Do you remember the last time France actually stood united for something more than a few weeks? Apart from industrial strikes, I don't. Just weeks ago, it appeared that the French, in the rare occasion where both ordinary people and the political class, stood firm for free of speech and right to offend. But in the spirit of three-day working week, politicians took a break from working for the country and turned back to their usual authoritarian left impulses.
How reckless of us was to suggest that France has become the epicentre of culture wars. The massacre in Charlie Hebdo office by the Islamists may have started to symbolise the war between politically correct, Islamism-tolerant, witless establishment and those who stand up to Western ideals of freedom that grant unconditional rights of expression no matter how uncomfortable that may seem. But the truth is, France is no stronghold of freedom. It's exactly the opposite, France is the frontier of that mischievous idea that there are topics that must be protected and not criticised.
The news broke out that the Mayor of Paris, Annie Hidalgo, is about to sue Fox News for defamation and insulting the 'great' city of Paris. The reason for such ridiculous action is the suggestion that Paris has 'no-go zones' filled with Muslims where even police is afraid to go. There's no other way to judge such decision: this is the ultimate slap to the Parisians and Europeans as well who went to unity marches just weeks ago to demonstrate that the notion of sacred topics and protection from insults is a load of piffle. But the French government it took a mere week to return to the usual sensitivity levels. This shouldn't come as a surprise, the Mayor of Paris is from the same bunch as the President, François Hollande - the Socialist Party - who couldn't, or most probably don't want to, identify why the perpetrators assaulted the country.
It's indeed over. France without the agreement of the nation decided that the fifth Republic is done. Praise the Sixth Republic that cannot bear the wit and has the code of sacred topics - the city of Paris and its multicultural, politically correct nature is the first one.
I don't know your views about Paris, but from I've been told and know, it's dirty, expensive, ghettoised, and ridiculously mismanaged. In fact, Paris and to great extent whole France is becoming the Detroit of Europe, where industry is trying to relocate due to the nature of the French capitalism, or more precisely, lack of it. Failed tax hike to 75% that led to the exodus of businesses and wealthy, while increasing burden of regulations is killing even world-famous wine industry and the remains of industrialised France. The French youth, meanwhile, is finding harder and harder to express their ambitions for all the latter reasons.
And the city of Paris is undeniably segregated. It might sound as an exaggeration to claim that there are 'no-go zones', but the government has the official list of 'Sensitive Urban Zones' that are mostly areas with high unemployment, crime, public housing, and often happens to be neighbourhoods of Muslim immigrants. Say what you want, but when a government has to issue a list of such zones, one must have a bit of suspicion. After all, in 2005, those districts were the source of riots that forced the state to institute state of emergency measures for up to three months. So maybe it's not completely false to suggest that the police prefers to opt out of patrolling such areas.
Surely, one could say that it's not the same as 'no-go zones', but would you recommend such areas as a night tourist attraction in a miniskirt to taste the local cuisine and have a night out? For me, if you can't have a safe night out, it's a no-go zone.
It's indeed an uncomfortable truth the French authoritarian left still attempts to hide it. No wonder the Mayor of Paris is about to sue the news channel on the same grounds as some protested Charlie Hebdo cartoons. This is exactly what happens when you try to defend something so evidently horrendous. People claimed that the cartoons were prejudiced and offensive. The Mayor says that the portrayal of Paris was prejudiced and insulting the honour. If you wasn't yet sure about the natural alliance between radical Islam and the authoritarian left, this is your proof. The short blink of reason during the time of mourning was just an exception, a necessity employed by the movement to survive and capitalise.
Hopefully, such portrayal of Paris and France will be enough to be threatened with a lawsuit by the city's Mayor. One of the French diplomats once called the only democratic country in the Middle East "a little shitty country." But with current reign of terribly slaggy French politicians, it appears that the description suits the state far better.