Call Macron any name you like — but not ‘liberal’

first_imgThe Anglo-Saxon, Protestant tradition of individualism — the primacy of individual economic rights and entrepreneurial freedom — has never been powerful in France.Tocqueville, though a great liberal thinker, was more concerned with political and personal freedoms than economic freedom and the power of the market. He warned against the market-driven, despotic power of the “manufacturing aristocracy,” which he saw developing in Britain and the U.S.  The “French Adam Smith,” Frédéric Bastiat, was admired in theory but ignored in practice.French President Emmanuel Macron looks on during a meeting as part of the “great national debate” in Evry-Courcouronnes, on February 4, 2019 | Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty ImagesThe different strands of liberalism — personal freedom and economic freedom — have tended to split within political parties of the left and right in France. Social democratic, radical and progressive parties have campaigned against the spiritual oppression of church and state. Conservative parties have campaigned for economic freedom (up to a point) but have supported state control of morals and ideas. The Bonapartist-Gaullist tradition of reverence for state power remains strong on what remains of the French center right but also in the center left, far left and far right.The only exception, the brief period of “liberal” government in France, was the presidency of Valéry Giscard d’Estaing from 1974-1981. Neither his party — the Parti Républicain — nor the alliance to which it belonged — L’Union pour la démocratie française — dared to use the word “liberal.”In the first part of his presidency, Giscard was a genuinely liberal president. He oversaw economic reforms that reduced the power and cost of the state but also social reforms such as the legalisation of abortion and the removal of state controls from broadcast media. In the second part, as the first great oil crisis undermined his popularity, Giscard reverted to something closer to a typical French conservative president, illiberal both in economic and social policy.Giscard has often been compared to Macron, who did once admit to being “a social liberal.” Macron’s people now prefer the word “centrist” but that has also become a term of abuse. “The word liberal is not a great word in France,” said Luis Garicano, who will contest the EU election for Spain’s Cuidadanos, which is part of the ALDE family.Officials in the LREM say the reasons are more nuancées. As a “party of government” with an overwhelming majority of seats in the National Assembly, Macron’s 3-year-old party is reluctant to commit itself to a group that uneasily unites smallish parties from 21 countries.But one LREM official admitted that the word “liberal” is also an obstacle, especially in the wake of the Yellow Jackets movement.Macron has blown apart, for now, the left-right division in French politics.“In France, the word liberal is rarely used these days except as a term of abuse — as in the term ‘ultra-liberal,’ meaning ultra-capitalist,” the official said. “Macron is accused by the Yellow Jackets of being an ultra-liberal president for the rich. It’s not a label we accept or want to encourage.”Liberalism, the belief in freedom of the individual, was largely defined by British and French intellectuals from the 17th century to the early 19th century, from Locke through Voltaire to J.S. Mill and Alexis de Tocqueville. About 25 percent of French voters are still defined by the country’s pollsters and political scientists as being broadly “liberal” in their views. Interestingly, that coincides almost exactly with Macron’s score in the first round of the presidential election in April 2017 (24.01 percent) and his party’s opinion poll score ahead of the European election in May (22 to 23 percent).In domestic terms Macron is “liberal” in his reforms of taxation, employment law and the state-owned railways.One word, many meaningsThe popular meaning of the word “liberal” has long been variable. In the United States it means “leftie.” In Britain it means “centrist.” In Europe it means secular right-wing — pro-market and pro-individual liberties, anti-state and anti-church.In France, however, the word has taken on the darker meaning of “heartless capitalist.” Liberalism is a force in French politics but it no longer dares to answer to its name.French liberalism was born in the 18th century as an intellectual and mostly bourgeois rebellion against the absolutist powers of church and monarchy and the Jacobin and Napoleonic states. In the 19th century, there were also pro-market French liberal thinkers influenced by Adam Smith, but they failed to budge the French state-interventionist tradition, which went back at least to Jacques-Baptiste Colbert in the 17th century.The French “historian of ideas” Françoise Mélonio pointed out that the vision of a largely beneficial, controlling, protecting state has been accepted in France by both Catholics and Socialists, conservatives and radicals, revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. One branch of “liberal” thought in the early 19th century even supported state power and Bonapartism. PARIS — France still has a Communist Party with a capital C. It has several Trotskyist parties. It has large parties on the right, left and center with meaningless names — Les Républicains, En Marche, Rassemblement National, La France Insoumise. But it has no significant party that confesses to being “liberal.”Emmanuel Macron’s La République En Marche (LREM) is in many respects a liberal party. It is engaged in a coy flirtation with the liberal group in the European Parliament ahead of the election in May — but it refuses to fully jump into bed with the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).Why? Former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing meets inhabitants of Mende on May 7, 1981. | Gabriel Duval/AFP via Getty ImagesMacron has blown apart, for now, the left-right division in French politics. His natural supporters tend to be people who are open to both market economics and personal freedoms — in other words natural liberals. But they amount, according to French political scientists, to at most 25 to 30 percent of the electorate.In domestic terms Macron is “liberal” in his reforms of taxation, employment law and the state-owned railways. In European terms, he is “interventionist” in his desire to see more trade protection, stronger governance of the eurozone and a new budget to protect the single currency from future crises.According to Garicano of Spain’s Ciudadanos, it is a “done deal” that Macron’s party will join the “liberal group” after the May election. The enlarged group expects to be the strongest voice for Europe and against populist nationalism in the new assembly.It will also probably drop the word “liberal” from its title.John Lichfield is a former foreign editor of the Independent and was the newspaper’s Paris correspondent for 20 years.  Also On POLITICO Why the Yellow Jacket movement is a gift to Macron By Nicholas Vinocur Macron’s liberal love affair goes cold By Maïa de La Baumelast_img read more

Chief Medical Officer explains testing procedure for quarantined individuals

first_img Oct 16, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 (Basseterre, St. Kitts, May 10, 2020 – SKNIS): Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hazel Laws has assured residents of St. Kitts and Nevis that persons currently in quarantine will be tested for COVID-19 before the 14-day period ends. The tests using the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) involves placing a swab deep into a patient’s nose. Dr. Laws prepared the students for the test, warning that it’s not painful but can be somewhat uncomfortable. As such, testing is done toward the end of the quarantine period. More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… “They were not tested immediately upon returning into the federation because if we had done so the students would have to be subjected to about two or three samples and tests,” Dr. Laws stated on Sunday (May 10) during the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing. More importantly, Dr. Laws added that early testing might produce a result that can be misleading. You may be interested in… CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Oct 15, 2020 St. Lucia records more cases of COVID Take, for instance, the 51 students from St. Kitts and Nevis recently repatriated from Jamaica. The students are quarantined in a government facility and are in regular contact with health professionals. More than half of the infected persons recoverMinistry of Health – The number of persons in St. Kitts and Nevis who has officially recovered from COVID-19 has surpassed the number of persons infected with the coronavirus. Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Hazel Laws shared the news at the National Emergency Operations Centre COVID-19 Daily Briefing on May 01,…May 2, 2020In “General”St. Kitts and Nevis still to determine date for implementation of CARICOM BubbleBasseterre, St. Kitts/Nevis, SKNIS – CARICOM Heads of Government took a significant step towards reviving the COVID-19 challenged travel and tourism sectors, with the agreement to institute a Travel Bubble among the CARICOM Member States and Associate Members from Friday 18 September 2020. However, St. Kitts and Nevis has not…September 26, 2020In “St. Kitts & Nevis”St. Kitts and Nevis to reopen in 2 phasesStory via CMC – The Government of St. Kitts Nevis says that in an effort to continue protecting citizens and residents, as well as visitors from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the borders of the twin island federation will be reopened on a phased basis. “We are taking a…October 9, 2020In “General”Share this on WhatsApp Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC “If we test them on day one or day two and the sample is negative that does not mean that they are negative,” Dr. Laws stated. “In another two, three, four or five days if you were to resample and test, that sample can come out positive and so based on the foregoing I want to state that a negative RT-PCR test result during the quarantine period does not shorten the period of time the individual has to remain in quarantine.” The World Health Organization reports that the incubation period for COVID-19, which is the time between exposure to the virus (becoming infected) and symptom onset, is on average 5-6 days, however, it can be up to 14 days. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 16, 2020last_img read more

Televise Supreme and Appeal Court hearings, says Neuberger

first_imgSome court hearings should be televised to increase public confidence in the justice system, the master of the rolls said this week. Giving the Judicial Studies Board annual lecture, Lord Neuberger suggested Supreme Court hearings and some Court of Appeal hearings should be televised on an equivalent of the Parliament Channel, or via BBC iPlayer. He noted that Brazil’s Federal Supreme Tribunal has its own TV channel, TV Justica, which shows recordings of its sessions and educational programmes about the justice system. Neuberger said that any such plan would have to be looked at carefully, and if it were to go ahead, the judge or judges in the case concerned would have to have full rights of veto over what would be broadcast. He said: ‘If we wish to increase public confidence in the justice system, transparency and engagement, there is undoubtedly something to be said for televising some hearings, provided that there were proper safeguards to ensure that this increased access did not undermine the proper administration of justice.’ Neuberger said that while the justice system may need to adapt to ensure it remains truly open to the public, it was not the function of the courts or the judges to adjust their procedures or working practices ‘with a view to stimulating public interest’ or to ‘curry favour’ with the public. Neuberger also welcomed the lord chief justice’s interim guidance on tweeting in courts, published in February. ‘Why force a journalist or a member of the public to rush out of court in order to telephone or text the contents of his notes written in court, when he can tweet as unobtrusively as he can write?’ he said. He added: ‘It seems to me, in principle, that tweeting is an excellent way to inform and engage interested members of the public, as well as the legal profession.’ The head of the civil courts was speaking on the importance of open justice and the role it played in supporting the rule of law. ‘Public scrutiny of the courts is an essential means by which we ensure that judges do justice according to the law, and thereby secure public confidence in the courts and the law,’ he said. He added that for justice to be seen to be done, judgments must be understandable, not just to lawyers, but, ‘in an age when it seems more likely that citizens will have to represent themselves’, to non-lawyers as well. Neuberger said politicians also had a role to play by ensuring new legislation was drafted clearly, avoiding the ‘inexorable volume, tedious length and the inept drafting’ of many acts that have found their way onto the statute book in recent years.last_img read more

Video | UK Final Four fever at Keeneland

first_img Session ID: 2020-09-19:febc0c6cd17466a2adcbcb8a Player ID: videojs-brightcove-player-856270-4153496245001 OK Close Modal DialogCaption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsDefaultsDoneClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Keeneland bugler Steve Buttleman plays the UK fight song on Toyota Blue Grass Day at Keeneland and leads crowd in C-A-T-S cheer. By Jennie Rees Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%0:00 Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window. The Video Cloud video was not found. Error Code: VIDEO_CLOUD_ERR_VIDEO_NOT_FOUNDlast_img read more