November 23, 2007

Good news...

This is very good news, if you care about France. The NYT article doesn't mention what's really at stake�they don't want anyone in their shrinking readership to get BAD ideas. This moment is precisely parallel to moments in the Thatcher and Reagan administrations, when those leaders faced challenges by strikers that could have crippled them, and destroyed hopes of reform.

PARIS, Nov. 22 — A crippling national transportation strike that has lasted nine days appeared to be sputtering to an end on Thursday as rail workers fighting to retain early retirement rights seemed willing to accept negotiations and voted throughout the country to return to work.

More than 40 union assemblies across France voted to return to work, but more votes were being held. The state-owned rail operator S.N.C.F. hailed the early voting as a sign of a “dynamic” to return to work, and union officials talked about “a climate to suspend” the strike....

Margaret Thatcher faced a coal miner's strike. Which was really a socialist strike, an action by the Labour Party intended to nullify the results of the ballot-box, and make her back down on her conservative reforms. But she had prepared carefully, building up stocks of coal beforehand. And she knew that the people were with her, and were willing to bear hardship to kill the beast.

Reagan was not expecting his strike, in the very first days of his Presidency. But he had the advantage that the air-traffic controller's strike was flat-out illegal. He acted without hesitation, knowing that the people supported him. (I remember it well. What a splendid, happy moment!) And, as in Britain, what was at stake was enormous. To lose would have crippled him from the beginning.

The history of our time is a story of Leftist policies failing, and of attempts to preserve them by means that circumvent democracy. Such as using the courts to legislate, and by controlling the press and the academy to prevent the flow of ideas, and by using strategic strikes by corrupt unions.

The French economy is in rotten shape because of insane policies. Sarkozy wants to change them, much like Thatcher and Reagan did. This could be the crucial victory. Good luck to him.

Posted by John Weidner at November 23, 2007 8:53 AM
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