Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Vote for me

Local elections are this Sunday so I get my first chance to vote in a French election. I've been longing for someone from the cash-strapped National Front to try to push a leaflet into my hand so I can say "I'm not French but I can vote anyway. Na-na-na-naaaa-naa!" but haven't had any luck so far.

I did get a leaflet through the post though, and it's worth a read just because it shows how dim they are. While other candidates talk almost exclusively about local issues, the FN start by moaning about Europe. The worst thing they have to say about the current mayor is that he belongs to a pro-EU party. Apparently José Borroso will be quaking in his boots if the mayor of a reasonably well-off, middle class Paris suburb gets voted out.

So, how are they going to take on the might of Brussels if they get elected here? By, erm, planting more flowers, repairing a local lift and providing cheaper car parking for locals (even though they don't need their cars to go shopping round here, much less park them in town). They also want to redeploy the local CCTV cameras and arm the police with tasers (as soon as the traitorous sell-out-to-Europe pro-Sarkozy Government allows it), presumably in case any EU Commissioners should drop by.

Unfortunately they don't propose to hang the incumbent from the nearest lamppost with pink bunting, but then nor does anyone else.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Ban this filth

Teaching unions here have just won a court case against the website (which I'm not going to grace with a link - go google it), which allowed pupils to log on and rate their teachers. The website's founders are pleading freedom of expression, and claim teachers have a right to reply (yeah, like we've really nothing better to do than log on to their website to see who's whingeing about us giving too much homework), but the judges have ruled that free speech doesn't cover the right of adolescents to go on the Internet and "name and shame" teachers just because we didn't give them good enough marks on their last assignment or gave out a detention for chatting.

In any case, each class already has a delegate and termly meeting for them to air their grievances, so why they need a website as well is anyone's guess. I suppose it gives them the sensation of having achieved something by tapping something out on a keyboard and clicking Send. You only have to look at how adults behave on the BBC's Have Your Say website to see that it's a bad idea.