Thursday, March 21, 2013

France Much Less Civilized And Much More Savage Than the French Like to Admit

The whole wild-violent-America vs. civilized-benevolent Europe spiel?

It's a flat-out lie, says The Daily Telegraph's Henry Samuel (merci à RV), quoting the book La France orange mécanique.

(Time for a reminder and to point out that this blog's primary raison d'être (Behind the Façades in France) is to explore "What expats and the mainstream media (French and American alike) fail to notice (or fail to tell you) about French attitudes, principles, values, and official positions".) But back to Laurent Obertone's book:
Flying in the face of the traditional image of a country seen as the land of good living, 'France, A Clockwork Orange' claims that mainstream politicians and the media have long masked a far more disturbing reality: it is rapidly descending into mindless violence and incivility.
"Nobody should ignore the reality," the book claims, namely that "every 24 hours 13,000 thefts, 2,000 attacks and 200 rapes" take place in France – figures far higher than official national statistics.
Claiming to lift the lid on a taboo – "the 'ensavagement' of a nation" - it has been dismissed by some commentators and criminologists as biased, unscientific and downright racist, peddling far-Right theories linking crime and immigration.

 … In the book, [Laurent Obertone] clinically enumerates one gratuitous crime after another gleaned from the press, police and judiciary, before coming to the conclusion that "ultra-violent crime" is exploding in France.

"The real level of insecurity, probably the worst in the history of the French Republic, is around 12 million crimes per year," he claims. To reach this figure, the author contends that true crime rates are "three times higher" than official figures as these only take into account registered or solved crimes.
Speaking on France 2, Mr Obertone said: "I am fighting for a truth I have felt and that does not get the media exposure it deserves." The book, which calls for a hard line on prison sentences, has struck a nerve as France's parliament this week begins a debate on reforms aimed at making prison a "last resort" by using fines, probation, treatment and training for less serious crimes.

 … Sales of Mr Obertone's incendiary jumped after Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, urged everyone to "read it and get others to read it".

Mr Obertone denies being a far-Right sympathiser saying he has "no political commitment".