Monday, 8 May 2017

Plus Ca Change

Alors, c'est fait. Macron, inevitably, won, and France, we can be sure, will continue to play a leading role in the ongoing suicide of Western Europe. As I always say, never underestimate the delusional folly of the French, at least in political matters. A nation dazzled by Ideas is rarely going to produce good governance.
 Still, it could be worse. On this date in 1794, Antoine Lavoisier, the 'father of modern chemistry', the man who named both oxygen and hydrogen, was tried, convicted as a traitor and guillotined. Among the crimes he was charged with was adulterating the nation's tobacco with water.
 A year and a half after his death, he was exonerated and his belongings were delivered to his widow with a curt note. A century later, a statue was erected in Paris in his memory, but it turned out that, to save effort, the sculptor had welded a spare head he had lying around - that of the Marquis de Condorcet - onto the body of his Lavoisier. The statue was melted down during the Second World War and has not been replaced.