Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Alstom cannot tell its farce from its elbow

Telegrammed by Leo Pink...
As L'affaire Eurostar moves from Paris to London it is casting a fascinating light on national comedic stereotypes.

It began as pure Feydeau farce, with the two comedy detectives Borloo et Bussereau bursting out of the wardrobe to find Eurostar and Siemens in a clinch to cries of 'Ooh lal la, zey have bought ze forbidden trains!!'

But in Alstom's current hearing in the High Court in London we are seeing a comedy of embarrassment best typified by 'The Office'. Alstom's latest arguaments against the Siemens order are even more cringe-making than David Brent's dancing.

Of course, no strangers to national self delusion, Alstom may see themselves as heir's to Dumas' Three musketeers riding to London to rescue the Queen's diamonds.

Sadly Alstom is no D'Artangnan, more Brian Rix!

Eye looks forward to seeing the Frenchies' trousers fall down.

UPDATE: This from @DriverPotter...

Alstom for IEP - Gallic farce would add a new shine to an otherwise very British Balls-up.

UPDATE: This from the Answer = 42...

You've got it all wrong about Alstom.

They know their legal action against Eurostar is a waste of time and money but what can they do? They owe President Sarko (you remember, Carla Bruni's current husband) a favour!

You might remember a few years ago, Sarko, when Minister of Finances, bailed Alstom out when they got into a spot of bother. All very legal under EU rules, as the French Republic acted as an investor - he made a nice profit for the French taxpayer to prove it. And goodness knows the French taxpayer needs all the help he can get.

But the problem is that Alstom undeniably owes the little guy a favour. And right now, he's the one in a spot of bother. You know, strikes, riots, that sort of thing.

So his cunning plan is to use the Eurostar tender to work the French public into a righteous nationalistic snit against the Germans, British or, even better, both.

So he leans on Alstom to get stuck in against Siemens and Eurostar. Which they do but then 'forget' to tell the French media.

Here is the headline from Alstom's only press release on the subject published on the 7th October

"Regarding Eurostar's purchase of new trains, Alstom will make no comment on today's commercial discussions announced by the company".