Local government. Army intelligence. Notice the similarities? I used to hate our agressive, mocking local paper in the UK, but I know that if any one of its vindictive staff had come across the abuses of power by the public servants in this neck of the woods the feeding frenzy would have made a shark attack look like a girl guides' picnic. The latest episode in the saga is the allegedly clandestine plans for industrial waste disposal under the cover of a small local tip for local waste. It's difficult to get to the bottom of what's been going on, but I'm convinced that the process stinks at least. The behaviour of the President of the Community of Communes is outrageous - I have experienced first hand - and the written evidence I've seen of the man's statements and actions is conclusive.
I haven't found out how the whole dynamics of local politics works here; it seems far more agressive and regularly involves mobs and demonstrations compared with back home. But there doesn't seem to be the same role for local rags or letters to the editor. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the local equivalent of the feudal lord is a principal share-holder in both local papers?
It seems local government is a very different animal here, but maybe I just missed most of what went on in sunny Blighty. There were certainly stories, acusations and court cases; but I don't think I came across anything like this.
I'm off now to listen to 200 kids singing badly in French. For three hours. Wish me luck.
Now where did I put those ear plugs...