Macron’s ratings are heading down towards room temperature (Celsius), which exerts an unbearable pressure on his already overburdened mind.
And it’s worse than just the opinion polls. The French tend to express their disapproval of the government not only by talking to pollsters but also by burning cars, building barricades and tossing bricks through elegant shop windows.
Now, since Manny has announced his intention to raise petrol taxes even higher, the rioting season is about to start, and Manny is going off the rails.
Symptoms of an incipient mental disorder were particularly evident the other day, when Manny explained to the seething French that what they need in their lives isn’t affordable petrol but a united European army.
The need for it, according to Manny, is urgent – how else can we “protect ourselves against Russia, China and even the United States of America”? He didn’t mention Britain explicitly, but I’m sure in his febrile mind it’s but a subset of a vast, hostile entity called les anglo-saxons.
These are the countries Manny sees as immediate geopolitical threats to Europe, the kind of threats that only a pan-European army, presumably led by Angie as Generalissimo and Manny as Chief of the General Staff, can preempt or, barring that, repel.
Or perhaps I’ve got the pecking order wrong. After all, Manny sees himself as a present-day Charlemagne, the natural leader of a united Europe. Since after we leave the EU France will be the only nuclear power in the good part of Europe, perhaps it should be Manny taking charge.
I’m sure some modern answer to David and Delacroix has already been commissioned to paint Manny, sabre in hand, astride a white steed. May I suggest Toujours de l’audace! as the title of the painting?
Conceivably one can see how Russia can be cast in the role of potential aggressor, what with the increasingly bellicose noises emanating from the Kremlin. So, should the Russian army sweep across the plains of central Europe, Manny will be the first to man the Maginot Line, whatever is left of it after Germany’s previous attempt to unite Europe.
However, it’s not immediately clear why a pan-European army is required to counter the China threat – which isn’t to say that no threat exists. However, in any foreseeable future, China’s threat to France is economic, not military.
After all, the distance between the two countries is a densely populated 5,000 miles, which is a long hike even for a well-trained army, especially since it might have to fight its way through a few other countries en route.
Of course, China may opt for a massive ICBM strike instead, but then it’ll be down to France alone to retaliate, with other EU members watching from the sidelines. The Bulgarian, Romanian or even German contingents will realise that their small arms are useless against nuclear blasts.
Discounting therefore China as an immediate military threat, we move on to the looming menace of les anglo-saxons, with les yanquis leading the way and les rosbifs bringing up the rear.
As these abominable characters demonstrated on 6, June, 1944, they have the knowhow to get a vast force across La Manche and wipe the floor with Germany, united with France at the time and, come to think of it, at present as well.
One can see Manny’s point: France wouldn’t be able to resist such an invasion on her own, what with US and British armour rolling through the Channel Tunnel, oblivious of the beefed-up customs checks.
Hence the need for all continental countries to hang together, hoping les anglo-saxons don’t join forces with Russia, which will then stab France in the back – the way those ghastly Italians did in 1940.
If this is the way Manny’s geopolitical cookie crumbles, call for the men in white coats. An early diagnosis and immediate treatment just may take care of the problem before things like frontal lobotomy become necessary.
I think his foster mother Brigitte will be remiss in her duty of care if she ignores the emerging clinical picture. Act now, Bridge, before it’s too late.
Manny should read his briefings to learn that a united army able to stop Russia in her tracks already exists. It’s called NATO, which admittedly depends on les yanquis to remain a formidable force.
If Manny were medicated to get rid of his delirium about the impending US threat, he’d realise that simply matching the EU defence budgets with American (in GDP percentage terms) will provide all the military protection Europe will ever need.
And if he wants to fight les yanquis and the Chinese on the economic battleground, he should make France friendlier to business, both domestic and international.
Cutting taxes (including those on petrol) would be a good start, followed by stepping on the unions and a vast reduction in red tape (the amount of it in France looks insane even to les rosbifs, themselves no slouches when it comes to bureaucracy).
However, even suggesting this sort of thing to Manny is impossible. That’s like asking a madman who insists that he’s Napoleon to change his tack and declare himself Charlemagne instead.
For Manny is what psychiatrists call a monomaniac. He doesn’t really care about improving the business climate in France, any more than is absolutely necessary for his re-election.
Nor does he have sleepless nights about the 82nd Airborne securing a bridgehead in Normandy. Manny’s fixation is on one subject only: a single European state, ideally with him at the helm.
Merging the armed forces of all EU members would take a huge stride towards that goal, for a country whose army isn’t under its own command is no longer a sovereign country.
Hence all the gallimaufry that comes out of Manny’s mouth, about the danger of the US joining forces with China to crush France in a pincer manoeuvre, with Russia chipping in from the north.
Manny had a rare flash of lucidity in the same speech, when he spoke about the threat of fascism in Europe.
Indeed, the National Front, or whatever it calls itself now, already outpolls Manny’s own party in France, while populist, in fact crypto-fascist, parties are making inroads in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Italy and elsewhere.
Yet Manny’s brittle mental health prevents him from realising that this worrying development is a direct reaction to what Euromaniacs like him are doing to Europe: stamping national identities into the dirt and replacing them with bondage to the throng of corrupt and unaccountable bureaucrats.
I must put a quiet word in Brigitte’s shell-like, to the effect that there’s plenty of work still to be done on Manny – provided his treatment works.