Magazine article The Spectator

Cher Luc, You Can't Expel O'Kelly and the French Will Fine You If You Try

Magazine article The Spectator

Cher Luc, You Can't Expel O'Kelly and the French Will Fine You If You Try

Article excerpt

The schoolboy O'Kelly's misconduct was celebrated in verse. His acts of resistance multiplied, until at last he was summoned to the headmaster's study. Then:

The Head expelled O'Kelly - but O'Kelly wouldn't go!

Luc (yes, it's him again) Vandevelde, the headmaster of Marks & Spencer, knows the feeling. He wants to shut up shop in France and Belgium, but will the staff let him? Not likely. They resist the suggestion, their governments back them, and if Mr Vandevelde hops on the Eurostar and comes to see them, he is in some danger of being kept in detention. His managers in France may get there first. A French court has fined M&S for `manifestly illegal troublemaking' and told him to keep the shops open and keep the staff on. This, after all, is Continental Europe, where employment is protected, and where unemployment is high and inward investment less visible than it is in Britain, for all the supposed attraction of a single currency. …

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