My thanks to the Meissen Bison for alerting me to the existence of the French dog walking form:

Among the measures introduced in France to deal with the coronavirus is a requirement to fill in a form before going out for a walk.

No, really, this is not a joke. As part of the lockdown it is necessary, before leaving the house, to complete and sign a download from the Ministry of the Interior. Name, address, what you think you’re doing and so on.

This is not filed with anyone, nor registered. It must simply be carried during the errand. Absence, if caught, will lead to a €135 fine. A new form is required for every exit from the house. And yes, there’s a box to tick for “aux besoins des animaux de compagnie” which my memories of exchange visits have as “for the needs of our furry friends”.

The solution to a global pandemic is a form for walking the dog. Of course, it is easy to mock the French but there is an important point here, for this is an example of a pernicious worldview. That we, the people, are only able to cope if we are told what to do, what we may do. All must be decided and enforced by the clever people in power and nothing left to ordinary folks to get on with.

Our own tradition is vehemently different. I have surprised people in a number of countries by pointing out that a British policeman isn’t actually allowed to ask — or at least not to insist upon knowing — what it is that you are doing. If accosted, a cheery “Going about my lawful business, constable” is all that is required. Such liberties might not apply in moments of crisis but they are indicative of a different manner of thinking.

That’s a difference we must continue with, even as parliament considers extending the powers of the police during this emergency. The undirected but considered interactions of 65 million of us are what we call the economy, society itself. These will also be the solutions to our current crisis.

We now face we know not what. Perhaps a loss of 1 per cent of GDP for a few weeks, possibly 10 per cent for many months. The very creation of that GDP in the first place is those voluntary interactions of the 65 million of us. So, too, will be the maintenance of it and the recovery. It is markets, not central direction, that will work — and certainly not dog-walking forms.

Be adult, be responsible, and the best of British to you.

39 thoughts on “Elsewhere”

  1. This is Macron cashing in on the crisis to establish the kind of tyranny he and his EU masters want. Hopefully the French will see through the childish emotional blackmail and double down on going after Granny’s Boy.

  2. Thought I’d listen to Talkradio and JHB for a change. She was interviewing a proper expert who was explaining all the various reasons why our government and our health so-called experts are doing this all wrong. Why are we so rubbish here and why are they over there so much better? Every facet of life, every field, we are rubbish.

  3. BiND - Nomadic fleer of viruses

    I was arguing with one of the usual suspects who was telling all and sundry that we should be in full lockdown like the Chinese and Italians. Why, I asked, pointing out that I go on 12 mile hikes and don’t see a soul and when it got too wet for the footpaths and bridleways I did a regular 5 mile walk along country lanes round our village and seldom see anyone.

    It’s rarely the case that we need national laws for any problem, locking down the whole country isn’t one of them.

  4. Everything, timing (too late), training (would be easy to train people do swabs), funding (too litte too late), methods (all wrong).

    I’ll stop listening, it’s the constant same old same old drip drip moan moan.

  5. BiND - Nomadic fleer of viruses

    Jussi,

    Even Mrs BiND has picked up on this and is also getting fed up with the MSM focus on individual hard luck stories. ITV “news” was dreadful last night. Why can’t they talk to someone who’s recovered, preferably someone over 70, she lamented.

    Anyway, who’d have thought our universities had awarded so many PhDs in Hindsight? Pity they can train people in foresight.

  6. There is a stream of middle class ‘thought’ in the UK, which informs Remainism amongst other ailments, that Everything Is Just So Much Better Abroad Darling.

  7. Some things genuinely are better abroad; but the chattering classes can’t agree on what they are. Australian healthcare is excellent, but the NHS is sacrosanct. The motorways are better in France, but we can’t possibly have road tolls here. Houses are bigger abroad, but nobody dares lay a finger on the green belt. And so on.

    A lot of stuff runs very well here. Starting a business is child’s play. HMRC’s rules are complex, but still an order of magnitude simpler than in France or the USA. The DVLA works almost flawlessly (compared with the notorious queues in the USA). It’s easier to change jobs or move house than in most European countries. Shopping is excellent compared to most anywhere in the world. And so on. It’s horses for courses.

    And so far at least, we’re doing better than the Italians on Covid-19.

  8. The Meissen Bison

    DocBud – that was my thought too but BiTiN in the earlier thread explained that the form didn’t have to be downloaded and printed – one could produce one in manuscript if lacking a computer and printer at home.

  9. Jussi said:
    “Talkradio … interviewing a proper expert who was explaining all the various reasons why our government and our health so-called experts are doing this all wrong.”

    Whenever an “expert” is interviewed on the radio or the telly, let’s remember that one of their “experts” is Richard Murphy.

    That should allow us to keep things in perspective.

  10. The Meissen Bison said:
    “… the form didn’t have to be downloaded and printed – one could produce one in manuscript if lacking a computer and printer at home.”

    But, if you’re not allowed outside the house without a form, how do you get to the Mairie or police station or wherever you need to go to get the form to fill in?

  11. My dog can’t read, so how is he expected to sign any form, online or otherwise? Nor does he have a bank account, so if he was nicked, he couldn’t pay any fine, Euro or otherwise.

  12. The French are used to being stopped by the police and being required to produce various papers. One more makes little difference. According to the Press people are renting out their dogs for “accompanied walks”! €8.00 per hour.
    L’Independant stated today that walks should be limited to 10 minutes. This is unlikely to be true and is not followed in my village. However, the Police are fining individuals who have gone too far for their groceries, bread or to the Pharmacy. Things really are different here.
    Finally, we have an influx of people to their second homes. They come from both France and Catalunya. There seems to be no effort to control this movement.

  13. The French are used to being stopped by the police and being required to produce various papers.

    Is that a hangover from the Vichy government? Do they say Où sont vos papiers in a slight German accent?

  14. BlokeInTejasInNormandy

    RichardT

    The general form of the idiot paperwork is common in France.

    So all you need to be able to do is to watch TV and remember the Five Allowed Activities. And to be able to write.

    Or to have a phone and call someone. Or even the Mairie.

    It ain’t hard

    Not to say it’s useful, but it’s perfectly normal ..

    As to John Wilkinson’s dog; oo nasty situation.

  15. Gruntled 66: “Things really are different here.”

    The phrase is “tyrannical shithole” I believe.

  16. Sorry to have been opaque, RichardT, you create the entire form longhand.

    Presumably some publicity has been given to the various fields that are required and the amount of detail that must be supplied.

    The joy, of course, is that common sense has little to do with the entire process and the essential point is that since everything is codified no latitude can be expected or given.

    The joy of France is to have an -in theory- utterly inflexible system imposed upon an undisciplined and bloody-minded population.

  17. – You have to print out a form to go out and shop for more printer ink.
    – If you can print out the form, you obviously didn’t need more printer ink.
    Catch-19: The best there is.

  18. Me Ecks generally pettifogging rules and regulations are ignored. However, the Municipal and Nationalthe Police do set up check points and road blocks. Carrying the right piece of paper is not a great problem. Our village Policeman is just that. He lives here with his wife and familly and is part of the community. The militarised Brigade of Police is quite another matter!

  19. Angela Merkel reckons it’s Germany’s biggest challenge since the Second World War. They were challenging times for Germany, what with all those countries invading it for no obvious reasons.

  20. Coronavirus: 5 micro-inches in diameter (equivalent in Euro-terms to 125 nano-meters or 1/8 micron).
    Micron: a small and insignificant figurehead for a fascist state, approximately 8 viruses tall.

  21. @Jussi

    JHB should interview

    Doctor Fact-Checks Media On Coronavirus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CRxyHU9Oxo

    Dr Mike out here calling out scare-mongering media, non-medical opinions and ridiculous celebrity endorsements of non-medical accessories and face masks and dropping truth bombs like Ritalin at an ADHD convention. Finally! Someone who can talk about this from a medical point of view

    The media is more dangerous than the coronavirus itself

    @BiND

    +100 Where I live, I can go for a walk anytime of day and usually have a close encounter (<20ft) with zero peeps

    @Andrew M

    +1 I still remember my first stint in Madeira mid 1990s, shops, supermarkets were like UK circa 1970

    Mid 1990s Sweden was similar with added joy of less choice of most (1 type of apple, potato etc), I did like the large range of muesli and the pouring yoghurt. Also, 'customer always wrong' until they knew one was British

  22. The Meissen Bison said:
    “Sorry to have been opaque, RichardT, you create the entire form longhand.”

    Ah, thank you.

  23. BiND, I thought of you this afternoon as I overtook a campervan near Wareham. The model was, somewhat inaccurately, named “swift”.

  24. BiND - Nomadic fleer of viruses

    Richard,

    That wasn’t me, wish it was.

    I’ve just had to drive back from a nice little car park under Mount Batten in Plymouth because Mrs BiND read on a motorhome Facebook group that we were being antisocial. Apparently the embarrassment of being antisocial on a motorhome group trumps health concerns when your in the high risk category. We’re now back at home sat in the motorhome on our drive with our son is in one half of the house and his fiancé the other. I await to be told the new rules of engagement.

  25. BiND – Nomadic fleer of viruses said:
    “I’ve just had to drive back from a nice little car park under Mount Batten in Plymouth because Mrs BiND read on a motorhome Facebook group that we were being antisocial”

    Good grief.

    My children’s schools are closing after tomorrow so my first thought was that, with an unexpected extra holiday, we could pop over to France and down to the Med, but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen.

    Then I thought there must be lots of cheap hotel rooms in Britain, so perhaps we could do a road trip – I’ve never really explored the North East or Hadrian’s Wall. But from what you say, perhaps that’s not a good idea – I don’t want to be chased out by pitch-fork wielding locals.

  26. Has anyone read “Mandrake” by Susan Cooper? (she wrote it before she became successful with children’s books)

    An autocratic government keeping people subdued by threat of ecological disaster and preventing them from traveling around. I’m feeling it’s quite prophetic.

  27. Dennis, Who’ll Forego The Usual Mockery Of Europeans. This time.

    If Richard Murphy had been born French he’d not only be indistinguishable from the average politician, he’d probably be a minister.

  28. I suppose it’s worth mentioning here that a variety of clinical trials around the world are substantiating the finding that Chloroquine, an old anti-malarial drug which is still widely available, is proving very successful in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. Recovery seems to take a median of 4 days after starting the drug.

    So the scare seems to be all over bar the shouting. I wonder how long the establishment will keep this going in order to save face?

  29. Dodgy Geezer,

    You’re ignoring the fact that one of the people pointing this out was Donald Trump, those on the left would rather die than use an effective remedy touted by Trump.

  30. @DocBud

    “…..You’re ignoring the fact that one of the people pointing this out was Donald Trump, those on the left would rather die than use an effective remedy touted by Trump…..”

    …those on the left would rather everybody in the country died except themselves than publicise an effective remedy touted by Trump…

    There. Fixed that for you…

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