The long Read: France is lost

The long Read: France is lost


norman lebrecht

July 17, 2016

Essential reading for this sombre weekend.

Ben Judah, a young English journalist of French extraction has been trawling the parts of France that have fallen to alien ideologies – Islamism on one hand, LePen-ism on the other.

He has written a long essay in Standpoint magazine. Sample:

You only really know Paris when you know the Métro. When you  recognise the Roma rapping on La Ligne 13, when you know without needing to look which stations let the sleeping bags in at night, when you get that instinctive feel for the hour the homeless beggars do their rounds up and down the carriages — “Mesdames, Messieurs.”

You only really know Paris when you know the spots where women look behind themselves at night. Get out quickly from the tunnels at Stalingrad — watch out for your bag, they say, that’s where the Eritreans are sleeping. Don’t get yourself a commute on La Ligne 13, they joke, it may be light blue but it goes from Romania to the banlieue end of hell. And with this ticket this is where I am going. I have to see the new France for myself to ask: is this country in danger? This is not just any old question to me. This is about my family. 

Read on here.




  • Olassus says:

    A better link.

    Essential reading for anyone who loves France. But I doubt St Denis is lost. It is just that when the French take it back there will be mass detentions and loss of life.

    Also, the trick the ruling parties played last December to block the Front National, and reward 6.8 million voters with zero, neatly summarized here,_2015

    will only backfire.

  • Todd says:

    Highly recommended reading.

    What can save France is to expel a huge number of muslims, intern those who can’t be expelled, set a total stop to migration from muslim countries, refuse any foreign founding of mosques, tear down the worst living areas in the banlieues – done successfully before.

    And reinforce the death penalty, of course. Make sure the jihadists are executed by women – then they won’t receive Paradis.

    • George Porter says:

      Where do you live Todd? Is it legal there to expel and intern citizens without due process?

    • debussyste says:

      Ah ah ah ! You are Mr Trump ! I didn’t he was so fond of classical music ….

    • Mathieu says:

      What the others said. You are crazy. That is your absolute right. I hope life has been treating you well so far, Sir.

      Just as an aside: in order to “reinforce” the death penalty, France would need to *have* it in the first place. But the death penalty is both unconstitutional (check out Article 66-1 of the French Constitution) and contrary to the Protocol 13 to the ECHR, to which France is a party of course.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    Whatever one thinks of Le Penisme it is not alien to France.It goes back to Petain and Action Francaise and toe the anti-Dreyfusards. She has moved away from sympathy with the Nazis and antisemitism, whether genuinely or not. For her and many millions of French people the problem is somewhat different today.

  • Mathieu says:

    I’ve read the article. I live in France – and I have lived there since I was born, in some of the very neighborhoods the author describes. If the author could drop the over-rehearsed clichés and the unsourced statistics, and did some real research, I would be grateful. What a bunch of rubbish. What next ? No-go zones ?

  • Marc-Antoine Hamet says:

    Norman, can you make an effort and have decent titles?
    I live in Paris, and your title is simply silly.

  • Alvaro says:

    …given some of the comments above, it is clear why we need classical music in schools: it promotes the higher ideals of mankind brotherhood, openess, makes you a better person, and its a specially good anodyne against racism, xenophobia and other irrational human psychological conditions. We should promote this music to be a more important part of our society, ideally as important as it was in Germany in 1936….