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France profonde

Labour's victory bred further confusion in France, where the word "blairisme" is an insult. The perception of British failure and decay is slowly being unpicked

By Tim King   June 2005

The result of the British election left many French people perplexe. President Chirac told them on television that, “In Britain there are methods and social rules which would be neither accepted nor acceptable here.” In France, according to Le Monde, the word “blairisme” is an insult. Indeed, all through the campaign for the referendum on the European constitution, both “yes” and “no” camps, left and right, have been united on one thing: the direction to avoid at all costs is that taken by Blair in Britain. That vow was noisily reaffirmed the day after his election victory. No amount of…

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