LETTER : Chirac, not the French, should be targeted

Click to follow
The Independent Online
BRIAN CATHCART'S article about the difficulty of boycotting French goods was largely correct ("How to really upset the French", 10 September). However, in one respect he went a little too far while in another he didn't go quite far enough. As far as wine and cheese are concerned, the label will be a reliable indication of whether the product actually comes from France, Somerset etc.

With respect to cars, though, while Mr Cathcart rightly cites the Fiesta with Michelin tyres and the Peugeot made in Coventry, he fails to mention that even boycotting cars supposedly made in France could unwittingly put British workers out of a job, because a "French" car may well contain many components made by British companies such as Lucas. Indeed, many of its parts could have been made in French-owned plants all around the world, and then assembled in France to avoid the European Union's external tariff.

Hitting innocent people in France, though, however regrettable, is, I'm afraid, unavoidable, because only massive protests in France itself can make Jacques Chirac think again.

Eric Taylor