It seems to me that the French take to the streets far more often than any other nation. I often wonder what it is supposed to achieve, except to show the strength and power of the big militant trades unions. On 1 May they traditionally demonstrate in Paris, for or against whatever is the current issue! A friend invited me to demonstrate for Nature Conservation. I asked why he didn’t just write to his Member of Parliament about the issues he was concerned about. That is what I used to do in the UK. His answer surprised me. ‘I could write but they wouldn’t bother to write back!’ That is part of the answer to why the French take to the streets – because they don’t feel represented by those whom they have elected.

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