Sunday, July 31, 2011

Open Letter to President N.SARKOZY

M. Le President Nicholas Sarkozy

Greetings from a Proud Australian !

“ Le Tour de France “ has created a New “Sporting Idol “ for the world and particularly Australia ! I use “ IDOL “ not “HERO ” since I reserve that title for members of Your Armed Forces who you send into “Harms Way ” in the service of Humanity ! Of Course there are “ Heroes ” in the various Policing Organisations in your country also , who have performed in an Exemplanary manner in risking their life to save others !

“Le Tour ” is a credit to France in that it draws attention to the Touristic qualities that your country offers the visitor thus I am sure it can be credited with the high numbers that choose to vacation in France each year . Reports of upwards of 15 million lining the routes each year may be true but who is counting ? Regardless of where people come from or how they travel whilst in France there is a benefit to the French Economy . Not only “ ASO ” but other organisations benefit from this spending spree and it would be hard to imagine a France in July without “ Le Tour ” !

Making this Event successful requires the use of resources from ALL parts of the Community and coordination must be a logistical nightmare that requires INPUT from ALL sections of the Communities either on the various routes or in the neighbouring “ Departments ”.

“ ASO ” puts out each year a “ Guidebook ” which helps the media to understand what is about to take place and it is a source of reference that can be utilised by ALL to plan their Visit to the “ Le Tour ” whether to sit at the side of the road or visit the “Depart ” or “ Arrivee ” ! Presently it contains information of the “ Caravan ” and Racers timings BUT it should ALSO state the times that the route will be CLOSED to movement other than those with “ Properly Authorised Vehicles ” !

Fact is Millions of Euros are spent on erecting “ Signs ” warning of Road Closure Times but then a Gendarme will come along and decide “ HE IS THE AUTHORITY ” and the road will close upwards of an hour before the “ Advertised Time ” regardless of the information published on the internet or these expensive signs ! Oh yes , it happens , I have seen it so many times over the years inconvenience the locals as well as the passing public . This year I was riding uphill and a “Major Rank Gendarme “ pulled alongside and told me to stop riding as the road was closed . No Gendarmes yet in place but he had decided I had gone as far as HE wanted me to go ! Of course I continued uphill and arrived about 35 minutes before the advertised time to find several other cyclists stopped BUT the cars that had passed during the period I continued riding were nowhere to be seen !

“ M. Le Major ” came over and told me he had warned me not to arrive so I picked up my bike and walked off the route ! What was he thinking about ? Good Public relations ? How many years more must he suffer “ Le Tour ” before retirement ? Fact is The Gendarmerie is NOT A PRIVATE ARMY in the service of “ ASO ” , it is in the service of the FRENCH GOVERNMENT ! Who pays for the LONG HOURS that the Gendarme has to stand “ IDLE ” at the point allocated by their superiors ? Can it be that “ The Public Purse ” picks up the TAB whilst “ ASO ” pockets the profits from savings made by utilising Public Resources ?

“ Tour de Suisse ” is not much smaller than the “ Le Tour ” BUT they have “ Rolling Stoppages ” for most of the routes each day utilising “ Private Security ” using Motorcyclists and Reservists from the Swiss Army which closes the road for about 10 to 30 minutes before the arrival of the racers ! What do they do right when the Gendarmerie are REQUIRED by “ ASO ” to close the road up to 6 hrs before the racers arrive ? Can you imagine how many hours those Junior ranks of the Gendarmerie are required to stand at their allocated post ? Even before being posted they endure the meeting at the “ Assembly Point ” , transport to the location and then the aftermath requiring them to endure upwards of 10 to 12 hour days ! Who pays their wages ? How much time off duty do they get in lieu of this extraordinary duty ?

M.Le President as you pass in 2012 you will no doubt see a difference BECAUSE you are going to ACT and Streamline this USE OF RESOURCES ! Can the French Public stand by any longer and Allow “ ASO ” to impose these harsh conditions on their Gendarmerie ? No doubt your Gendarmerie can tell you that there is an increasing “ Crime Wave ” during the “ Le Tour ” since “ Organised Crime Bosses ” enjoy a window of opportunity whilst people are out of their homes and then you also have “ Spivs ” selling their “ Plastic Drapues and Nougat ” by blockading the junctions and suitable corners in villages AND Cities , but they also invade Shops and Offices forcing their “ Trashy products ” on those unwitting citizens some of whom they convince to BUY by flashing their “ phoney credentials ” !

Several of my Blog Posts raise these issues from this years’ “ Le Tour ” but I have seen this behaviour since 1998 and heard Police National Officers take an indifferent point of view to that of the Gendarmerie Officers . Already raised this matter in my email to the “ Elysee Palace ” during this years’ Tour ! Yet to receive a reply though !

M. Le President by canvassing the Opinion of YOUR Citizens you will see that many of these issues can be Addressed AND Solved ! Can you imagine that the day is not far off when the French Public will prefer to stay in their home and enjoy the “ Le Tour ” by watching it on the TV ? I can !

Pulmonary Embolisms’ once again in February saw me ride slower this year but at 65 yo I can still ride with the Racers , 14 visits to the “ Le Tour ” has opened my eyes to both the Good and the Bad that surrounds this Event . Can’t imagine having to watch it on TV but then I am not transported in by the “Authorised Tour Companies ” together with a bike and then FORCED to sit at the side of the road because a Junior Rank imposed his new found authority for fear he will upset his superior . The OLDER , Wiser Ranks choose to use the “ Nelson Touch ” !

“ ASO ” cream the profits but take no responsibility for the actions that cause the “ Visitor ” or the “ Gendarme ” to suffer long periods of idleness on the roadside . ONLY you have the Authority or Ability to DEMAND action that will Streamline the Time that Gendarmerie and the Visitor will be forced into Idleness !

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