Tory Councillor David Shakespeare recently suggested that those Northerners who will inevitably suffer from higher VAT, higher unemployment and rising prices across the board, should be made to pick the fruit of the richer southerners. He stated that Northerners should “replace the Romanians in the cherry orchards“. Let them
eat cake pick the rich’s strawberry fields.
During the French Revolution, as the National Assembly promised to help relieve the plight of poor, who were massively ignored during the successive reigns of Louis XV and the soon-to-be-headless Louis XVI. Prices were rising and unemployment was out of control. The National Assembly were soon seen to be failing to actually change anything at all.
According to Christopher Hibbert in his book “The French Revolution”:
….with bread still expensive and in short supply, with unemployment increasing due to a bad harvest of 1788, riots erupted in towns and villages. Millers and farmers suspected of hoarding grain were assaulted, walls and fences were pulled down. At Troyes the mayor was killed. At Agde the bishop was dragged from his house and forced to relinquish all rights to his mill…..
The Lieutenant de maire of Saint Denis on the Northern outskirts of Paris was chased through the streets by an angry crowd for contemptuously refusing to reduce the price of bread. Chased to the top of the Church steeple he was stabbed to death and decapitated.
One of the Ministers in Breteuil’s reactionary government Foullon de Doue, who was believed to be speculating in the grain trade and plotting a counter-revolution met an even more horrible fate. Accused of having said the people should be made to eat hay if they were hungry, a collar of nettles was placed around his neck, a bunch of thistles was thrust into his hand, and a fistful of hay shoved between his lips. He was then hanged on a nearby lamp post.
His son in law, Bertier de Sauvigny, the Intendantof Paris, was accused of similar abuses and murdered as well. His heart was torn out of his body and brandished at the windows of the Hotel de Ville. Then his head was cut off and paraded with that of his father-in-law on a pikestaff through the streets and down the arcades of the Palais Royal, the one head being pushed against the other to the cries of “Kiss Papa, Kiss Papa!”