Letter: French lead the way

French lead the way

Sir: Your report on the reduced working hours in France ("Kafkaesque world of a French social experiment", 22 February) is fine on economics and business but omits mention of perhaps the most important impact of all: on the people themselves.

With ever-increasing technology and computerisation it makes sense that sooner or later people should be allowed to start planning their lives around the certainty of more leisure time. Better an element of choice and gradualism that the enforced "leisure" of early redundancies and unemployment - which is what the free market has meant in Britain (and of course in France so far).

That France, once again, shows a willingness to be mocked for its experiments in revolutionary imagination deters no francophile such as myself from believing that, as with pasteurisation, aviation, and the cinema, we shall be following in France's socially creative footsteps in a few years' time.


London SW6