As in all other European countries, the Sarkozy government in France is applying a vicious policy of “austerity”. The workers – and also the middle classes – are to suffer further cuts in their standard of living in order to maintain and increase capitalist profits. In these years of crisis, French banks doubled their profits from 5.5 to 11 billion euros in 2009, and almost doubled them again to 21 billion in 2010.

Two months after it burst onto the scene, the scandal surrounding Dominique Strauss-Kahn continues to occupy a prime position in the coverage of the French capitalist media. Each day brings a bout of more or less anodyne ‘scoops’ against a background of a continuous flow of images.