There is an axe job going on in France, not the semi polite cabinet reshuffle that Cameron had a short while ago. This is not about kicking out the old blokes and getting a few token women in for the elections. No France is looking at a full blown axe murder spree with bodies everywhere.
French Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg has been saying the France will no longer “Be Pushed Around” by Germany. He added that Germany is "trapped by the austerity policy she has imposed on all of Europe."
The minister is well known in France for being outspoken when it comes to opposing austerity and supporting growth but he has generally be tolerated as a lone voice.
Now he has now been accused of crossing a line and daring to criticise both the French president and Germany. He does not seem to be alone either. The French education minister Benoit Hamon has joined in the criticism though Benoit seems to have had the frighteners put on him as he has now changed his tune.
A third minister, Aurélie Filipetti, had the audacity to wish the two rebels “ A Good Day” on twitter, gossip says she is for the chop as well. It doesn't take much in politics these days to blot your copy book and get sacked, say the wrong thing, be the wrong age and you’re gone.
End result of this Gaulish goings on. France doesn't have a government. If only it were that easy to get rid of a useless British one in the same way.
Anyway the French President has ordered the French Prime Minister to form a new government out of the disparate pack of French political parties, should be fun.
The current French government, wait, it’s the previous one as of today, OK the most recent government came to power making promises to reduce unemployment and bring in a whole list of leftist popular policies despite a surge in the political right in the country. Having completely failed to lower unemployment (it is still climbing), having failed to reduce the deficit (it is still climbing) and facing a lack of popularity (also still dropping) the French government is now no more.
Assembling a new coalition from the fractious and argumentative left, centre and right of French politics is going to be entertaining to watch but this has larger implications than just the French having a bad week.
The big point of contention here is German austerity. Frau Merkel's ongoing and highly unpopular drive to trim government spending and rein in European nations economies. But this isn't little Greece or Spain or Italy. This isn't the Republic of Ireland. This is France being told how to run its economy by the Boche. WHich may not be such a bad thing if you take a look at the mess that is the French economy, but still no one likes the Germans telling them how to live their lives.
What happens now has implications for Britain and for the EU as a whole.
The French prime minister could bring together a broad group representing all sides of French politics, a government that would be almost non functional in terms of internal cooperation but the only way to get the country moving again. Such a government would contain as many euro skeptics, anti austerity campaigners and Merkel haters as we have here in Britain.
While the French Prime Minister and bureaucracy will probably continue to slavishly follow EU policy it does present the prime minister with an opportunity. After all Germany has been happily ignoring Cameron’s attempts to change things to placate the British anti EU voices, will it be as easy to ignore a French government in the same situation.
The French prime minister could find enough support from the growing power of the Right to overcome what seems to be a steady fragmentation of the political left. This could result in a slim majority or even a minority government heavily indebted to the Right and Far Right, a situation that Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen will almost certainly be able to exploit.
Don't think of a government coalition including UKIP, think of one with the EDL and BNP.
Or the French prime minister could end up with a government that is imposed on him by the EU and Germany. The sort of government that is going to continue to obey German orders, continue to impose German austerity and end up about as representative of French democracy as the Eurocrats who were imposed on Greece.
In fact if this is what happens I believe the French have the perfect venue for signing such a government into existence, a railway carriage with a long history of such meetings which I remember is well maintained as a tourist attraction.
How does this affect the UK?
Well a French government with a strong anti Euro voice actually strengthens Cameron’s position on reducing EU powers and claiming authority back (or at least his token attempts to do this). He would be rightly able to point out that the second AND third strongest economies in Europe are now suffering from vocal and growing EU opposition. If Germany could be convinced to care about the fact that France has joined the UK in having to deal with rebellions then maybe, just maybe, the ever growing Totalitarianism of the EU super state could be put on hold or slowed down.
This would, bizarrely, make Cameron’s position stronger and allow him to wriggle out of his promise of a referendum in a few years. He could point out that the EU is finally listening and that the UK and France were getting back powers. No need for a vote on leaving the EU, I have fixed everything so you proles go back to sleep.
Of course if Germans goose steps all over the French and we have a pro EU, Pro Germany, Pro Austerity government forced into power by means fair or foul then the anti EU voices in the UK get stronger. They will have a perfect example of just why the UK should get the hell out of the EU. It is one thing to overthrow the democratic government of Greece. After all Greece is some little tourist stop on the med, does good food, not anything to worry about.
France on the other hand is much larger, much closer and much more like Britain. If Germany and the EU can overthrow the process of democracy and impose a government on France, well they could do the same to Britain.
So the events of the last few days may just be fun and games and French politics. But the problem is that we are all part of the same big, dysfunctional EU family these days and we all have to deal with the same overbearing and bullying matron Aunt.
The French may be those annoying cousins across the channel but if Aunty beats them up, well, we are next.