Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller, who lives near Montpellier, is the author of ‘France, a Nation on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown’ (Gibson Square). His Twitter handle is: @lefoudubaron

The culture wars are coming to France

The infection of France by le wokisme continues apace. Last year, president Emmanuel Macron vowed to stand against intersectionality only to see his parliamentary majority swept away in the recent National Assembly elections in part by the leftist coalition of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Now a new woketarian front is opening against the mores of traditional France

Water woes: who’s to blame for the shortages?

39 min listen

In this week’s episode: Who’s to blame for the water shortages? James Forsyth, The Spectator’s political editor and Ciaran Nelson from Anglian Water join us to discuss the UK’s deteriorating water supply. (0.29) Also this week: Is it time for some old-fashioned Tory state-building? Tim Stanley from the Telegraph shares his vision for a Conservative

Jonathan Miller

Liberté, égalité, nudité: France’s new sexual politics

Montpellier France is going through a sexual civil war. After the great carnal outburst of the free-loving soixante-huitards, some have reverted to abstinence and prudishness, while others are pushing sexuality to new extremes. The crisis in French sexuality has exposed itself this summer as the clothes have come off. It’s not always a pretty sight,

Why Ryanair is the best airline

According to Richard Branson, the secret to running a successful airline is to keep the staff happy. They will, in turn, be nice to the passengers, who will themselves be happy and flock to fly. A charming if naive theory. Virgin Atlantic, run on this principle, has teetered on the edge of insolvency for years.

Macron’s state of denial

Crisis? What crisis? Emmanuel Macron emerged from his bunker tonight to speak to France for the first time since his party’s humiliation in Sunday’s legislative elections. In an eight minute television address – the briefest I can recall from the usually loquacious president – he had absolutely nothing substantive to say. There was not an

Macron’s nightmare is complete

French president Emmanuel Macron has been humiliated by voters, weeks after being re-elected by an unenthusiastic electorate. The hyper-president with ambitions to lead Europe looks like he will not even be able to lead France. His legislative project, headlined by pension reform and raising the retirement age, appears doomed. France looks more ungovernable than ever.

Macron’s Plan B

Emmanuel Macron is about to activate his Plan B.  If he cannot control the National Assembly, after the current round of legislative elections, he will simply bypass it,  creating a new ‘people’s assembly’ with which he might appear to consult the French. This would obviate the need to refer or defer to the elected members

Abolish the railways!

As the country is held hostage once again by the rail unions, it’s time for the nation to ask itself: does it need trains at all? The last time anyone dared ask this question was 60 years ago when Dr Richard Beeching boldly closed more than 2,000 stations and 5,000 miles of track. The time has

Why Jeremy Corbyn is being feted by the French left

Into the three-ring circus of the French legislative election campaign has stepped Jeremy Corbyn. The papi magique arrived on the Eurostar last weekend to campaign for candidates of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, whose insurrectionary ultra-left campaign is threatening to deny the recently re-elected Emmanuel Macron a presidential majority in the parliament. First round voting is on Sunday.

Macron vs the deep state

French diplomats are on strike today. But will anyone notice? Not to be immodest, I am especially well qualified to comment on French diplomacy. Some time ago, between gigs in Washington DC, I was employed as a consultant by the French embassy there. The embassy is a modern building in Georgetown, conveniently near all the

What the French get right about guns

When a French friend invited me to the local shooting range here in my canton in the south of France, I was simultaneously intrigued and a little horrified, in a reticent British way. Guns are not really respectable in England. The carnage wrought by firearms in America would seem to make anyone advocating the right

The madness of France’s burkini bust-up

To burkini, or not to burkini? This is the question that divides France in the run-up to the first round of voting on 12 June for the next National Assembly. The pre-election political conversation here had been pretty stale and entirely predictable. Enter the burkini. The political and media class is presently talking of nothing

France’s new prime minister will never overshadow Macron

Meet Élisabeth Borne, the new prime minister of France. Borne has hardly worked a day in the private sector. She is a technocrat to her bone marrow. She has never been elected to anything. And she will never, ever threaten president Emmanuel Macron. ‘She’s like Jean Castex (the outgoing prime minister) in drag, without the

Macron’s main opponent is now Mélenchon, not Le Pen

Here we go again. Exhausted by a presidential campaign that ultimately produced the same choice as in 2017 (and the same result), French voters go to the polls again on June 12 and June 19 to vote for their National Assembly. Quite possibly with the same results as last time. The denizens of the Café

How Duterte Harry’s legacy of terror lives on in the Philippines

Something momentous is building in the Philippines. Thirty-six years after the kleptocratic despot, Ferdinand Marcos, fled into exile with his family and 300 crates of loot aboard a US airforce transport plane, his only son, Ferdinand Marcos Junior is on course to win Monday’s presidential election. He’s known by his nickname ‘Bongbong’ and is not

Can anyone stop Emmanuel Macron?

If they weren’t insufficiently weary of politicians, the French will be invited to vote all over again for the Assemblée Nationale, the nation’s parliament, on 12 and 19 June. Citizen lassitude notwithstanding, the election may produce a louder, if not assuredly more effective, opposition to the prolongated reign of the second Sun King, the newly

The French have voted for the lesser of two evils

Few scenes of jubilation as Emmanuel Macron was re-elected President. French voters held their noses and voted without evident enthusiasm for five more years. French exit predictions, based on actual voting, not exit polls, are invariably lethally on target. As the polls closed they forecast 57.6 per cent for Macron, 42.4 per cent for Marine