French Bashing in the UK

french bashingLa France fait l’objet de vives critiques dans la presse anglo-saxone. Ce French bashing est réactivé par la publication d’un article de City AM, qui a été notamment l’occasion pour les Français de clarifier certains préjugés…


Not a week goes by without a British newspaper criticizing France’s policies or economic decay. For example, the alleged affair between the French President and French actress Julie Gayet has been a good opportunity for British newspapers, to criticize Mr Hollande.


On January 7th, the British economic daily City AM, published an article titled “France’s failed socialist experiment is turning into a tragedy”. The journalist Allister Heath blamed France’s crisis  on “its overbearing state, horrendously high tax levels, insane regulations”.

Interpreted as a new example of French bashing, the French embassy didn’t take long to retaliate. Indeed, two days after this, it corrected on its website “10 accounts on which City A.M. has got it wrong on France”. In this reply, it also highlighted the failing British National Health Service, unlike the French one.

But the issue wasn’t settled with this and the situation went from bad to worse. Indeed the British reaction was all the more violent and it didn’t only come from journalists and newspapers, it also came from MPs and politicians.

Thus did Tory MP Mark Garnier depict the social and economic situation in France as apocalyptic arguing that “riots, criminal union activities, sluggish economy, questionable data outputs and a wider socialist agenda do not paint a picture of a country in the spring of its economic cycle”.

Plus, the embassy and France were not the only targets of critics. François Hollande’s affair with Julie Gayet was once more brought to center stage but his economic policy has been criticized too, as Brooks Newmark, Tory member of the influential Commons Treasury Committee, stated: “Francois Hollande seems to manage his country’s financial affairs as well as his personal affairs.” Seems that the incident is not really about to find its resolution…

Nathan DUFOUR & Yasmine BEN YAHIA



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