Joining a protest march against US policy is quite common. Organising a pro-American
one isn't. Particularly in the middle of Gulf War II
. And especially if you are a 21 year old French girl.
Sabine Herold is the fresh young darling of the French middle class. In late 2002 this modern day Joan d'Arc started a libertarian movement called Liberte, J'ecrit Ton Nom (Liberty, I Write your Name), to confront what she saw were entrenched public servants, militant trade unions and ossified, irrelevant leftist academics dominating France's political, social and economic life.
The movement got popular attention in 23 May when during a regular march by striking unionists, she stood on the steps of Rhiems's city hall and spoke out against the strikers, the federal government and the loss of France's entrepreneurial spirit. Emboldened by the support she suddenly attracted, she went to Paris with the same message to a cheering crowd of 18,000. Now LIWYN has 80,000 supporters.
Even with the Loi Aubry she thought it was ridiculous that trade unions would perennially go on strike, even before they started any semblance of negotiation with the government. The middle class is inconvenienced, and inevitably the government caves in with a rash of reforms that the poor taxpayer will finance. Regulation is constraining entrepreneurship in France leading to unemployment, and protectionism breeds poverty in the developing world. And as 16,000 peutrifying corpses would attest, the current public health system is incapable of dealing with the modern stresses of France's demographic agequake when nurses only have to work 35 hours a week. To Sabine Britain and the United States are the countries that France should emulate if it wants a more dynamic economy.
Sabine hates Communism and admires Margaret Thatcher, Winston Churchill and Friedrich von Hayek it sounds a bit anachronistic when she quotes The Road to Serfdom, as if a government vaccination programme is one step away from the gulag . She has little respect for most French politicans (reactionary egotists), and this includes Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National party. For one, she is a libertarian like assassinated Dutch politican Pim Fortuyn, who advocates same sex marriage, sex worker rights and the decriminalisation of soft drugs. Sabine also believes in further integration with the European Union, and plans on becoming an MEP - once she reaches the age requirement of 23 years.
She also has a healthy disrespect for anti-Americanism, as if it were an embarrassing reminder of France's inferiority complex and the mindset of France's intellectual class to see Anglo-Saxons or Jews as the root of every problem in the world: In France, we are taught in school about American imperialism, that all Americans are either fat or work in sweatshops
Sabine grew up in Rheims as the daughter of a university academic and a schoolteacher - not working class, but the types who would naturally be attracted to politics that advocate a well funded public sector. Sabine herself worked for a year as a dinner lady in Birmingham, which probably accounts for her hobby of preparing five course dinner parties.
And yes, she's cute.