Letter: French lesson

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The Independent Online
From Mr Donald Foreman

Sir: Mary Dejevsky ("Warning of new French revolution", 25 November) makes it clear that republican France is not a country at ease with itself. For almost 100 years after the revolution of 1789, France was a monarchy of one form or another, and since the fall of the Second Empire the three republican constitutions have conspicuously failed to unite the nation. Periods when the executive president, who is also head of state, has been of one party while the prime minister is of another have only served to inhibit good government and emphasise division. Let us not forget that Jacques Chirac was not the people's choice in the first round of the last presidential election.

While even the most ardent monarchist would not predict restoration of a French monarchy, an opinion poll conducted on the bicentenary of the revolution resulted in almost 20 per cent actively favouring such a move, and a majority who would not object to it. Monarchist groups representing the Bourbon, Orleans and Bonaparte dynasties are present throughout France, and receive a great deal of support.

Republicanism has not provided a solution to France's ills, and those who believe a move from monarchy to republic in Britain, or elsewhere, would be an advantage are much mistaken.

Yours faithfully,

Donald Foreman


Monarchist League

London, WC1

27 November