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Comme Ci, Comme Ca!

November 19, 2018

By Paul Homewood



I could not help noticing the contrast!

A few hundred hippies trying to save the planet here. Meanwhile in France there are nationwide protests against carbon taxes.



Eighty-five people have been arrested as thousands of demonstrators occupied five bridges in central London to voice their concern over the looming climate crisis.

Protesters, including families and pensioners, began massing on five of London’s main bridges from 10am on Saturday. An hour later, all the crossings had been blocked in one of the biggest acts of peaceful civil disobedience in the UK in decades. Some people locked themselves together, while others linked arms and sang songs.

By 2pm the blockade of Southwark Bridge had been abandoned and protesters moved from there to Blackfriars Bridge, where organisers said they were soon to move west towards Westminster Bridge.

Demonstrators occupied Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges.


The French government approved a measure in late 2017 increasing a direct tax on diesel as well as a tax on carbon, allegedly to fight against climate change. The so-called Contribution Climat Énergie (CCE), a French version of the carbon tax, has steadily increased fuel prices in recent years. Drivers across the country have balked at the rising price of diesel as it disproportionately affects workers who depend on their vehicles to get to and from their jobs. Two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

Rise of the ‘gilets jaunes’ coincides with Macron’s record low 26% approval rating.

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

Anti-riot policemen evacuate gilets jaunes protesters during a protest against the raising of fuel and oil prices. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

In just a few weeks, the yellow hi-vis vest has become such a potent political symbol that one risks being mistaken for a supporter of the rebellious gilets jaunes when cycling in Paris.

The gilets jaunes are a grass-roots revolt against high fuel prices, and they threaten to paralyse France on Saturday.

The cause of the price hikes are “eco taxes” meant to dissuade the French from using cars. “We choose to tax pollution and harmful products rather than workers,” budget minister Gérald Darmanin explains. Yet the fuel taxes penalise the poor disproportionately.

In the hope of deflating the protests, prime minister Édouard Philippe on Wednesday announced €500 million of compensatory measures, including a €5,000 bonus for low-income earners who trade in polluting cars for a hybrid model.

The gilets jaunes have organised at least 630 protests nationwide via the website, designed by an 18-year-old student. Some call for go-slows on highways. Others want to block roads, which is punishable by two years in prison and a €4,500 fine. Interior minister Christophe Castaner says no “total blockage” will be tolerated.

But several police unions have expressed sympathy, and promised not to punish petty or “middle-size” offences “out of solidarity with the citizens”.

Unlikely heroine

The movement has found an unlikely symbol in Jacline Mouraud, a 51-year-old accordion player, hypnotist and spiritual medium from Brittany who on October 18th posted a video message hectoring President Emmanuel Macron for “persecuting drivers”.

Mouraud’s video went viral, and has been viewed by more than six million people. “I have a thing or two to tell you,” she starts out. The stream of accusations includes the price of fuel, the “hunt” for diesel vehicles, the “forest” of radars, the number of traffic tickets, the possibility tolls may be charged to enter large towns and rumours of mandatory bicycle registration.

“What are you doing with the dough, apart from changing the china at the Élysée and building a swimming pool?” Mouraud asks Macron.

A senior adviser to Macron spoke scathingly of “this Madame Mouraud who generates spirits from under her fingernails”. He expressed consternation that a video “stuffed with lies” has reached such a wide audience, saying: “I have the feeling that our democracy is also at stake.”

Yet the Élysée “is absolutely not condescending towards this movement”, the adviser continued. “We don’t underestimate its amplitude. Our vigilance is total, even if the signals are blurred.”

The rise of the gilets jaunes coincides with Macron’s record low 26 per cent approval rating. A poll published by Ifop on November 14th indicates two-thirds of French people expect a “social explosion” in coming months.

  1. November 19, 2018 10:59 am

    They said a few thousand in London, but it looked more like a few hundred.

    • November 19, 2018 11:18 am

      It was enough to get it onto BBC News, hence job done.

      • Adamsson permalink
        November 19, 2018 9:00 pm

        A lot them do work for the BBC and the rest at the Guardian

  2. November 19, 2018 11:01 am

    If it were a few thousand they’d have been able to block all the bridges simultaneously, but they couldn’t.

  3. The Informed Consumer permalink
    November 19, 2018 11:14 am

    Coming to a town near you soon.

    As militant as the French are they are not afraid to demand their voice be heard.

    My electricity and gas bills have doubled over the last few short years. The price of groceries has jumped dramatically over the past few years as well because of increased transportation costs and the increased cost of energy for supermarkets amongst many other increases.

    The EU and the cost of it’s interminable red tape to manufacturers doesn’t help either.

    When VAT was introduced @ 8% way back in the 70’s we were led to believe it would precipitate a fall in income tax/NI amongst others. The choice was clear, if one wanted to buy ‘luxuries’ which attracted VAT, one had the choice.

    Before VAT was introduced I could roughly calculate my entire tax burden to be 30%, No charges for water or council tax other than modest rates.

    I see no meaningful shift from that 30% income tax/NI burden these days but we are saddled with 20% VAT, Council Tax, and stealth taxes such as increases to energy bills to pay for the intrusive Climate Change Act and all it’s associated costs. From memory £300 Bn in the years 2015 to 2050.

    As a rough rule of thumb I figure we are now paying somewhere between 40% – 50% of our total income on taxes.

    Our government itself is a massive cost of that: the bonfire of the Quango’s we were promised turned out to be a Boy Scout camp fire, but in order not to lose the influence of these organisations, charities, which would never normally survive by public donations alone, were propped up by government funds in order that they could carry on the campaigning work of the Quangos.

    Our tax regime is so complicated that corporations like Google, Amazon and Starbucks (the tip of the iceberg I suspect) can employ talented accountancy firms to find loopholes which saves them £ millions, at least. Nor do I blame these corporations, it’s our governments fault for our ridiculously complicated and loophole riddled tax regime.

    Even our very democracy is being held to ransom. Brexit means Brexit! But our Remain sympathetic government is finding every reason and means possible to ensure we are as tightly aligned with Europe as they believe they can get away with.

    Perhaps I’m a gammon but I mistakenly believed our government in the 1970’s when they told us the Common Market would not morph into a political union, so why is it so damn difficult to leave now? They lied then and they’re lying now. The one great benefit of being a gammon is that I recall life before the EU, I made the mistake of voting to remain in the Common Market and thanks to the gift of hindsight which our youth don’t have, I was acutely aware what a vote to leave meant when we were offered the choice.

    And much like climate change where we are slightly uncertain of the implications of a warmer planet (thanks to history we are almost entirely certain it’s positive) the future of leaving the EU may also be slightly uncertain, but the future within a non democratic bureaucracy is crystal clear as we have endured it for so long; increased taxation, loss of national identity, escalating levels of red tape and, stunted growth prospects made quite apparent by Trump’s America which is beginning to shake itself free of stifling bureaucracy, and growing.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 19, 2018 11:17 am


      That should be HotScot

    • November 19, 2018 11:25 am

      Not having prepared an alternative to The Deal (TM) should be a crime, 5 years in jail for ALL cabinet members. And, MPs should only be allowed to vote on The Deal after passing an exam on its contents and implications.

      • HotScot permalink
        November 19, 2018 11:58 am


        There is an alternative, a No Deal exit. That should have been the negotiating stance from the beginning; we will leave with No Deal unless the EU can offer something better.

        The NI issue is smoke and mirrors. We should also have told the EU that the UK and NI will be leaving and if the EU wants a border, hard or otherwise, they can pay for it. After all, if the South turned into a back door into the UK and NI I doubt they would complain as the revenues generated simply from transport would be enormous.

        If the IRA wanted to escalate matters (which they won’t as American backing has been lost thanks to 9/11) they have the perfect target in the Brussels bureaucracy. Why would they blame Westminster if the UK stated it doesn’t want any type of border, but the EU does? If anyone violated the Good Friday agreement it would be the EU, not the UK.

        And if the EU wanted any help in dealing with the IRA by the experts (us) they can damn well pay for it as a UK profitable enterprise providing advice and intelligence. France can provide the security service as they are being so bloody minded about the entire concept of Brexit. After all, it cost many British soldiers lives to gather that intelligence over many bloody years.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        November 19, 2018 1:45 pm

        Hotscot parading his ignorance for all to see once again.

        The issue with the Irish border is that if border controls are not introduced on goods ENTERING IRELAND then any old crap can freely circulate within the Common Regulatory Area. The EU couldn’t give a f*ck about what enters the UK. Stupid people who failed to understand the Common Regulatory Area and campaigned for ‘no deal’ are why we have been stitched up with such an appallingly bad deal even I would think ‘no deal’ might be better. At least with no deal we can join Efta and remain in the EEA and CRA – May’s deal bans that.

      • A C Osborn permalink
        November 19, 2018 4:38 pm

        What, “any old crap” just as it does now through every one of our borders?
        You are obviously a europhile with your insults.

      • BLACK PEARL permalink
        November 19, 2018 7:39 pm

        I would suspect the Irish boarder to be totally porous as it is anyway.
        The lying witch needs to go
        If only I had a couple of armed Tanks at my disposal

      • HotScot permalink
        November 20, 2018 1:13 am

        Gerry, England

        Southern Ireland operates within the regulatory mechanism of the EU therefore it conforms to it’s trading standards. Any goods coming into Eire must conform to those standards, many of them from the EU.

        If the EU choose not to create their own border at the NI border then goods can freely flow from Eire into NI and thereafter across to the mainland UK without restriction, not a problem as we’re buying EU goods. But they can also flow in the other direction. The problem the EU has is tariffs and taxes, both ways, which they are desperate to levy.

        Goods going in the opposite direction are free to travel without EU standards, tariffs and taxes if Eire considers that a fair trade. It might not be what the EU demands and if not, they are free to set up a border between NI and Eire, and endure the consequences.

        The goods crossing from the UK into NI can be traded with any country in the world through Eire and the UK would reap the benefits of avoiding taxes and tariffs. The NI Eire issue then represents a rogue environment free from the restrictive trade practices of the EU, thereby potentially wholly corrupting Eire. There goes another EU nation!

        Had May stated an intention to leave the EU with no deal unless the EU came up with a viable alternative we might not be stuck with the crappy option we have now.

        European bureaucrats aren’t interested in trade really, they are interested in maintaining a bureaucratic and political stranglehold over every member state they can recruit.

        If Eire corrupted the system on the back of the UK, Italy would probably be next to leave in very quick order and borders amongst the rest of the EU wouldn’t be respected by anyone.

        Former Eastern Bloc members of the EU have forged an alliance objecting to overbearing regulation. The UK isn’t alone here.

  4. November 19, 2018 11:58 am

    The British won’t rise up in mass protest like the French however if the UK Political ‘Elite’ continue to conspire to keep us in the EU, albeit under a different name, I firmly believe we’ll see a rise in far right support. More so if they continue to implement ill conceived environmental policies that lead to soaring energy and food costs. It may take 10-15 years but we’ll see here what is now happening in France and Germany, with far right parties gaining substantial public support.

    Trying to label all anti-immigration conversation as racism or terrorism to avoid actually doing anything about it is just pushing things underground where it will emerge in future years to bite them on the bum.

    Let us not forget that Marine Le Penne got 34% of the vote in the last French election, a figure almost equalling our currently elected Tory government share of the vote in our last UK election.

    The Political Establishment managed to quash the UKIP/BNP vote a few years back by pretending to take on board public feelings on free movement and mass immigration, going almost as far as putting key UKIP policy into their manifesto. Labour and Conservative parties spent considerable air time convincing us they had listened to the people and taken on board our concerns. I admit, I fell for it and voted Tory. Now it seems this was all entirely a charade and behind closed doors they have done everything they can to frustrate Brexit and keep us in the EU. I don’t think the public will forget this. If a far right/anti-EU/anti-immigration/anti-CAGW party emerges now I suspect it will gain considerable support in future elections. Conservatives and Labour have lost the trust of 17 million voters and have managed to create even more mistrust of our political system and democracy, something that was already in tatters before this latest scandal.

    Will they ever learn? I suspect not, or at least not until the ‘silent majority’ in the UK (the taxpayers, hard workers and generally fleeced people) stand up and take to the streets in protest in their millions.

    • November 19, 2018 12:02 pm

      sorry, should have been Marine Le Pen! (I blame auto correct 😉 )

    • HotScot permalink
      November 19, 2018 12:30 pm


      Please be careful with your use of the term ‘far right’.

      I am as far right as one can get, I support the UK Libertarian Party, a peaceful political organisation devoted to a small government, freedom of trade, freedom of speech, democracy and low taxes. There is nothing in it’s manifesto about wearing Jack boots and carrying swastika’s.

      Indeed, the ‘far right’ as commonly depicted by the media is fascism, pure and simple, which is the spawn of the left wing namely Mussolini, who Hitler admired.

      • November 19, 2018 1:04 pm

        Yeah, by ‘Far Right’, I’m talking about ‘right of centre’ politics, what would have been the preserve of many conservatives in the not too distant past and would include UKIP etc.

        I should have put quotes around the ‘far right’ to highlight that the left/liberal elite has now effectively branded all right of centre politics as ‘Far Right’.

        Sadly the current Tory party is basically a left/liberal entity now, roughly inline with Tony Blairs centrist New Labour IMHO

        We seem to have no real ‘Right of centre’ party to choose from. You can have extreme left (Corbyn and McDonald), left (Lib Dems) or slightly left (Conservatives) 😉

        Anybody that supports capitalism, low tax economy, denies CAGW, wants to curb immigration or wants to have reliable and cheap energy has nowhere to vote as far as I can see. Hence my suggestion that a ‘Far Right’ party will gain votes if one comes along. By that I am talking something like UKIP V2 (albeit with some decent and sensible leadership and policy), I am not talking BNP. However I would be surprised if extreme far right parties like the BNP did not gain support after the latest disgraceful and traitorous behaviour by May/Tories.

      • keith permalink
        November 19, 2018 3:48 pm

        Sorry, I disagree. What we have is a Communist Party and Socialist Conservative Party, thanks to Cameron and May.

      • bob nielsen permalink
        November 20, 2018 12:10 am

        Mudfun ukip is centre right. they oppose teresa may and her surrender to the EU and they oppose the climate change act and all the green bullshit. Ukip is on the right track though need more support. They have to work with the people who will put the time in, and yes, many are enthusiastic but not very capable. Time you put you money where your mouth is me thinks and do something.
        Yes. ive joined. They’re not perfect but they oppose the EU and Teresa’s surrender and they want to scrap the CC act, thats enough to get behind.

  5. JimW permalink
    November 19, 2018 1:11 pm

    Its a strange contradictory world.
    Trump is an individual enigma. Unfortunately his populist views are not shared by many in his own party. The general demographics in the US are against him. If the Dems find a charismatic challenger in 2020, they will win. The ‘French revolution’ philosophy is overwhelming the ‘American revolution’ philosophy in its own back yard.
    Yet the French themselves continue to demonstrate that whilst they continue to cling lovingly to their social contract, they will not be pushed round by their Parisian elite who wish to join in the global ‘virtue signalling’ to climate change.

  6. MrGrimNasty permalink
    November 19, 2018 1:36 pm

    “I could not help noticing the contrast!”

    Same as every other sane person not blinded by ideology and dogma – I already made the same point on a Heller’s blog yesterday.

    In the UK we often allow policy to be dictated by a tiny minority of loud useful idiot anarchists, and the masses shrug their shoulders and just get on with life.

    But the pain that the CAGW franchise is about to inflict will not be quietly accepted by the masses.

  7. Gamecock permalink
    November 19, 2018 1:47 pm

    ‘The French government approved a measure in late 2017 increasing a direct tax on diesel as well as a tax on carbon, allegedly to fight against climate change.’

    It’s just a tax. The climate chatter is to get the people to accept it.

    I’m pleased to see people not accepting it!

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    November 19, 2018 1:52 pm

    It would seem that Marine Le Pen’s plan of giving the left another term to screw things up and deliver her the job next time is working out very well.

    The French have always thrown a good protest, often because their police sympathise with them and don’t do anything about it. Will the person killed be immortalised as a victim of ‘climate change’? It appears to have been a genuine accident rather than anyone disagreeing with the blockade. If they have the backing of 78% of the population, how can the police do anything anyway. Makes you think about what we could achieve if we wanted to. Remember how the police left the streets to the rioters a few years back.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 20, 2018 1:18 am

      Gerry, England

      Don’t blame the Police for leaving the streets of Tottenham, that was a political decision.

  9. November 19, 2018 2:24 pm

    the looming climate crisis

    Looming in their overheated imaginations, that is.

  10. Bitter@twisted permalink
    November 19, 2018 5:05 pm

    The usual English rent-a-mob of rich, middle-class, anarchists.
    Put them all in clink.

  11. November 19, 2018 5:19 pm

    Reblogged this on HiFast News Feed.

  12. November 19, 2018 6:09 pm

    Hi hotscot, this article probably describes my thoughts (re: potential rise in far right/populism) and is written in a far superior way than my comment above. It is a long article but I think is worth the read.

    • HotScot permalink
      November 20, 2018 1:19 am


      Obliged, I’ll have a read. But I get where you’re coming from and I agree with you, as I think most others here do.

      • alexei permalink
        November 20, 2018 2:59 am

        mud4fun – hear! hear! However, sadly, I would not count on Brexiteers to get themselves out on the street protesting in the manner of their French neighbours, though I would love to be wrong ……

  13. Charles Pickles permalink
    November 20, 2018 7:51 am

    The thrusts of the points made here I sent to my MP the other day, with the added recommendation that the civil service coterie spanning UK and in The Commission in Brussels ought be audited. One is the training ground for the other. I watched their machinations when based in Belgium for 4 years in the 90’s, and then I was appalled at the arrogance and total disrespect for ordinary people in their conversations both at work and in the cafés where they were not backward on how to wield more power!

  14. November 20, 2018 8:30 am

    @bob Nielsen

    “Mudfun ukip is centre right. they oppose teresa may and her surrender to the EU and they oppose the climate change act and all the green bullshit. Ukip is on the right track though need more support. They have to work with the people who will put the time in, and yes, many are enthusiastic but not very capable. Time you put you money where your mouth is me thinks and do something.”

    Hi Bob, I voted UKIP prior to the 2017 election. I voted Tory in 2017 because I genuinely believed the political establishment had been shaken by the referendum result and had taken on board the message they had been sent by the public.

    I now know just how naïve I was in placing my trust in them. It won’t happen again! The political elite across all parties have now shown us their true colours. Their gross contempt of the general public and their gross betrayal of democracy has been on full display for two years. It will not be quickly forgotten this time. If we end up locked into EU via the backstop or we end up with a ‘peoples vote’ that is deliberately weighted to keep us in the EU then the political elite will have guaranteed the next decade or two will see a sharp rise in the very thing they fear – right wing, far right and populist parties and the chance a ‘Trump’ will appear in UK politics. It may take 20 years but the green blob would be under much greater risk of extinction in the UK if that happened.

    UKIP spent far too much time talking about minor issues such as veils. They need to focus on low tax economy, free trade with the rest of world, building up our Primary and tertiary industrial sectors, skilled jobs etc. All they needed to do on immigration is commit to pre-90 levels (eg. tens of thousands), no need to focus on individual groups of immigrants at all. The ‘Borg’ and their plans to assimilate the UK would be effectively thwarted by an immigration policy that focused on skilled worker movement with safeguards.

  15. Europeanonion permalink
    November 20, 2018 9:30 am

    Following Paul’s many contradictions of BBC output, including this one, I have raised a complaint with them (Case number CAS-5188170-5FJFJV). They are all too ready to promote their wonderful output but more reticent about airing complaints. I have suggested that they have a programme dedicated to actual complaints and their resolution. This might be a way of politicising Paul’s work. What a stalwart he is. This is a person that should be in the Honours list but, like so many, will be ignored in favour of the dullards and kowtowers.

  16. Rowland P permalink
    November 20, 2018 12:10 pm

    Read all about it!, Subscribe for free!

  17. saparonia permalink
    November 20, 2018 1:35 pm

    Please don’t call people “hippies” . I’m just over 60 years old, I was there at the time this term was coined. It was an insult and created as they always do to minimise and degrade any sort of free thought. Insults of this sort are used to degrade whatever it is that the targeted people say and do.

    “HIPPIE” was coined in America against people who argued against Vietnam, while swallowing all the mind altering substances introduced by the very people they protested against.

    But, the ones that become big business, such as the musicians of that era e.g. Pink Floyd etc are made into idols. I knew some of these people, hanging around Cambridge in the early 70’s. The ones who did’nt get rich and those who did, those few who survived are just ordinary people who shared an ideal and some got rich on it.

    People protesting against the ruin of Mother Earth are not “hippies”. Neither are those protesting against the people who do the ruining. They may be on the wrong track but their hearts are good.

    Please continue to educate and hopefully some light will dawn in the hearts of those who think that marching about will change anything.

    We all weep for the violation of our planet but people must realise that natural forces, e.g. global dynamics, are beyond our control and greed for money is the factor that needs removing. According to reliable predictions (e.g. Socrates, the super computer built by Martin Armstrong.) this will happen anyway.

    It’s time to puit some tins away and grow veggies in the cellar. This is not “hippie-talk”.

  18. manicbeancounter permalink
    November 21, 2018 9:09 am

    I also noted the contrast between the !EXTINCTION REBELLION! (!XR!) protests in London and the those across France.
    As the name suggests XR believe “human-caused (anthropogenic) climate breakdown alone is enough to wipe out the human species by the end of this century”. Yet they do not follow through on this vision of global apocalypse in the policies they advocate. Those are all about applying their weird and shallow views to a British context. The source of the other 99% of emissions that they believe will cause the global apocalypse is largely ignored, as are the beliefs of the vast majority of British people.
    The “gilets jaunes” protest is a genuinely mass protest movement with immediate, concrete, aims and have the approval of the vast majority of French public.
    The contrast is important for reducing emissions. Whilst most advocates of climate alarmism are not so apocalyptic are XR, they share in common the belief that only their beliefs matter, and ought to be imposed on everyone else. What will prevent the reduction in global emissions is that political priorities are usually based on the more immediate concerns like tax rises. These must be suppressed globally for decades to achieve the climate alarmists aims.

  19. Peter permalink
    November 22, 2018 8:13 am

    On the other side of the world, the Korean government just cut the taxes on fuels by an average of 15%:|home|newslist1

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