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Oh no! The commies might be back!

by Jerome a Paris Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:11:10 AM EST

French industry warns of brain drain

If Ségolène Royal is elected president in May it will trigger an exodus of people from France’s financial and biotechnology sectors to London and other foreign cities, according to some of the country’s top business leaders.

(...)

“If Ségolène Royal wins, we will go back to the situation we had with Mitterrand between 1981 and 1983. But it would be three-times worse,” said the chairman of one CAC40 company, referring to François Mitterrand, the last leftwing president of France.

“There are many French people who are ready to leave the country. Mitterrand was quite pragmatic, able to shift his position after a couple of years when he saw it was not working. But Ms Royal is ideologically fixed on her position,” the chairman said.

Can you imagine? Ségolène Royal is worse than commie-lover Mitterrand? France is on its way to the dark ages (which it has never left anyway). Pity us.

More deconstruction here in the comments.


Display:
I wrote 'commie-lover' because that's how he was described then, and because he took them in his government, and had a joint programme with them.

But he was actually a quite determined adversary of communism in practice.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:13:10 AM EST
Absolutely true.

And Marchais and the PCF might nominally have gotten behind his first Presidential bid in the mid-seventies, but they did everything they could to make that support as soft as possible (no mobilization, for instance, something the PCF was very much known for) because they knew he was an adversary.

Which, once in government together, they were to see confirmed.

by redstar on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 11:26:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And it does not matter that it's actually the UK that has a brain drain and not France (the only one of the big European economies not to have a drain viz. other rich countries, actually)

If I remember the OECD stats correctly, these numbers come from the early 90s, i.e. when France had a socialist government including communist ministers.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:17:47 AM EST
from the early 2000s.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:27:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While I'm on my own on this thread, here's a draft LTE.


Dear Sir,

On today's front page of the European edition, you print a scaremongering story about a possible brain drain from France should Ségolène Royal be elected, recalling what one could read in the "good old times" of the Cold War in the 70s. While it is your job to report what France's top leaders are saying, it would also be appropriate to provide facts on the matter - fact that you actually provided not so long ago... In your edition dated 18 May 2006, Simon Briscoe presented a graph showing the net migrations of graduates to and from various countries in the early 2000s. That graph (attached) showed that France was the only large European country without a large brain drain to other industrialised countries, while the UK had the worst such brain drain. And that for a period when France had a government including communist ministers.

If you don't like Ségolène Royal, that is your prerogative, but it would certainly be better if such bias could be avoided in what are meant to be factual articles, and kept in your editorial section.



In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:34:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
fact that you actually provided not so long ago...

facts.

France was the only large European country without a large brain drain to other industrialised countries, while the UK had the worst such brain drain. And that for a period when France had a government including communist ministers.

France was the only major European country without a large brain drain to other industrialised countries, while the highest brain drain occurred with respect to the UK. And this was at a time when France had a left-wing government, even including communist ministers!

If you don't like Ségolène Royal, that is your prerogative, but it would certainly be better if such bias could be avoided in what are meant to be factual articles, and kept in your editorial section.

It's entirely the prerogative of the Financial Times to oppose Ségolène Royal's candidature. But the reputation of your newspaper would be better served if such bias were kept to the editorial section, and carefully avoided in what purport to be factual articles.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:16:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would suggest strengthening the last section. It would not just be better to keep opinions to the editorial pages, but it is inappropriate to allow them to permeate throughout the news sections. And it is distressing that this happens.

If you don't like Ségolène Royal, that is your prerogative, but it would certainly be better if such bias could be avoided in what are meant to be factual articles, and kept in your editorial section.

My suggestion:
If you don't like Ségolène Royal, that is your prerogative, but it is distressing that such bias seems to inappropriately influence the reporting in what is meant to be factual articles. Surely it is enough that such opinions be expressed in your editorial section, where they belong.

by someone (s0me1smail(a)gmail(d)com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:19:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would just change "meant to be" to "purported to be" -- since it's doubtful that the article was really MEANT to be factual.

Karen in Austin

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher

by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 09:11:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
(Break up the first paragraph for easier reading.)

I envision future LTE´s ending with the "ET signature catapult", like

"...just today XXX members at eurotrib.com have fully suscribed this letter..."

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:50:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We can do this by counting the number of "4" ratings on the comment giving the final version of the LTE.

I fully subscribe to the letter, and to the catapult.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 06:11:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There are at least 2-3 items a day that would call for an LTE and 1. we may do some progressive good, 2. it would spread the name of ET.

Just today I sent a comment to cnn.com ((about the blatant omission of the US in the child poverty article that finger-points at the UK (bruno-ken in Salon de News)) and it would be much more effective if it came from a collective.  

Technically, I leave it to others, but maybe just an asterisk in front of the title would alert us of an LTE in progress, so we can participate.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 07:17:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I would add a new category of post (separate from Diaries and Stories), the "LTE". It would go into the "editorial queue" and, once finished, it would go into a "publication queue" and post either to the front page or to the "LTE" section of the website. LTEs would time out of the editorial queue after, say, 2h, at which point they'd be ready to be submitted.

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 09:24:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
thanks to afew and someone.


Dear Sir,
On today's front page of the European edition, you print a scaremongering story about a possible brain drain from France should Ségolène Royal be elected, recalling what one could read in the "good old times" of the Cold War in the 70s ("French industry warns of brain drain").

While it is your job to report what France's top leaders are saying, it would also be appropriate to provide facts on the matter - facts that you actually printed in your own columns not so long ago... In your edition dated 18 May 2006, Simon Briscoe presented a graph showing the net migrations of graduates to and from various countries in the early 2000s. That graph (attached) showed that France was the only major European country without a large brain drain to other industrialised countries, while the highest brain drain occurred with respect to the UK. And this was at a time when France had a left-wing government, even including communist ministers!

It's entirely the prerogative of the Financial Times to oppose Ségolène Royal's candidature, but it is distressing that such bias seems to inappropriately influence the reporting in what is meant to be factual articles. The reputation of your newspaper would be better served if such opinions were kept to the editorial section, where they belong, and carefully avoided in front page headlines.




In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 06:27:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
what is meant to be factual articles

what are meant...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 07:02:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
with your correction.

Thanks!

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 08:00:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Good letter composed with committe input.

I would've simply wrote

FT, lickspittle of the wealthy and powerful, once again, you prove that you suck.
by redstar on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 11:28:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think they're referring to Johnny Halliday getting Belgian citizenship...

"Dieu se rit des hommes qui se plaignent des conséquences alors qu'ils en chérissent les causes" Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet
by Melanchthon on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:13:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Although, if all Sarkosupporters leave the country before the elections...

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde
by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:15:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sounds like they're pulling an Alec Baldwin to me.

"If George W Bush wins, I'm moving to Canada!"

"The basis of optimism is sheer terror" - Oscar Wilde

by NordicStorm (m<-at->sturmbaum.net) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:30:18 AM EST
Shorter FT: "Labour mobility is bad".

Personally, I predict that if Royal is elected, France will be invaded by flying monkeys with umbrellas. Umbrellas with pictures of Dachshunds on them.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:35:45 AM EST
Let me see... of the factors of production, capital mobility is good, labour mobility is bad. We are also want free movement of goods and services, but not of people.

This is what money wants, but if people called the shots it might be quite different (more labour mobility, less capital mobility, freer movement of people).

That's the difference between "people votes" (democracy) and "money votes" (capitalism), to use the terminology of [Nobel Prize winner Paul] Samuelson's introductory textbook on Economics. [Barf]

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:06:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A brain-drain is as probable if Sarkozy wins, too. I'd bet he won't really increase research funding - a major component of the brain drain actually happening in France - and the brains encapsulated in a darker skin might well decide that they are fed up with Police harrassment and go else where, too.

Un roi sans divertissement est un homme plein de misères
by linca (antonin POINT lucas AROBASE gmail.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:46:34 AM EST

Policies challenge 'open Europe'

Ségolène Royal's popularity in some of the big power centres of the European Union has been sinking almost as fast as her recent poll ratings in France.

Let's perpetuate the idea that her polls are "falling". She has been a couple of points below Sarkozy for the past month, but that can hardly be called 'falling'. Never mind.


Her manifesto for a "New France" came as confirmation to her critics that her interventionist and protective economic outlook could stand in the way of the open, free-market economy being championed in Brussels.

The above sentence is factual, but it's hard not to get the feeling that the FT somehow approves those "critics". Opposition to neoliberalism is illegitimate and cannot be tolerated is the message I get.


The "open Europe" tendency has been gaining the upper hand, reflected by the appointment of José Manuel Barroso as European Commission president in 2004, backed by Angela Merkel, German chancellor, and Tony Blair, British prime minister.

Merkel was Chancellor when Barroso was chosen? That's new... Nice re-writing of history to claim that Germany is on the "right" side of the debate.

And that claim to the "open Europe" moniker - as opposed to what? Soon we'll need a "pro-choice" to face off the "pro-life" moniker. so let's oppose "fair Europe" to "open Europe".


For example, Ms Royal's promise to merge EDF and Gaz de France into a single nationalised utility hardly smacks of the kind of deregulated and competitive energy market being promoted by Mr Barroso.

It sure doesn't, and yet it delivers lower prices. Funny, that.


"She doesn't look very reformist," said Gerrit Zalm, Dutch finance minister, in an FT interview this week.

(...)

But a Sarkozy victory could offer the EU a route out of the impasse on its stalled constitution: he wants to ratify a slimmed-down treaty by parliamentary vote, bypassing the French public who rejected the text in a referendum.

Yep, because "bypassing the French public" sure is "open".

Sigh. Grrr. Gah. Meh. Words fail.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 04:59:29 AM EST

EU condemns member states over renditions

European governments "turned a blind eye" to the illegal transportation of alleged terrorists through their countries to face possible torture, a hard-hitting European parliament report concluded yesterday.

After a heated debate, the Strasbourg assembly voted to "condemn extraordinary rendition as an illegal instrument used by the US in the fight against terrorism [and] condemn the acceptance and concealing of the practice . . . by the secret services and governmental authorities of certain European countries". It said the innocent victims, such as Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen wrongly sent to the detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, should be compensated.

While the starkest criticism of the UK, Ireland and Poland was rejected after lobbying by national governments, the report contained some damning conclusions.
(...)

The report, approved by 382 votes to 256 with 74 abstentions, said that 1,245 Central Intelligence Agency operated flights stopped over at European airports between the end of 2001 and the end of 2005.

It said the UK, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Ireland allowed CIA flights to stop over without proper controls. Austria, Italy and Sweden failed to protect residents from torture who were seized at US insistence.

Open Europe all right. Open to torture.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:03:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
why would anyone leave France for the UK?  Most jobs in the UK pay for shit.  
by HiD on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:06:44 AM EST
There is no way I could get the same job I have now and earn the same here as I do in London (to be fair, taking into account the fact that I have 3 kids, and - maybe that's inappropriate - expecting the same standards of living in terms of neighborhood, housing and schooling (not even considering healthcare with my particular situation))

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:29:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and earn the same here as I do in London

? Seems "here" and "London" have been permuted ?

by balbuz on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:48:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There's no way I could earn as much in London as I do here in Paris, on a net (after housing and schooling) basis.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 06:12:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I thought it was brutal compared to the US a decade ago but now it's unreal.  

Maybe if all your skilled folk run away, I can get a retirement job in Paris with my 100 words of schoolboy french?  I promise not to talk loud and wear white sneakers and shorts.

by HiD on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 06:06:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And do take off that cow-boy hat too !
by balbuz on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 06:34:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I boycott Texas!  Don't even like to change planes there.
by HiD on Fri Feb 16th, 2007 at 12:29:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering the likely correlation between people planning to leave and right wing neo-lib lunacy, 'good riddance' seems like a fair reaction.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 05:43:16 AM EST
It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the writer of this FT article got the idea of French financial and technology experts leaving France in the event of a win by Ségolène Royal from this much-linked interview of French blogger and Sarkozy "Internet advisor" Loïc Le Meur on France2 on 12 February 2007, in which Le Meur declares at the end:

FR2: Et que ferez-vous si votre candidat est battu ?

LLM: Je suis très optimiste. Mais si la gauche l'emporte, je m'installerai à San Francisco. C'est là où les choses se passent, là où l'on créé.[sic]

Nothing shown statistically but just "a feeling" that's picked up by a certain agenda-driven media and then repeated over and over as if a fact. (Hmm, where have we seen this before?)

by Edouard (edouard@salebetedeletethis.net) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 08:22:13 AM EST
Le Meur hasn't heard of Nuxeo, has he?

"It's the statue, man, The Statue."
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 09:00:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
He'd prefer the People's Republic of Nancy Pelosi and Newsom Gavin to a France (mis)ruled by Royal!
by Matt in NYC on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 09:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Mitterand was a Commie-lover?

Biggest mistake Marchais ever made was going in for that all the way. It destroyed the PCF. They were right in their assessment of Mitterand back in the 1970's, and he did largely them in when he finally came to power.

by redstar on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 09:21:40 AM EST
to read the comments, too (see the first one).

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 10:24:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Heh. You're right. I've been so busy (just closed a deal) that I am running a bit roughshod lately and not paying attention as I would like.

'Course, it was, anecdotally at least, true that quite a few people did leave France in the early- and mid-'90's. But let's not forget who was in charge at the time - it sure wasn't Mitterand (even when he was still President).  

As for me, the prof I was closest to basically told me it was time to leave in 1994. My wife didn't want to, it was very hard, moving with all your things and also your children is quite difficult, but getting the obligatory 5-7 years professional experience every cadremploi job listing seemed to require at the time, and then come back with the requisite cv, seemed important at the time. I was American too so it was easy for me back then, which went into his thinking. So here we came all of us, wife and kids in tow.

And when I got here, I found I was not alone, and when I ended up in b-school in the US (had planned to return to insead but my son fell ill so that wasn't possible in the end), there were actually quite a few fellow French including one other from La Seyne s/Mer, who is now in London. There are quite a few ex-pats here, for instance practically the entire MRI research lab here in Minneapolis is French (the unofficial language at the lab - my best friend here works there) and also for a time I had both a senior analyst from Clermont and an international tax specialist from Lille on my staff of eight, and it wasn't me who hired them.

So there was a bit of a brain drain, or perhaps more a drain of those with some modest ambition, but this came later on and cannot be left to the feet of the socialists. In fact if you look at the employment numbers since 1990, the only time we had it (relatively) good was during Jospin. I sometimes wonder how these market fundamentalists in anglo-counties get their facts wrong in this regard, but then one need not wonder overmuch - they've got a clear agenda, and it is the ultimate goal of neo-liberalism - accumulation of more wealth and power, the people be damned. Or rather, the people be moulded into better a more serviable service class.  As one (right-wing) colleague of mine often says, in the ultimate middle-class expression of the goal of anglo-american liberalism:

service at McDonald's is much better in times of high unemployment.

Non-US readers are reminded that unemployment benefits in the US are pitiful to the point of non-existance. In fact, credit card debt is the primary source of private unemployment insurance in America. A true worker's paradise.

That more equitable forms of social organization actually meliorate labor markets as well should seem like an evidence to me, but then, this is not their goal.

by redstar on Thu Feb 15th, 2007 at 11:15:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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