Paris has a curfew. Everyone has to be at home by 9 o'clock at night. They can then leave at 6 in the morning. There are a few exceptions but, truth be told, there always will be with these sorts of things. So, President Emmanuel Macron, states it's time for the curfew and then Prime Minister Jean Castex later on declares the exceptions to the rule.
This got me thinking about two different things. Firstly, the President/Prime Minister thing. And secondly, why didn't Macron come out with it all in one hit?
We, in England, as I predicted to family and friends off-line years ago, have Prime Minister Boris Johnson. America, as I predicted to family and friends off-line at the time of their elections, have President Donald Trump. Is there a difference between these two? I'm talking about the position rather than the people. Primarily, in my opinion there is. But only in the sense of historicity.
Both make decisions that affect the country they were elected in. The President, essentially puts forward plans and ideas that need to be agreed upon with a process that I won't bother going in to because, well, frankly, I don't like politics. The Prime Minister also puts forward plans and ideas that need to be agreed upon with a process that is also time consuming. The real excitement begins with UK law (assuming we don't worry about the revolutions and political deviancy that has come about since the Coronavirus debacle of '20) when the head of state has to sign on the dotted line. Yep, Queen Elizabeth II has to finalise the law; it changes from a bill to an Act of Parliament through the Royal Assent. I told you it was exciting.
The US President, like the UK Prime Minister can't make laws. They have the Congress and Senate; we have the Houses of Commons and Lords. There is a whole history surrounding both sides of the Atlantic for how these factions came into being. But, as previously mentioned, I don't like politics. History can be fun, especially the research, however, as with my on-going journey for my Masters, I've come to discover that there isn't enough time to research fully for a deadline. That said, if the deadline is for next September, that could be a different matter - especially with the possibilty of my tutor reading this.
Okay, circle drawn, France have both a President and a Prime Minister. The simplest way of looking at this is by comparing and contrasting. The President is like our Queen. The Prime Minister is like our Prime Minister. Long story short, the difference between us and them, is who is the head of the country – I seriously don’t mean it to sound that simplistic, nor that POTUS is as prevalent as Her Majesty. But political simplicity aside, that’s how it is. However, France has both a President and a Prime Minister. As do over 80 countries around the world.
For these countries, the President is the one that gets told off when it all goes wrong. The Prime Minister is the one that, with the rest of the ministers surrounding them, make the decisions that can allow it to all go wrong. And I think that Macron decided to broadcast to the nation the bad news about the curfews. It makes sense; he took the information supplied to him and ran with it. If it goes whoopsie, he can simply remove the Prime Minister and start again.
Instead of saying ‘This is what’s happening. And here are the exceptions,’ he allowed the PM to step up and give the intricate exemptions that were previously agreed upon. Nobody likes complicated rules and exclusions but this way, the Prime Minister is seen as standing by the President and giving the “however” speech to reinforce this. By President Macron doing this, he’s become the villain with the bad news, and Castex becomes the hero with the good news. Not that either the curfew or the exceptions are good or bad – it all becomes subjective – but it was a very clever way of playing the cards to show a unified solidarity for the foreseeable weeks and months.
I’m not going to go all political with America or, in fact, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. That’s not my style in the slightest. I really don’t enjoy politics and regardless of who is in power, I’ll either destroy or defend dependant on my own viewpoint, rather than an affiliation to a political party.
To conclude this little entry, there’s not much to say. Be at home by 2100. Don’t leave until 0600. Is that better or worse than what we have here in London with our Tier 2? Who knows? What I do know is that, in my opinion, there’s not much that has gone right for the majority of the countries that I follow through various newsfeeds.
And again, this is for a different discussion and a different story-board.