There comes a point when even the French applaud

But Depardieu is a vastly different proposition from a wealthy tycoon and former asset-stripper whose children’s weddings warrant 10-page spreads in society magazines. When Jean-Marc Ayrault, France’s prime minister, contemptuously called him “a pathetic loser”, Depardieu shot back with an open letter published on Sunday. “I was born in 1948,” he wrote, “I started working aged 14, as a printer, as a warehouseman, then as an actor, and I’ve always paid my taxes.” Over 45 years, Depardieu said, he had paid 145 million euros in tax, and to this day employs 80 people. Last year he paid taxes amounting to 85 per cent of his income. “I am neither worthy of pity nor admirable, but I shall not be called \’pathetic’,” he concluded, saying that he was sending back his French passport.

For a few hours, the government spin doctors thought the French, whose deep mistrust of money is rooted in a dual heritage of Catholicism and unreconstructed Marxism, would join in the public shaming. It did not happen. An online poll conducted by the popular Le Parisien tabloid showed almost 70 per cent supporting the country’s wayward son and poster boy for glorious political incorrectness.

Note for Mr. Murphy

There really is a Laffer Curve you know.

15 thoughts on “There comes a point when even the French applaud”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    The French have never had a stable political system since the end of the monarchy. The best they can hope for is about 70 years between complete constitutional collapses and thus a military coup. The Revolution lasted from 1789 to 1814/5. The Restoration survived from 1815 to 1830. The July Monarchy until 1848. The Third Republic lurched from crisis to crisis but lasted from 1871 to 1940. The Fourth Republic lasted until 1958. And we have had the Fifth Republic ever since. So almost 54 years.

    Which is a long way of saying if history is any guide, the French must be getting tired of their present system of government and looking for an alternative. This looks like evidence of a general alienation.

    I suggest the only system the French have really been happy with is absolute monarchy. After all, the Fifth Republic comes as close to it as a Republic can, and it is the system they appear happiest with. The Third Republic lasted longer but everyone hated it. So bring back the Bourbons!

  2. “the French, whose deep mistrust of money”


    Must be another France and another lot of French somewhere to the one most of us know.

  3. Not sure I have always admired him. Sometimes I find him a ‘little over the top’ but he puts his money where his mouth is. Eats, drinks and fornicates (or at least used to) enough to make many jealous. Mouthy and gross at times, but..

    Generating enough wealth to be able to pay 145M in taxes!

    Of course, he couldn’t have done it without the roads, the hospitals the blah, blah done by the State. Remind me what did we do for stuff before the State came around?

    Talent, work, even luck (being in the right place at the right time) and of course within the infrastructure that we all enjoy.

    What did they want him to do? Roll over and let them shaft him?

    Taxes gone, but worse, talent and entrepreneurship. It is always the same. We love you until you are successful. It’s not fair and we have to redistribute.

    Okay I’m rambling today. Got a stinker of a cold and the paracetamol ain’t done it’s job yet.

    Go, Gérard, go

    Laffer curve? too bloody right. Just wish I was rich enough to tell them something similar

  4. The french government can scream all it wants about people abandoning them in their hour of need but thats one of the advantages of the EU. Not just poor people can move to where they can make more money but the rich can too.
    Belgium could get quite crowded…

  5. The French government lost the support of the mob the minute they criticised a Frenchman for running away rather than staying and fighting…

  6. Ladder curve yes, but it’s not the same everywhere. It’s easy for a Frenchman to escape the tax man by driving across the border to Belgium: all his family and friends are still just a short drive or train ride away. The local language is the same, the same TV channels are available, etc.

    It’s much harder for a Brit to leave: we can’t drive anywhere without getting on a ferry; friends & family are more than just a quick drive away; and the average Brit doesn’t speak a single foreign language, making a relocation to Belgium much harder.

    Therefore the UK taxman can pluck more feathers than the French taxman, without the goose running away.

  7. Foreign language? Have enough trouble with our own multiple native languages.
    Would not bother me in the slightest to move overseas, my business would manage and you’d be suprised how many foreigners can deal with at least English speakers. May have more difficulty with British sign language, welsh or gaelic speakers….

    Ferry trips aren’t too bad. Even if living some distance away within the EU.

  8. “Have enough trouble with our own multiple native languages” – que? All Welsh speakers and all four remaining Scots Gaelic speakers speak perfect English. BSL, yes, more of a problem.

  9. Glasgow Scots speak a foreign language. They *claim* to speak English but…

    It’s the one accent I just can’t get the hang of. Indian? Fine. Chinese/SE Asian? No problem. Anywhere in Europe? Easy to deal with. Most of the UK/Eire, still have no trouble.

    Glaswegians? I have no idea what they’re on about.

  10. That’s because it isn’t the accent you don’t understand. It’s the dialect words that are throwing you. (I grew up there.)

  11. It’s not hard to learn another language if you actually live where it’s spoken, especially Romance languages. I’m to all intents and purposes bilingual in Spanish now. And it was the thought of what the Blair terror would wreak on the nation that impelled me to leave in the first place.

  12. Martin M @ 8: actually, the opposite is true. The British, probably more than any other nationality, are extremely good at picking up and leaving and never going back. Australians, Amercians, and French are pretty good at leaving but almost all want to go back eventually. Brits, once they have left, generally don’t go back and I have yet to come across a place which didn’t have Brits who have slotted right in, often marrying a local along the way. This is what makes Brits harder to tax.

  13. I never studied French at school after the first year but after 5 years I managed to get an F in French at GCSE despite deliberate mistakes and never revising any French in 5 years, was trying for a G or H grade.
    Probably get an A these days, can’t help picking up enough language to muddle through.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *