Monday 16th of December 2019

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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 15:39
The United Kingdom manipulated France into its adventures in the broader Middle East without revealing to it the operation it had been preparing with the United States since 2005.

18- Preparation of invasions 
Libya and Syria

Even before her confirmation by the Senate, the future Secretary of State Hillary Clinton contacted London and Paris to conduct a dual military operation in the "broader Middle East". After the Iraqi fiasco, Washington considers it impossible to use its own troops for this kind of adventure. From a US perspective, the time has come to reshape the region, i.e. to redesign the states whose borders were set in 1916 by the English, French and Russian empires (the "Triple Entente") and to impose lines in favour of US interests. This agreement is known as the British and French delegates Sykes and Picot (the name of Ambassador Sazonov was forgotten due to the Russian revolution). But how can we convince London and Paris to ruin their heritage, if not by promising to let them recolonize the region? Hence the theory of "leadership from the back". This strategy is confirmed by former Mitterrand Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, who testifies on television that he was contacted by British and American people in 2009 to find out whether the French opposition would support a new colonial project.

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At the instigation of the United States, France and the United Kingdom signed the Lancaster House Agreements. A secret clause provides for the conquest of Libya and Syria. However, public opinion ignores the agreement between London and Washington on the future "Arab springs".

In November 2010, i.e. before the beginning of the so-called "Arab Spring", David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy signed the Lancaster House Treaties in London [1]. The official aim is to pool defence elements, including nuclear elements, in order to achieve economies of scale. Although this is a stupid idea given the different interests of the two countries, public opinion does not understand what is going on. One of the Treaties unites the "projection forces" (including colonial forces) of the two nations.

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Operation Southern Mistral: the strange logo of the Air Operations Command. The retiary does not protect the bird from freedom, but makes it a prisoner in its net.

An annex to these treaties states that the Franco-British Expeditionary Force will carry out the largest joint military exercises in the history of the two countries from March 15 to 25, 2011, under the name "Southern Mistral". The Defence website states that the war game scenario will be a very long-range bombardment to help populations threatened by "two dictators of the Mediterranean".

It was precisely on March 21 that US AfriCom and US CentCom - the regional commands of the United States Forces - set a date for France and the United Kingdom to attack both Libya and Syria [2]. This is good news, as the Franco-British Forces are ready. As things never went as planned, the war against Syria was postponed a little later, and Nicolas Sarkozy, who wanted to strike first, ordered his army to attack Libya alone on March 19, during Operation "Harmattan" (French translation of Southern Mistral).

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Gaddafi’s former companion, Nouri Massoud El-Mesmari, defected on October 21, 2010. He placed himself under the protection of the French secret services claiming to know the secrets of the Guide.

France believes it has a key asset: the Libyan head of protocol, Nouri Massoud El-Mesmari, has defected and sought asylum in Paris. Sarkozy is convinced that the man was Colonel Gaddafi’s confidant and can help him identify those who are willing to betray him. Unfortunately, this handsome speaker held the Guide’s agenda, but did not attend the meetings [3].

A few days after the signing of the Lancaster House Treaties, a French trade delegation goes to the Benghazi Fair with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, managers from France Export Céréales and France Agrimer, managers from Soufflet, Louis Dreyfus, Glencore, Cani Céréales, Cargill and Conagra. On the spot, the DGSE agents accompanying them secretly meet with the military to prepare a coup d’état.

Warned by the United States, Tripoli arrested the traitors on January 22, 2011. The Libyans believe they are protected by their new alliance with Washington, as it prepares to kill them. The French, for their part, must return to the shadow of the US Big Brother.

While the French were preparing for the invasion of Libya, the Americans launched their operation with the British. It’s much larger than they told their agent Sarkozy. It is not just a question of overthrowing Muammar al-Qadhafi and Bashar al-Assad, as they led him to believe, but of all secular governments and replacing them with the Muslim Brotherhood. They therefore began with the friendly states (Tunisia and Egypt), leaving the British and French to deal with the enemies (Libya and Syria).

The first shot goes to Tunisia. In response to the suicide attempt of a street merchant, Mohamed el-Bouzazi, on December 17, 2010, there were successive demonstrations against police abuses and then against the government. France, which believes in their spontaneity, is proposing to equip the Tunisian police with anti-riot equipment.

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Nicolas Sarkozy and Michèle Alliot-Marie, oblivious to the Anglo-Saxon project of the "Arab springs", negotiate with President Ben Ali’s family to sell an official plane that they have hijacked, while the "Jasmine Revolution" begins in Tunisia.

Nicolas Sarkozy and his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Michèle Alliot-Marie, have every confidence in Ben Ali with whom they do personal "business". After having an Airbus A330 built and equipped as a super presidential aircraft, they sold the two old aircraft intended for official travel. One of the A319 CJs was discreetly removed from inventory and sold to the Tunisian company Karthago Airlines, owned by Aziz Miled and Belhassen Trabelsi (Mrs Ben Ali’s brother) [4]. No one knows who the lucky beneficiary of this transaction is. After President Ben Ali’s flight, the aircraft would be recovered and sold to a gaming company in Singapore and then to Turkey.

Busily protecting their fence, Nicolas Sarkozy and Michèle Alliot-Marie fell from the sky when President Ben Ali asked to land in Paris and take refuge there. The Elysée has just enough time to cancel the sending of a cargo plane carrying the promised policing equipment that is waiting on the tarmac due to slow clearance formalities and to send the President’s fallen aircraft out of its airspace.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, computer engineer Ahmed Maher and Islamist blogger Israa Abdel Fattah are calling for a demonstration against President Hosni Mubarak on January 25, 2011, "day of anger".

Immediately supported by Qatari television Al-Jazeeraand the Muslim Brotherhood, they launched a movement that, with the help of CIA "NGOs", destabilized the regime. Demonstrations follow one another every Friday as they leave the mosques from 28 January, supervised by the Serbs that Gene Sharp, the maker of "colourful revolutions", has trained. Finally, Nicolas Sarkozy learned on February 11 through a phone call from his father-in-law, US Ambassador Frank Wisner Jr. that, on instructions from the White House, he had convinced General Mubarak to withdraw.

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Lobbyist Bernard-Henri Lévy (known as "BHL") came to Cairo to participate in the CIA’s meeting to launch Arab springs in Libya and Syria, and posed on Tahrir Square.

The CIA then organized a secret meeting in Cairo to which President Sarkozy sent a delegation including lobbyist Bernard-Henri Lévy, a former lover of Carla Bruni and Ségolène Royal. Muslim Brother Mahmoud Jibril, who is number two in the Libyan government when he enters the room, becomes the leader of the "opposition to the tyrant" when he leaves. Among the Syrians present were Malik Al-Abdeh (a former BBC official who created BaradaTV with CIA and State Department money) and Ammar Qurabi (a member of a host of human rights associations and creator of OrientTV) [5].

The wars against Libya and Syria have just begun.

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Appearing on the green square on 25 February 2011, Muammar Gaddafi denounced an attack on his country by al-Qaeda terrorists. Lyrical, he proudly proclaims that he will fight to the end against them with his people, even if it means running "rivers of blood" and sacrificing himself. He announced a distribution of weapons to citizens to defend the country in danger. Atlanticist propaganda will accuse him of wanting to spill the blood of his people.

19- The beginning of the war against Libya

The Western press reports that Libyan police dispersed a demonstration in Benghazi on February 16, 2011, shooting at the crowd. Since then, the country has been rising, it continues, and the authorities have been shooting at everything that moves. Anticipating the possible return of slavery, 200,000 migrant workers are trying to flee the country and television shows them waiting at border crossings. Muammar Gaddafi appears three times on the screen. He denounces an operation carried out by Al Qaeda and declares that he is ready to die a martyr. Then, he announced the distribution of weapons to the population to spill "rivers of blood", exterminate these "rats" and protect the country. Taken out of context, the sentences in the Guide are broadcast by Western channels, which interpret them as announcing not the fight against terrorism, but the repression of a hypothetical revolution.

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Panicked, black workers in eastern Libya tried to flee before the Jamahiriya was overthrown. They are convinced that if the Westerners restore the Old Regime, they will be reduced to slavery. According to the UN, tens of thousands of them are rushing to the borders.

In Geneva, on 25 February, the UN Human Rights Council listened with horror to the testimonies of the Libyan League for Human Rights. The dictator went mad and "massacred his own people". The Pakistani ambassador denounces the abuse of force. Suddenly, the official Libyan delegation entered the room, validated the testimonies heard and declared its solidarity with its fellow citizens in the face of the dictator. A resolution is adopted and transmitted to the Security Council [6]. The latter immediately adopted Resolution 1970 [7] - under Chapter VII of the Charter, which authorizes the use of force - strangely ready for several days. He referred the matter to the International Criminal Court and placed Libya under embargo. This last measure is immediately taken up and extended by the European Union. Going further than other Westerners, President Sarkozy said: "Gaddafi must go!  »

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The former Minister of Justice, Mustafa Abdel Jalil (here with BHL), who had tortured Bulgarian nurses, becomes head of the provisional government.

On 27 February, the insurgents in Benghazi founded the Libyan National Transitional Council (LNTC), while leaving Tripoli the Minister of Justice, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, created an interim government. These two bodies, controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, merged, giving the impression of national unity. Immediately, flags of former King Idriss bloomed in Benghazi [8]. From London, his son, H.H. Mohamed Senussi, declares himself ready to rule.

Abdel Jalil not being able to convince all members of the CNLT to appeal to the West, he appointed a crisis committee with full powers and chaired by the former number 2 of the Gaddafi government, Mahmoud Jibril, who had returned from Cairo.

In Paris, we admire the way Washington manages events. Yet, contradicting the information from Benghazi and the United Nations, diplomats and journalists present in Tripoli claim that they see nothing that suggests a revolution. But it doesn’t matter what the truth is, as long as appearances are favourable. Thus, the "philosopher" Bernard-Henri Lévy persuaded the French of the justice of the cause by assuring himself that he had convinced the President of the Republic to commit himself to freedom after having met Libyan "revolutionaries".

The French army picked up Mahmoud Jibril and took him to Strasbourg where he pleaded for a Western "humanitarian" intervention in front of the European Parliament. On March 10, Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister David Cameron wrote to the President of the European Union asking him to recognise the CNLT in place of the "regime" and to establish a no-fly zone [9]. Perfectly coordinated, the French environmentalist deputy Daniel Cohn-Bendit (the agent of influence of May 68) and the Belgian liberal Guy Verhofstadt have the European Parliament adopt on the same day a resolution denouncing Gaddafi’s "regime" and calling for control of Libyan airspace to protect the civilian population from the dictator’s repression [10]. On the same day, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced that he was working on the technical means necessary to implement this air exclusion.

On 12 March, the Arab League voted in favour of the no-fly zone despite opposition from Algeria and Syria.

The only false notes in this unanimity concert: Bulgaria, which remembers that Abdel Jalil covered the torture of Bulgarian nurses and the Palestinian doctor, refuses to recognize the CNTL. For its part, the African Union strongly opposes any foreign military intervention.

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Muammar Gaddafi’s Green Paper

The Libyan Arab Jamahiriya is organized according to the principles of Muammar Gaddafi’s Green Paper. He is an admirer of the French libertarian socialists of the 19th century, Charles Fourier and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon. He therefore imagined a minimal state that was unable to defend its people against the imperialist armies. In addition, it has given the State the task of meeting the aspirations of the Bedouins: free transport, housing and water. Everyone therefore has their own car, with public transport being de facto reserved for immigrants. At their wedding, everyone receives an apartment, but it sometimes takes three years for the house to be built before they can get married. Gigantic works have been carried out to draw water from millennia of groundwater, very deep under the desert. The country has become prosperous. Its standard of living is the highest on the African continent. But little has been done in the field of education. Although universities are free, most young people drop out early. Muammar Gaddafi underestimated the weight of tribal traditions. Three million Libyans are living peaceful days, while two million African and Asian immigrants serve them.

On March 19, 18 States (Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Qatar, Spain, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States) and 3 international organizations (Arab League, European Union and United Nations) met in Paris to announce their imminent military intervention [11]. A few hours later, France overtook its partners and attacked first.

However, things are slow to materialize in Syria. The calls to demonstrate on 4, 11, 18 and 25 February and those on 4 and 11 March in Damascus are not working. On the contrary, it is in Yemen and Bahrain that the People take to the streets, without being invited.

In Yemen, the Muslim Brotherhood - including the young Tawakkol Karman, who will receive the Nobel Peace Prize - is launching a "revolution". But, like Libya, this country is organized in a tribal way so that it is not possible to have an exclusively political interpretation of events.

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Nicolas Sarkozy instructs Alain Bauer on how to counter the revolution in Bahrain.

At the request of the Bahraini sovereign, the Saudi army came to "restore order" in the tiny kingdom that houses the Fifth United States Fleet. The United Kingdom sent torturer Ian Anderson, who had done a wonderful job in leading the repression in colonial times (i.e. before 1971). While, to reorganize the police, France sends Alain Bauer, security advisor to President Sarkozy and both former head of the US NSA for Europe and former Grand Master of the Grand Orient de France [12].

Disorder is spread by contagion, all that remains is to make believe that it is as initiated by the people and that it aims to establish democracies.

(To be continued...)

Pete Kimberley
Roger Lagassé


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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 06:11


Author Mona Eltahawy, who was a guest on the November 4 episode, described the ABC's determination as "unbelievable". She continues to argue that the public broadcaster shouldn't have pulled the episode in the first place.

"The ABC has signalled it is privileging the fragile sensibilities of white men over the wellbeing and safety of women," she said. "It is a reminder that imaginary violence against men upsets and disturbs more than actual violence against women."

During the episode, Ms Eltahawy asked: "How long must we wait for men and boys to stop murdering us, to stop beating us and to stop raping us? How many rapists must we kill?" The author and columnist has maintained that her question was a hypothetical one.

"Since I asked that question on Q&A in Melbourne, I've asked it at speaking engagements in Sydney, New York City, Boston, Chicago and just these last few days at Abantu Book Festival in Soweto, South Africa," she said. "And everywhere I ask it and everywhere I explain that the ABC pulled the episode and is investigating it, people have laughed at how fragile Australian men are."


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I have not see this episode of Q&A and do not plan to... Nor do I plan to see "Silent No More"... All good shows exploring the violence against women. On this site we have already exposed some of the controversies on this subject, including la vie en rose... in a lot of tears followed... , and

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 05:56

A recent TV series about Prince Charles lets us know about the feats and travails of the Prince... Some people in the know seem to believe that this is a softening of our erroneous perceptions that he might be a greenie idiot, to let us accept that he is full Royal material — and might become King Charlie soon... We can't speculate about the worth of this idea, but we can shout: "Long Live the Aussie Republic". Altogether now: 


"Long Live the Aussie Republic"

by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 05:42


From Slavoj Zizek


Jean-Paul Sartre wrote that, if you are attacked for the same text by both sides in a political conflict, this is one of the few reliable signs that you are on the right path. In the last decades, I have been attacked by a number of very different political actors (often on account of the same text!) for antisemitism, up to advocating a new Holocaust, and for perfidious Zionist propaganda (see the last issue of the antisemitic Occidental Observer). So I think I’ve earned the right to comment on the recent accusations against the Labour Party regarding its alleged tolerance of antisemitism.

I, of course, indisputably reject antisemitism in all its forms, including the idea that one can sometimes ”understand” it, as in: “considering what Israel is doing on the West Bank, one shouldn’t be surprised if this gives birth to antisemitic reactions”. More precisely, I reject the two symmetrical versions of this last argument: “we should understand occasional Palestinian antisemitism since they suffer a lot” as well as “we should understand aggressive Zionism in view of the Holocaust.” One should, of course, also reject the compromise version: “both sides have a point, so let’s find a middle way…”.

Along the same lines, we should supplement the standard Israeli point that the (permissible) critique of Israeli policy can serve as a cover for the (unacceptable) antisemitism with its no less pertinent reversal: the accusation of antisemitism is often invoked to discredit a totally justified critique of Israeli politics. Where, exactly, does legitimate critique of Israeli policy become antisemitism? More and more, mere sympathy for the Palestinian resistance is condemned as antisemitic. Take the two-state solution: while decades ago it was the standard international position, it is more and more proclaimed a threat to Israel's existence and thus antisemitic.

Things get really ominous when Zionism itself evokes the traditional antisemitic cliché of roots. Alain Finkielkraut wrote in 2015 in a letter to Le Monde: “The Jews, they have today chosen the path of rooting.” It is easy to discern in this claim an echo of Heidegger who said, in a Der Spiegel interview, that all essential and great things can only emerge from our having a homeland, from being rooted in a tradition. The irony is that we are dealing here with a weird attempt to mobilise antisemitic clichés in order to legitimize Zionism: antisemitism reproaches the Jews for being rootless; Zionism tries to correct this failure by belatedly providing Jews with roots. No wonder many conservative antisemites ferociously support the expansion of the State of Israel.

However, the trouble with the settlement project today is that it is now trying to get roots in a place which was for thousands of years inhabited by other people. That’s why I find obscene a recent claim by Ayelet Shaked, the former Israeli justice minister: “The Jewish People have the legal and moral right to live in their ancient homeland.” What about the rights of Palestinians?



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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 05:07

As Giuffre previously alleged, she had sex with the Duke of York on several occasions after being trafficked to him by Jeffrey Epstein in 2001.

Virginia Giuffre, a 36-year old woman formerly known as Virginia Roberts and alleged former “sex slave” of Jeffrey Epstein who she said pressured her into having sex with Britain's Prince Andrew, has addressed speculation about her possible fate, Sky News reports.

According to the media outlet, Roberts Giuffre spoke out on Twitter after one netizen suggested that the “FBI will kill her to protect the ultra rich and well connected...”, with her stating in response that “in no way, shape or form” is she feeling suicidal.


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There are far better (some secret) organisations than the FBI, that specialise in the elimination of people... Apart from the Mafia, we can mention the UK justice system, the GCHQ, the US government and all its "intelligence agencies" — especially in the Assange case, doing pseudo-murder in broad daylight.



by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 04:48

Australia's bushfires have been so devastating, the country's forests may not be able to reabsorb the toxic carbon dioxide produced by the blazes, climate scientists say.

Key points:

  • At least 2.7 million hectares of NSW land, including "exceptionally carbon-dense" forests, have been burnt this bushfire season
  • Drought and intense blazes have disrupted vegetation's bushfire recovery process
  • It is feared Australian forests could become "carbon sources rather than carbon sinks"


Bushfires are normally considered to be "carbon neutral" because, unlike fossil fuels, their emissions output is reabsorbed when the vegetation in fire-affected areas regrows.

However, experts fear the sheer scale and intensity of this year's unprecedented fires, coupled with worsening drought conditions, has disrupted this recovery process.

David Bowman, a professor of environmental change biology at the University of Tasmania, has been worried about this "nightmare scenario" for a decade.

"In a stable climate it's like a bank account, where a fire comes along and burns some forest and releases carbon," he said.

"When the forestry regrows it's like putting money back into your account. Over the years, your bank balance account is about the same."

He said intense fires were like "huge transactions", but the "high mortality rate" of NSW and Queensland forests meant they were not taking back the carbon being withdrawn.

The blazes, he said, had been so savage that even the famously resilient dry sclerophyll and eucalyptus forests were not likely to regenerate effectively.


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Australia’s plan to use an accounting loophole to meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement has no legal basis and suggests it has reneged on a pledge to make deeper emissions cuts once a global deal was reached, a new report says.

An analysis by Climate Analytics, a Berlin-based science and policy institute, found there were no grounds for Australia to claim credit towards its Paris emissions target for having beaten targets under its predecessor, the Kyoto protocol.

It found the two agreements were separate treaties and should not be treated as a continuation of one agreement.


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by Gus Leonisky on Thu, 2019-12-12 04:41

Liberal party member who helped organise a Chinese-Australian business fundraising dinner has denied links to the Chinese Communist party after references to China’s Belt and Road initiative appeared on invitations to the event.

The Australia Chinese United Business Association Federation (Acubaf), representing more than 50 associations and 1,000 individual businesses, is hosting a charity dinner on Friday to raise money for the Salvation Army and its bushfire appeal.

Invitations to the dinner, seen by Guardian Australia, advertise Acubaf’s role as to “provide a bridge between Australian Chinese business and to offer the chance to cooperate for all Chinese associations, meanwhile offering access to the ‘One Belt, One Road’ policy in China”.


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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-12-11 19:04


From Philip Roddis


I saw this film last night at a one-off screening in Derby. It’s all you’d expect of a John Pilger documentary. Polished and professional? Well of course, but more importantly:

Hard hitting, its straight-from-the shoulder interrogations of power a far cry from the posturing of mainstream interviewers who, doubtless in all sincerity – albeit of the self serving kind – mistake Paxmanesque aggression for the real deal.[1]

Comprehensive, its lengthy passages from across the pond showing the deathly realities of an American model to which our leaders, Blair and Milburn absolutely included, have for four decades secretly aspired. (Pilger offers a plethora of smoking guns to leave us in no doubt on the point.) In this they have been driven by a mix brutally familiar to those of us not fully asleep. This blend of evidence-defying fanaticism with revolving door venality is already their political legacy, and will assuredly be their most fitting epitaph.

Joining the dots. Though Dirty War on the NHS remains focused on that iconic institution and its ancillaries in the Beveridge vision of a welfare state, there are clues throughout as to the wider generalisability of what we are seeing, and slowly waking up to in our own lives. Ours is not a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word. Ours is a world in which an elite class pursues its narrow interests through a grotesque but sophisticated parody of the same. To the techno-managerialspeak of our brave new era – war is peace, truth is lies and ignorance is strength – we can add privatising the world is progressive, the end of collectivism the true goal of reform.

As credits rolled to Hubert Parry’s arrangement of William Blake’s Jerusalem, the lights slowly undimmed and a man in the front row stood up, mike in hand. Knowledgeable and a confident speaker – but without that love of his own voice which too often accompanies those qualities – he said a few words then opened the floor for questions.

With a train to catch, I shot up my hand to grab the mike:

I’ve come from Nottingham, where there’s no public screening. I only learned of the film today, from a Facebook friend. We’re some sixty hours from polling stations opening up for the most important general election since 1945.[2]

I could have watched this at home online, strictly between six and ten pm, by purchasing a code allowing access. I thought it more fitting to see it with others. Now I want to alert everyone I know to a powerful film that could hardly be more urgent. But I can’t, can I?

Why was the viewing so restricted?

Other than sympathetic noises from the host, and from the three questioners immediately after me, I received no answer. Nobody knew.

I slipped out as quietly as I could. On the first bitterly cold night of the year one wreck of a man shuffled up to ask for spare change. All I had in my wallet were plastic and my rail ticket.


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It takes one Australian with guts (John Pilger) to fight the propaganda of another Australian (Rupert Murdoch) in the English landscape... while the other Australian, Assange, has been muzzled by the biased British courts to prevent any skerrick of truth seeping out of the rotten world ruled by rotten people...



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See how he apologises for “getting this wrong”? Not the fact he didn’t check. Not the fact he mindlessly repeated the Tory line without even rudimentary research.

This is the product of a totally controlled media class. A sub-set of the elite, conditioned to be obedient without even realising that’s what they’re doing.

Their bias is innate, in-built and unquestioned. They are selected, early on, for their ability to toe a line whilst thinking they’re independent. 

They openly admit to simply reporting everything the Tories say as fact, without checking, and simply expect us to accept it… because they don’t think it’s wrong.

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2019-12-11 17:37

French writer Michel Houellebecq’s new novel Serotonin would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. Released in the United States on November 19, the novel concerns a man in his mid-40s named Florent-Claude Labrouste who’s at the end of his rope. He is profoundly depressed, for reasons that start with his name and extend into every aspect of his life (Houellebecq says he’s “essentially deprived of reasons to live and of reasons to die”). Consequently, Labrouste untethers himself from his unsatisfying relationship with his 26-year-old Japanese swinger girlfriend and his career analyzing apricot sales for France’s Ministry of Agriculture, and goes “voluntarily missing.” He wanders into the countryside in search of a vague reason to keep going and reconnect with old flames. Instead he finds an economy and society in slow-motion collapse.

Labrouste is a victim of his own expectations and past romantic failures. Like Houellebecq’s other protagonists from Whatever to Submission to Platform to The Elementary Particles, he is a sexually messed-up loser who has failed to find any kind of lasting fulfillment or meaning in life.


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Are we seeing the end of a French enthusiasm, now lost for many decades, basically since the end of WW2, and turning into the neurotic despair of a cheese-making artisan industry when the milk of kindness has become a nightly psychological nightmare? Is Houellebecq telling the truth in a mirror, or is he hoping to manufacture a "degringolade" of the last bastion of the French spirit? Are all French people neurotic? Is there a few psychopaths amongst them to salvage a bit of pride, no matter what?


With a general strike now in its second month, with the Yellow Vest having reached one year of weekend protests, with many no-go areas around Paris due to drugs and religious extremism, with the peasants unhappy about the price for their melons due to the US trade sanctions — one can only hope that things will improve for the revolutionary Napoleonians... But of course Macron is still going to increase the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel, while giving his rich mates some tax relief so they can pitch in "his" reconstruction of Notre-Dame. At least the destruction of this edifice was not "deliberate" unlike the demolition of our Allianz stadium on a whim...

Many "real" French people seem to have gone back into their own "coquille" (shell) — a little like snails that hide from a lack of rain. Meanwhile, Houellebecq may not be a great inspiring philosopher but one that holds distorting mirrors like those that stop amusing us at Luna Park, as we crash against an invisible window pane.


Lucky Aussies, we can hope for more blue skies ahead, once the smoke has lifted, then we will lick the multicoloured ice-cream before it drips on our pants... Life is good...


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