, the Britons did a good job to not follow any or the peculiar 19th ‘learned’ suggestions to move written and spoken language visibly closer together. It would have changed it beyond recognition. But since it surfaces grammarwise. Not too long ago, I wondered if I had left a grammatical blunder concerning who versus whom. 😉 Maybe I should stop to worry.

  48. LeaNder says:

    Would make sense, strategically. Mélenchon converges with her on some issues. I actually had something similar in mind too. Was France ever “reigned” by a coalition?
    Syriza’s government partner? The odd absence of the British Socialists in the Brexit for or against campaigns? Larger Zeitgeist trends …
    Her AfD (Alternative for Germany)female counterpart over here, recently lost inside her party in what feels like a comparable move.

  49. Willybilly says:

    Even teens knew years ago that Emanuel Macron is gay…. this woman is his Mossad minder….. The whole marriage business of Macron the Maquerau is an utter charade.

  50. divadab says:

    “What surprises me is that English survived the Norman conquest”
    The English are cousins to the Dutch and Frisians, the most stubborn people in the world. It took over 200 years of English being the language of the poor and powerless (French of the power structure), during which time it became much simplified, losing gender, most of its inflections, and adding French vocabulary. But the English stubbornly refused to lose their language and English ultimately survived, thrived, and prevailed mightily.

  51. LeaNder says:

    you might be interested in a recent development making the news on our national ground. Israel comparable to whatever states that do not like interference in their “national matters”? Or distrustful of NGO’s secret intentions?
    I doubt he Gabriel will show “backbone” as we say in German.

  52. turcopolier says:

    Even more interesting to me is the quickness with which the Vikings who became Normans adopted all things French before they invaded England. pl

  53. Pat,
    Thx for this post and the crash course regarding the French electoral system. What I find most interesting is the comments: everyone seems to be projecting his/her own ideas on the subject.
    Macron will win, no is no doubt in my mind (somewhere between 60-40% and 65-35%). However, the true test regarding his ability to steer the ship for the next five years will come in June when parliamentary elections are due. Macron may find it difficult to find a parliamentary majority to back up his Presidency.

  54. JR,
    whatever it is you’re taking, you need either to slow down or take even more.

  55. Nancy K says:

    Sort of like our president.

  56. TB,
    I don’t think he’s looking for regime change, although he clearly stated there is no future for Assad as head of State in Syria. But he made it very clear that there are other priorities in the ME, main one being the fight against IS.

  57. Nancy K says:

    Why a mossad minder? Did she groom him since 5th grade? Sounds kind of fishy to me?

  58. Nancy K says:

    He didn’t marry her at age 15. She was his teacher at that age.

  59. Leander,
    Yes France was governed by coalitions non stop until 1958, when de Gaulle finally put an end to this. Thank God, he did ! The world isn’t Germany …

  60. Macron not very stable ? having bouts of overexcitement ? sounds like Trump if you’re asking me …

  61. LG,
    getting the women’s votes and gathering the gay vote ? you forgot to throw some Mossad/CIA handlers into the mix !

  62. there we go, the “Mossad” did it. Next !

  63. Overly groomed for heterosexual men ? I suspect you don’t travel much through rural France

  64. Jack says:

    Your forecast of the size of Macron’s win is what the polls show. Don’t you think that the Socialists and the Republicans will generally support Macron even if his party does not do as well in parliamentary elections? After all his pro-EU, pro-foreign intervention, pro-open border and pro-global finance positions are similar to the major two parties.
    How would you characterize the French electorate in terms of political divisions and what does this election say about French politics in general? The electoral map seems to show some kind of East-West geographic divide.

  65. The Beaver says:

    I too do believe that he will win but what I am looking forward to is Les Législatives next.
    Could the FN raise the bar above the two seats they currently have?Yes they will, but how many more?
    What will happen to the PS and LR, now that the cumul is not allowed? Some will seek to stay at the regional or lower levels if they believe that they will have more say and power.
    I believe that political cohabitation will happen.
    À suivre and, on May 6th, I will have to hit the road early so that I don’t get stuck in a three hour wait!

  66. LeaNder says:

    The world isn’t Germany …
    Well, Partrick, it’s my home ground. And France is important on a larger EU basis. Forgive me for not keeping in the background as far as my own national identity is concerned. I should have? Maybe you are correct.
    I am with you, if you have doubts about Macron, from the a no doubt in my case limited perception. … More arbitrarily, a certain skepticism concerning ENA graduates? Maybe. But in any case, I doubt that Schäuble would like Macron, if Schäuble survives to meet his chosen counterpart. …
    de Gaulle, is a more difficult for me. Aware of the dislike of French friends. … But maybe “vaguely” comparable to the non-soldier Adenauer, not leading resistance, but trying to survive by not attracting attention. Without any doubt versus my French close friends, I preferred de Gaulle as leader of the French resistance.
    I do respect your the “winner takes it all rule”. … Don’t worry about that.

  67. The Beaver says:

    OT: Just check what Erdogan did overnight in Northern Syria and Mount Sinjar
    and in Derik, the Radio Rojava Building

  68. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I have nagging suspicion that Macron is, in a way, closer to Trump than not. He is more “style” than “substance,” and do not mean this in a derogatory fashion. Having a too clearly defined set of “substance” is a loser’s game: the reality is complicated, except for those who are “comfortable” with the status quo. People want someone who can provide flexible but effective leadership (or at least an appearance thereof) rather than the same old song and dance. Trump could, whereas Clinton could not. But, in this sense, Macron seems more able than LePen, notwithstanding superficially similar positions between LePen and Trump on one hand and Macron and Clinton on the other.

  69. Kooshy says:

    I think it’s not just France experiencing unusual and somewhat unpredictable elections, in fact so far, this is has become consistent with the entire UNSC’ western permanent members. IMO this electorate uprising against the traditional Borg favorite candididates, and the consequential deep-state/ Borg resistance to voters choice, is becoming a permanent part of the failed double standard of western democracies. I hope the west is not hoping to export this new format as a value to the rest of the world.

  70. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Patrick Bahzad:
    Does “Deep France” still exist?
    And if so, who would be its candidate?
    Do you know?

  71. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    This whole thread reminds me of the late governor of the state of Louisiana Edwin Edwards who once said, “The only way I can lose this election is if I’m caught in bed with either a dead girl or a live boy.” He won, but later lived in subsidized housing after being convicted of corruption.

  72. Will.2718 says:

    True, and then what will be the implications of the lack of a parliamentary majority? a coalition government? gridlock?

  73. divadab says:

    More French than the French. Sort of like the Manchus – who took great pains to be more Chinese than the Han they had conquered.
    I think also the Norman invasion was a coalition – certainly several Bretons made good with post-invasion awards of land, including the Stuart family who were Breton stewards to William the Bastard. Later providing kings of Scotland and of the newly-United Kingdom for several generations before losing their heads!

  74. Willybilly says:

    Yes, reconfirmed. Some don’t know khazarians well enough…

  75. trinlae says:

    “But reducing Macron to the offspring of the global financial aristocracy does not do justice to the French situation”
    Except it is not a reduction, but rather his entire professional curriculum vitae standing as his qualification for governance. Does it do justice to the French situation?
    What’s left of public France will sold and the funds will transfer to private hands. What else does an investment banker know to do? Money will flow to private pockets via ME military budgets. Cranky lower middle and working class laborers will be replaced w lowest paid alternatives.
    Maybe it is inevitable regardless of who leads the government. The “socialists” flushed the labor protections to the bankers already. Macron will have the faucet flowing on full flux.

  76. FkDahl says:

    DNA studies show that the Vikings only brought their women along for the near abroad, Faeroes, Shetland, Iceland, north England, but not to Normandy. Thus little viking tykes were brought up on a French lap listening to French nursery rhymes… et voila!
    When an invasion brings a language shift is interesting … the key factors seem to involve maternal tongue, language of the clerical classes, and proximity to a motherland in a cultural-linquical-people movement sense.
    The Frankish or Gothic invasions of France, Spain or Sicily did not bring along language changes, but the Roman invasions did.

  77. LondonBob says:

    That is just ridiculous, Matthieu is not Emmanuel’s type, for a start he is far too young.
    He is certainly a Rubio/Obama/Blair creation. He has had a charmed rise, I expect the reality of his Presidency will be as similarly dismal.

  78. Laguerre says:

    Oh yeah. Going back to the past is always the desire of the old. How about tackling the present?

  79. Laguerre says:

    “Macron may find it difficult to find a parliamentary majority to back up his Presidency.”
    True that Macron may have difficulty finding allies, but much more difficult for Le Pen. The socialists will go for Macron, who will go for Le Pen?

  80. divadab says:

    Hmmm – genetic studies of the population of the Faeroes show the maternal dna is 83% Celtic and the paternal dna is 87% Nordic – 70 generations later!
    What does this mean? Well, the Vikings were traders and slaves made up a goodly portion of their trade. There was a solid trade in Celtic captives (red hair in great demand by the Ottomans) and apparently most of the Vikes took “country wives” (as native wives were called in the Canadian fur trade and the source of the Metis population of Canada). Or a more bloody history is also possible – killing off the men and taking the women for wives. Nonetheless, your assertion is not supported by the genetic evidence.

  81. Kooshy says:

    PT, thank you very much for all your inputs, I spoke to a few relatives and old friend ( one who was a french collage roommate) overall it seems to me, you in France didn’t have any better choices than we in US did, is that generally corect and universal feeling.

  82. Will.2718 says:

    With regard to the English language and loss of the Roman-British one. Consider that the Franks adopted the local Roman-Gaulish dialect and modified it giving rise to French, likewise the Lombards and others in Italy produced Italian, and in Spain the Goths and others gave rise to Spanish Dialects and Portuguese. All of these Romance languages are Latin and not Germanic based. But England is different. Winston Churchill in his first volume of the History of the English Speaking People- Birth of Britian, speculated on this matter:
    “A broader question is keenly disputed. Did the invaders
    exterminate the native population, or did they superimpose
    themselves upon them and become to some extent blended
    with them? Here it is necessary to distinguish between the
    age of fierce forays in search of plunder and the age of
    settlement. Gildas is speaking of the former, and the scenes
    he describes were repeated in the Danish invasions three
    centuries later. But to the settler such raids are only
    occasional incidents in a life mainly occupied in subduing
    the soil, and in that engrossing task labour is as important as
    land. The evidence of place-names suggests that in Sussex
    extermination was the rule. Farther west there are grounds
    for thinking that a substantial British population survived,
    and the oldest West Saxon code of A.D. 694 makes careful
    provision for the rights of “Welshmen” of various degrees—
    substantial landowners, and “the King’s Welshmen who ride
    his errands,” his native gallopers in fact, who know the
    ancient track-ways. Even where self-interest did not
    preserve the native villagers as labourers on Saxon farms we
    may cherish the hope that somewhere a maiden’s cry for pity,
    the appeal of beauty in distress, the lustful needs of an
    invading force, would create some bond between victor and
    vanquished. Thus the blood would be preserved, thus the
    rigours of subjugation would fade as generations passed
    away. The complete obliteration of an entire race over large
    areas is repulsive to the human mind. There should at least
    have been, in default of pity, a hearing for practical
    advantage or the natural temptations of sex. Thus serious
    writers contend that the Anglo-Saxon conquest was for the
    bulk of the British community mainly a change of masters.
    The rich were slaughtered; the brave and proud fell back in
    large numbers upon the Western mountains. Other numerous
    bands escaped betimes to Brittany, whence their remote
    posterity were one day to return.”

  83. TonyL says:

    Do you know what you are talking about (citation)? or just you just feel good putting down other people with a different point of view, or different life choice?

  84. Laguerre says:

    Actually, I’m told that a lot of Macron’s support is not in fact young, even if he aims for that. Still a 20 point lead is going to be hard to overturn.

  85. Jack says:

    The polls continue to show a wide margin between Macron and Le Pen.

  86. turcopolier says:

    Patrick Bahzad
    I think a 60-40 win for Macron is likely but I could be wrong. I thought HC was going to win. I look forward to the next election night on TV5. pl

  87. Kutte says:

    Admittedly I did not put it very nicely. I think this relationship is just a fetish for the young man, who seems to think that it magically solves his problems, and an insatiable desire for flattery on behalf of the older woman. That, rightly or wrongly, is my assessment. You are so friendly(?) and give me the choice of enjoying putting down people of different view or not knowing what I am talking about. Aren’t putting me down because I have a different view from your’s??

  88. Tosk59 says:

    This German article you link does not further link to the Sputnik “fake” news. Is it this link?
    If so, for this to be Sputnik “fake news” doesn’t it have to be something they made up? If they are factually reporting that a sitting French MP insinuated that Macron was gay (with actual quotes, so should be easy enough to verify if said or not) and that Macron publically denied being gay, then saying Sputnik propaganda wrote that Macron is apparently a closeted homosexual is BS pure and simple… and the Zeit article fits the “fake news” formulation much better!

  89. Will.2718,
    Two DNA studies might be relevant:-
    “Now Stephen Oppenheimer’s groundbreaking genetic research has revealed that the ‘Anglo-Saxon invasion’ contributed only a tiny fraction to the English gene pool. In fact, three quarters of English people can trace an unbroken line of genetic descent through their parental genes from settlers arriving long before the introduction of farming.
    Synthesizing the genetic evidence with linguistics, archaeology and the historical record, Oppenheimer shows how long-term Scandinavian trade and immigration contributed the remaining quarter – mostly before the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons. These migrations may have introduced the earliest forms of English.
    And what of the Celts we know – the Irish, Scots and Welsh? Scholars have traditionally placed their origins in Iron Age Central Europe, but Oppenheimer’s new data clearly show that the Welsh, Irish and other Atlanticfringe peoples derive from Ice Age refuges in the Basque country and Spain. They came by an Atlantic coastal route many thousands of years ago, though the Celtic languages we know of today were brought in by later migrations, following the same route, during Neolithic times.
    Stephen Oppenheimer shows us, in his meticulous analysis, that there is in truth a deep genetic line dividing the English from the rest of the British people but that, fascinatingly, the roots of that separate identity go back not 1500 years but 6,000. The real story of the British peoples is one of extraordinary continuity and enduring lineage that has survived all onslaughts.”
    One of the most intriguing signatures seen in the genetics of present-day English is the arrival of the Anglo-Saxons from southern Denmark and northern Germany after the end of Roman rule in 410AD. The DNA samples showed this migration involved intermarriage with the Romano-British Celts rather than wholesale ethnic cleansing, as some historians have suggested.
    “The results give an answer to the question we had never previously thought we would be able to ask about the degree of British survival after the collapse of Roman Britain and the coming of the Saxons,” said Professor Mark Robinson, an archaeologist at Oxford University.
    “This has allowed us to see what has happened. The established genetic makeup of the British Isles today is reflecting events that took place 1400 years ago,” Professor Robinson said.
    Other major events in history, such as the Roman invasion and occupation between 43AD and 410AD, the large-scale invasion by the Viking Danes in 865AD and the subsequent establishment of Danelaw, as well as the Norman invasion of 1066, cannot be seen in the genetic profiles of Britons today.”
    These findings differ and I expect they are going to be modified many times but it seems like we’ve been here for a while.
    The early American population explosion that so impressed Malthus took place in the colonial period and in the early post-independence years. That was mostly English/British Isles stock. Although that was overlain by subsequent migrations British descended groups will still be identifiable. Have American researchers been able to DNA test these groups and thus possibly amplify the above findings?

  90. Will.2718 says:

    very good, and then Churchill went on to waffle a few pages later about Britons using wooden plows and farming soft hilltops and the Saxons preferring river valleys with their iron plows, leading to consequences.
    “The Saxon was moreover a valley-settler. His notion of an
    economic holding was a meadow for hay near the stream, the
    lower slopes under the plough, the upper slopes kept for
    pasture. But in many places a long time must have passed
    before these lower grounds could be cleared and drained,
    and while this work was in progress what did he live on but
    the produce of the upland British farms? It is more natural to
    suppose that he would keep his natives working as serfs on
    the land with which they were familiar until the valley was
    ready for sowing. Then the old British farms would go down
    to grass, and the whole population would cluster in the
    village by the stream or the spring. But the language of the
    valley-settlers, living in compact groups, would be dominant
    over that of the hill-cultivators, scattered in small and
    isolated holdings. The study of modern English place-names
    has shown that hill, wood, and stream names are often Celtic
    in origin, even in regions where the village names are AngloSaxon. In this way, without assuming any wholesale
    extermination, the disappearance of the British language can
    be explained even in areas where we know a British
    population to have survived. They had to learn the language
    of their masters: there was no need for their masters to learn
    theirs. Thus it came about that both Latin and British yielded
    to the speech of the newcomers so completely that hardly a
    trace of either is to be found in our earliest records.”
    then there is the matter of the British feet:
    “Or so says Phyllis Jackson, a retired Gloucestershire podiatrist. Jackson got her first inkling of a distinctively Saxon foot during World War II, when Hereford, the small city in western England where she then lived, was flooded with refugees from more significant cities (which were being bombed by latter-day Germans). Some of these evacuees became Jackson’s patients, and some of them turned out to be of Celtic descent– Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Cornish. Poor things were coming to me with awful bunions, recalls Jackson. I realized that the foot shape I was dealing with was quite different from the English one I was accustomed to.
    Traditional English feet, Jackson says, tend to be broad and somewhat pointed–the toes form a steep angle from the first to the fifth. The Celtic evacuees, in contrast, had toe tips that were almost level with one another, and their feet tended to be longer and slimmer–except for a bulge at the base of the big toe, where bunions form. The English shoe being modeled on the English foot, many of Jackson’s new patients couldn’t cram their feet into that shape of shoe. Hence they developed the bunions.
    After retiring from podiatry, Jackson took up amateur archeology but kept her focus on feet. Examining the skeletal remains of a few dozen Saxons and Celts from a sixth-century cemetery in Lechlade, Gloucestershire, she found she could readily tell them apart. It wasn’t just that the Saxons were the ones buried with bronze brooches and amber necklaces–they also had feet shaped like modern English feet. Jackson also found a distinctive feature in the cuboid bone, just beneath the fourth and fifth toes: it was slightly scrunched on one side in Saxon feet, but more square in Celts.”

  91. Pat,
    Agree with you, nothing is carved in stone. Considering the French electoral system however, it’s gonna be much more difficult for Le Pen to win this one. France presidential elections are a national ballot, popular votes wins.

  92. the electoral map shows differences indeed, linked mostly to economic differences and unemployment, to put it in simple terms.
    Macron will have to find political partners willing to support him and govern with him. Not easy.

  93. There are various kinds of “deep France”, their candidates could be anyone from Fillon, to Mélenchon to Le Pen (not the others though)

  94. getting narrower though !

  95. Dante Alighieri says:

    About the genuine love relationship between Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron there can hardly be any doubt. The scandal in the town of Amiens at the time, Brigitte’s family crisis, the numerous classmate testimonies, and the entire sequelae belie totally and completely the “homosexual” conspiracy theory. I also wonder about the mindsets of people who think outing somebody as allegedly gay would damage his electoral chances. Even the German AfD sends a Lesbian into the race for Chancellor.
    D’ailleurs, Emmanuel Macron was already above the French age of consent (15) when he first met his teacher, and the relationship began when he was 16 – which would make it legal even in the USA, no?

  96. turcopolier says:

    Dante Alighieri
    “which would make it legal even in the USA, no?” If she was still his teacher when the affair began I think that this would be illegal in all US States. pl

  97. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    Dante Alighieri: ” . . the relationship began when he was 16 – which would make it legal even in the USA, no?’
    These situations almost always are a matter of state, not federal, law and thus it depends on where where the relationship took place. In some states the legal situation is also affected by the age difference between the parties and/or the calendar age of the older party. There can be other factors as well, such as whether the older person is in a position of authority. tl/dr, It’s complicated.

  98. Eric Newhill says:

    There are polls that show Le Pen in the lead by a small, but statistically significant, margin. Apparently these polls have been suppressed by the French media.
    This is what was done with Trump in addition to obviously flawed methodologies designed to make Clinton look like the winner with a high probability. I don’t know enough about France to evaluate the quality of the polls predicting a Macron victory, but, on the surface, it looks to me like a repeat of the techniques that failed to work in the US; techniques being information ops using cooked polls to diminish turnout for non-Borg favored candidates.

  99. Dante Alighieri says:

    Replying to Col. Lang,
    We can probably assume she was still his teacher when the affair started. But in France, a sexual relationship between a teacher and a student who is above the age of consent is punishable only if it is shown that the teacher actually _abused_ his/her authority as a teacher. I wonder if this has to be proved in a US court as well.

  100. Fred says:

    Has the warning from Patrick Calvar from 2016 changed anything in the French election? I assume the underlying tension may account for La Pen’s showing in the latest round?

  101. Dante Alighieri says:

    The age difference is clear. The position of authority is also clear. But did she _abuse_ her authority, as required by the French penal code? Under French law, there is no case if the alleged victim, Macron, says she didn’t. Would there be a case in the USA? (And if yes, should there be?)

  102. jld says:

    There is indeed a huge pressure against LePen from EVERY media and new judicial threats to the FN about like was done for Fillon.
    It seems “the plan” was an underhand favor for the FN in the first round because it is the softest adversary in the second round.
    There is also a lot of pressure against abstentions which would appear to actually be the “majority party” 🙂
    This video (in French) from an humorist boasting of the abstentionists majority has been censored by France Inter and he resigned from his regular contribution:

  103. Tosk59 says:

    Slightly off topic but in Ivanhoe Wamba (the witless)has a rant on language and Saxon vs. Norman/French words, see portion quoted at the link below:

  104. Laguerre says:

    Depicting Macron as a caniche of the banksters, as many do, including here, seems to me false. True that he worked in the “industry”, as indeed did Theresa May. But he is also the son of a provincial bourgeois family of doctors from Amiens, and thus has a good grounding in what those people think. Radical change would hurt them a lot.
    He is also intelligent, young and extremely ambitious. It is unlikely that he would go for what can’t be done, as Sarkozy did. Not that I think that any politician in France is really Thatcherite, as Fillon is depicted (he is merely conservative, not a radical conservative). Advancing France’s position, particularly economy, requires considerable subtlety. The tendency of the French to prefer a stable, permanent job, with lesser income, over a higher paying but more mobile employment, has to be harmonised with the way western economies are going. I’d give Macron a greater chance of achieving that than anyone else. But of course he may give up, and look to his own personal advantage.

  105. Laguerre says:

    It was a long time ago. The relationship has succeeded. Is it really important, other than for Anglo-Saxon prudes? It reminds me a lot of the lengthy discussions about whether transgender people should be allowed in women’s toilets. Yesterday I saw more women go into the men’s toilet than men, in our institute. If you need a cubicle, you go, rather than wait.
    If it were a real case of snaring the youth, I would agree. But it isn’t. The relationship has lasted.

  106. Laguerre says:

    On the subject of the English language and why it spread, I would say that the east of England is ethnicly Anglo-Saxon (including me), with some Viking penetrations in the north, but the west is not. Of course there is the question of whether it was men arriving, who then married local women.
    As to why the English language succeeded, it is complicated. Imposed, elite, languages can succeed, as with Arabic in North Africa. Arabs were never the majority, even after the Hilali invasions. Yet they speak Arabic, and Berber is a local dialect.
    There were never enough Normans to overturn the language. Chaucer’s English is pretty incomprehensible, but it is visibly English. That’s the way things went. English survived, and Norman French didn’t.

  107. Fred says:

    Wasn’t Macron finance minister recently and a senior member of Hollande’s staff before that? In a US type election he would be hounded mercilessly over both rolls. Will they actually affect voter behavior in this election?

  108. Sam Peralta says:

    A good article on the influence of Brigitte by the Borgist Guardian newspaper.

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