Gallic charm

Jack pringle bw 2017

Want to work in a thriving economy with a confident leader and plenty of projects planned? Either travel back in time to 2000s London – or hop on the Eurostar today

Jack pringle bw 2017

London and Paris, Paris and London. The two cities revolve around each other like binary stars. When one is up the other is down. Right now, Paris is on the way up.

It was ever thus. When Oliver Cromwell dragged England into a dreary puritan Commonwealth, Louis XIV the Sun King ruled over a dazzling Paris and France was the leading power in Europe. When France went bust in the 1790s and started cutting off royal heads, Pitt the Younger ruled over a booming Britain with the (surprising) resurgence of trade with the Americas. In the 1970s and 80s a confident France under Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and François Mitterand built the Grands Projets while we gawped in astonishment and suffered the three-day week, the winter of discontent and Thatcher’s austerity years. From 1997 to 2008 we enjoyed continuous prosperity in the Blair/Brown “third way”; London boomed and transformed its skyline. Meanwhile Paris seemed stuck in its own Gallic monoculture with its economy a prisoner of restrictive labour laws and anti “Anglos-Saxon” economy sentiment. Until now. 

The whole world suffered from the credit crunch recession in 2008, but only Britain followed this catastrophe with the home-grown self-mutilation of Brexit. This double whammy has sent the UK from the top of the G5 growth index to the bottom at one fell swoop. Added to this, we have the weakest political leadership we have seen in a generation, a minority government, the emergence of racism in the population and, it appears, at the Home Office. 

The whole world suffered from the credit crunch recession in 2008, but only Britain followed this catastrophe with the home-grown self-mutilation of Brexit 

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