Opinion – A sartorial scandal in French Parliament? The far-left members refuse to wear ties. – The Washington Post

"The Storming of the Bastille", Visi...

“The Storming of the Bastille”, Visible in the center is the arrest of Bernard René Jourdan, marquis de Launay (1740-1789), Watercolor painting; 37,8 x 50,5 cm Español: “Toma de la Bastilla”, En el centro se apreciaba el aresto del marqués de Launay Português: A “Tomada da Bastilha”, no centro se vê a prisão de Jourdan de René de Bernard, marquês de Laundry (1740-1789). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tired of Trump, the Washington Post is poking a bit of fun at President Macron’s consollidation of power in France. It reports that Far-Left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon and his allies go without neckwear for a political protest.

Source: A sartorial scandal in French Parliament? The far-left members refuse to wear ties. – The Washington Post

Let me make two observations.

Firstly, as a long-standing Francophile, it’s established practice for the French to go off on family holidays in the summer to return to industrial unrest in the Autumn. Macron has a political mandate to reform France but so did other presidents. Let’s wait to see how Macron fairs with the unions – democracy is one thing but street protest goes back to the French Revolution.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post needs to stay focused on President Trump. There are still unanswered questions about links with Russia – no doubt we shall be reminded this weekend, at the Hamburg G20, when Trump meets Putin for the first time. In terms of political leadership, Trump is under attack both domestically and internationally.

Perhaps the Washington Post should be reminded that France chose democracy over right-wing populism? Or if the Post is out of news this summer, it could focus on the UK where conservatives are frightened of left-wing populism bringing the first Marxist government to the UK?

Can France liberalize pensions and labor under Macron? | Europe | DW | 17.06.2017

This is a good read from German newspaper DW. It reminds us that the French people have consistently opposed any liberalization of the labor market. It warns that now that President Emmanuel Macron wants to liberalize labor, trade unions have already called for protests.

Source: Can France liberalize pensions and labor under Macron? | Europe | DW | 17.06.2017

The article looks at the history of labor market reform in France and highlights the daunting task for President Macron. It suggests that effective communication is an important ingredient for Macron’s team.

I am less optimistic, having lived in France through strikes. Other French presidents started with powerful mandates but they failed to deliver radical change.

Having spent much of my career delivering strategic change, I am convinced that President Macron will need more than his election success and good communication.

One place to start might be a force-field analysis looking at the barriers to change and how resistence might be effectively countered.

Any thoughts on how President Macron might improve his chances of delivering labor market reform in France?