What does it mean when British & French govts work harder than America’s?
August 11th, 2011
04:12 PM ET

What does it mean when British & French govts work harder than America’s?

Cabinet members leave 10 Downing Street this morning following British PM David Cameron's meeting to discuss the unrest that has spread across the UK. Parliament was recalled following four days of rioting. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the global economy hangs on by a thread, maybe our leaders should take some notes from the British and the French.

In England - Prime Minister David Cameron cut his vacation short and called Parliament back from theirs to hold a special session today. They're dealing with the worst rioting and violence that country has seen in decades; and there's no doubt economic instability and high unemployment are partly to blame.

Meanwhile French President Nicolas Sarkozy returned to Paris from the Riviera to deal with France's own financial crisis. Bank shares are plunging there; and he's pledged drastic austerity measures. He's even recalled the French parliament from their vacation to vote on a balanced budget amendment to their constitution.

Hop over the pond here to the U.S. ... where our Congress is on vacation for five weeks; and President Obama is headed off on his own vacation to Martha's Vineyard.

The only thing of any consequence that Congress has done in the last month or so was to fail to stave off the first credit downgrade in our history. And once they finished that - they couldn't get out of town fast enough. No wonder they have a measly approval rating of 14%.

Meanwhile President Obama's own approval ratings are at or very near all-time lows as he gets ready to try to convince the country he deserves a second term. The White House was out defending Mr. Obama of course, saying presidents are never really on vacation and that they take their work with them.

Nonetheless it's all about appearances. Our president and Congress choose to go on vacation while our country struggles under an economy perhaps lurching toward another recession and a debt crisis no one has been very serious about solving.

How dare the people think the government is disconnected from reality.

Here’s my question to you: What does it mean when the British and especially the French governments work harder than America's?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: France • Government • United Kingdom • United States
August 9th, 2011
04:48 PM ET

Are England's riots a sign of things to come here?


Firefighters battle a massive blaze at the Sony distribution center in Waltham Abbey, north of London. (PHOTO CREDIT: LEON NEAL/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

London is burning - along with many other parts of England - and the United States may want to take note.

More than 560 people have been arrested in London alone after the past three nights of violence. The city's jails are full.

And when you look at these pictures, it's hard to believe this is London, one of the world's great cities, and not some third world country with a ragtag government.

Looting, fires, rioting, attacks on police officers: Residents say it's like a "war zone" and that there's a "carnival atmosphere" among the gangs of hooded youths.

This all started after the shooting death of a 29-year-old black man at the hands of the police in London last week. It's still under investigation. But it's almost like that was the spark that ignited an explosion of anger and frustration from Britain's young and unemployed.

There are reports of children as young as seven participating in the violence and looting. Seven years old.

Prime Minister David Cameron has cut his Italian vacation short, and he's recalling Parliament. He's vowing tough action to stop the violence. Critics say the police have been missing in action so far, but 16,000 will report for duty on the streets of London tonight.

And the violence isn’t just in London. It has also broken out in cities like Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol.

There are many culprits for what's going on here - including ethnic tensions and absence of law enforcement.

But make no mistake - it's no coincidence that these riots are happening as the global economy hangs off the edge of a cliff. Income inequality in England is greater than at any time since the 1920s. And this rioting began in one of the poorest parts of London - Tottenham, where unemployment is devastating.

Here’s my question to you: Are England's riots a sign of things to come here?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: London • United Kingdom