I turned on the television at 7 o’clock this evening. I was told that the polls in the election for the French President had just closed. One minute later I was told that M. Macron had won. About ten minutes after that M. Macron’s opponent, someone called La Plume de ma Tante, or something like that, conceded victory (or defeat as the illiterate BBC puts it) to M. Macron.
Do they call that an election? Goodness, how boring. Why don’t they have to stay up until four in the morning, or later, watching pundits speculating on the outcome as results from individual polling stations dribble in? Why are they allowed to turn up to work the next morning looking as fresh as daisies having gone to bed at a civilised hour? Goodness me, how frightful it must be to be foreign.
Really, when you come to think of it, you can’t possibly take an election seriously if the result is announced even before counting has started. That’s not proper British democracy.
There wasn’t even time for our own dear BBC experts to tell us anything about the two candidates, other than that M. Macron was a decent chap and La Plume de ma Tante was the devil incarnate. I had to do my own research.
It does turn out that the Pen woman’s policies are pretty dire. I can certainly see that, were I French, I would not be her supporter. She doesn’t like the EU, which is a plus. But she doesn’t take the logical line for an anti-EU politician that free trade is a good thing. Rather the opposite. She wants protectionism to continue, but for it to be restricted to France rather than the EU. She wants France to leave NATO and Russia to be allowed to invade its former colonies. She is, in short, an old-fashioned Socialist.
But M. Macron isn’t much better. He is apparently devoted to the EU. He adores bureaucracy (not surprising since he is a product of the Ecole nationale d’administration). He really does sound pretty awful.
It is quite nice not to be French, especially since we, in the UK, have proper elections with results programmes stretching way into the small hours.