My restrictions are bigger than your re-dick-ions, er, restrictions
A combination of insecurity and the safety of numbers (for leaders) is driving shutdown hysterics
John Keiger in US Spectator: France’s downward spiral of coronavirus repression.
But the governing class is uncomfortable. They appear to have believed other states would follow their lead on rigid confinement. They are sensitive to the fact that only six out of some 30 European states (France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria) are enforcing confinement so strictly, and they clearly would have liked one of the larger democracies to join the club. This is why President Macron pressured Boris Johnson the day before yesterday to apply tougher confinement rules, and threatened to close the border with Britain if he failed to do so.
One group, however, is exempt from any police harassment, fines or criticism: Muslims.
There is also simmering panic because the French government is increasingly aware that in parts of France confinement is being deliberately flouted as a gesture of protest against the French state. This is the case, for example, in the northern banlieues of Paris. They have long been taboo, swept under the carpet by politicians and media alike. Applying the curfews and confinement with the same stringency as elsewhere has the potential to spark serious rioting, violent clashes with the police and the stigma of French race riots. On March 20 the French government’s official spokesman floundered when attempting to explain why French police were having difficulty enforcing confinement in these areas. France’s interior minister studiously avoids the issue on Twitter.
Ironic that the demographic usually seen as cursedly hostile to French liberté is now the only one upholding it.
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