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Werewolves of London

Posted by G.A. Matiasz on June 16, 2007

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Sometimes, I don’t find much of interest in the Guardian Weekly.

This issue (June 15-21 2007, Vol 176 No 26) was too preoccupied with the latest British scandal — government involvement in paying a 1 billion pound bribe to a Saudi prince to secure an arms deal for BAE Systems — not to mention the government’s attempts to suppress any reporting or investigation of the matter. It’s front page news, a two-page spread on BAE, and a good percentage of the Comment & Debate section.

I found a pair of articles — Angelique Chrisafis’s “French right poised for parliamentary victory,” and “Sarkozy looks to Mediterranean” by Reverchon and Tuquoi in Le Monde — to have interesting implications. Sarkozy’s UMP party is predicted to sweep elections for the National Assembly, getting up to 500 seats out of 577, ushering in a conservative “blue tide” of “slashing taxes, loosening the 35-hour week, limiting strike powers and cutting the numbers of public sector workers.” Buoyed by victory upon victory, Sarkozy is turning his attention to creating an economic union between Europe and North Africa, on the logic that France and other European countries can discourage immigration from North African countries by encouraging rapid economic development in the Maghreb. That’s, of course, the same logic of NAFTA, supporters of which claimed would help Mexico develop economically, thus cutting down on the flow of illegal immigrants from Mexico to the US. We all know how well that worked out. Sarkozy’s victory, and the victory of the UMP, will no doubt heighten class struggle in France. Sarkozy will face a combative working class, rebellious students, and riotous banlieue that should make Margaret Thatcher’s confrontations over striking miners and the poll tax look like a pink tea.

Finally, there’s an item in Derek Brown’s “Week in Britain” about East Sussex police putting more officers on duty during full moons to “combat nocturnal violence and rowdiness.” He mentions Michael Zimecki, of the Polish Academy of Sciences, who wrote a paper linking lunar cycles and criminality. “There is no evidence, as yet, of werewolf activity in either Poland or Sussex.”

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