So the G20 protests were a bit of a damp squib, thanks to tight police controls, but not so in France where the NATO Summit in Strasbourg saw a lot of trouble.
But I was more interested in two other stories.
The first is from the Times and relates to the growing trend in France of 'bossnapping'. If you are angry workers, you just kidnap the boss until he caves in. But now, they are kidnapping the boss's bank manager.
“When (Mr. Sugier) heard that the remaining 135 employees could lose their jobs too because of RBS his blood boiled. Mr.
Sugier led 42 colleagues to the Lyons branch of RBS Factor, which had
agreed to guarantee Préciturn deals worth €500,000 only to change its
mind a day later.
“'I was going to pretend to be a delivery man to
get in', Mr Sugier said. 'But when I rang on the bell, they just opened
the door so we all marched through. They didn’t try to resist — it
takes a lot to stop 42 metal workers.'
“Olivier Douin, the
managing director of RBS Factor, and Sylvain Loiseau, his deputy,
caught a high-speed train from Paris to oversee the talks … Mr. Douin and
Mr. Loiseau were not technically bossnapped, according to Mr. Sugier, who
said that they were free to go to a hotel if they wished.
“'But since we
weren’t budging, they didn’t dare to leave us in the branch on our
So the bank execs slept on the floor until the morning, and then caved in and signed over an extension of borrowings in the form of a cheque for €149,000.
So, bossnapping and banknapping works … vive le revolution!
Oh yes, my other favourite French story this week concerns Mr. Sarkozy.
The Telegraph reports:
“Mr Sarkozy, a man often ridiculed in France for preferring fitness
to literature, has frequently expressed his disdain for "La Princesse
de Cleves" (The Princess of Cleves), a novel by Madame de La Fayette
which was published in 1678 and is taught in most French classrooms.
French readers have adopted the book as a symbol of dissent: as Mr
Sarkozy's popularity falls, sales of the book are rising.
“At the Paris book fair this week, publishers reported selling all
available copies of the novel, while badges emblazoned with the slogan
"I am reading La Princesse de Cleves" were a must-have item that sold
out within hours.”
Apparently the badges are worn by crowd members at any meeting where Mr. Sarkozy is in attendance.
I know we take the mickey out of the French for their ways and manners, but when they're pissed off they really do show it.
Now then, what badge would I wear for Gordon Brown?
Maybe one that says "I saved the whirled" …
Or "My bank owes me money" …
Or "Here's another fine mess you've gotten me into" …
Or "Move over Darling" …