Thursday, 16 January 2014

Francois Hollande - is he still Ed Miliband's "Bon Ami"?

"This new leadership is sorely needed as Europe seeks to escape from austerity … He has shown that the centre-Left can offer hope and win elections with a vision of a better, more equal and just world." Ed Miliband's words on President Hollande's election victory in 2012

France now sees negative growth in Q3, unemployment at 11 per cent and rising, 75% taxes, public spending as a percentage of GDP second-highest in the eurozone, unions kidnapping business leaders [I kid you not – see the Goodyear story], and I have totally ignored the President’s private life. Yesterday at PMQs things went from bad to worse for Ed with the last question of the day:

Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire) (Con):
"The Leader of the Opposition has said, “What Hollande is doing in France I want to do in Britain.” Given recent events across the channel, does my right hon. Friend agree that that is completely at odds with our long-term economic plan?"

The Prime Minister:
"I did not catch all of President Hollande’s press conference yesterday, because I was appearing in front of the Liaison Committee, but one thing that I did notice is that the French proposals now are to cut spending in order to cut taxes in order to make the economy more competitive. Perhaps the shadow Chancellor, in his new silent form, will want to consider some of those ideas and recognise that this revolution of making business more competitive and trying to win in the global race is a proper plan for the economy."