Tuesday 17 October 2017

Unlucky general Hollande is bad news for France

He seemed a good alternative to Sarkozy but has caused chaos in the eurozone, says Ruth Dudley Edwards

Francois Hollande
Francois Hollande

Apologies to those of you who have a sentimental regard for our French cousins, but I'm now going to be a little disobliging about them. They're in trouble, and it's their own fault.

As, frankly, it usually is.

It was my mother who imbued in me distrust of a nation that has had a better press in Ireland than it deserves. A gamekeeper's daughter and scholarship child who had fled a rural Ireland she found stultifying and cruel, she loved France's language and literature, but she had no illusions about its inhabitants. When she thought summer holidays in Co Cork were making me overly romantic, she pressed the stories of Guy de Maupassant into my teenage hands and I emerged with the deep horror of universal peasant values that has informed my view of Irish politics ever since.

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