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Monday, 7 May 2012

Poets and Politics

It is an interesting truth, rarely commented on, that poets are allowed to have any political leanings they wish, so long as they are left-leaning.  Witness the reaction to my concern, expressed briefly enough, that the election of Hollande would a) galvanise the extreme right in France, and b) unsettle the European markets: both mainstream views that have been reiterated in The Economist, the FT and on the BBC this last week.  Indeed, opposition to a 75% tax rate for millionaires is enough to brand one, in the new lynch mob of Facebook, as an Il Duce-loving Pound figure.

Frankly this is absurd.  Any reader of Eyewear over the years will know that my views skew to the centre-left.  I did not vote for Boris Johnson, for instance.  Nor do I support the darker anti-immigrant statements of Sarkozy (even his own party did not), which reminded me at times of David Blunkett.  Indeed, I have been an outspoken critic of a French ban on the veil.  Sadly, it seems that only being anti-banking, and anti-austerity measures is "politically correct" among many poets.

However, concern for the house of cards that is the Eurozone means I do not want to see Greece default, the Euro collapse, and agreement between Germany and France break down - which would lead to more extremist options prevailing, as has happened today in Greece; as I predicted yesterday.  As for punitive tax regimes about 60%, they are symbolically effective but make little money, and simply send the message that France is not open for business - hardly a wise move in a recession.
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