Written by Scarlett Regan, Researcher

Edited by Laura Hamilton, Managing Partner

Good morning, As a history student, I wrote my final year dissertation about the women of the French Resistance, who bravely and defiantly undermined, flummoxed and outfoxed the oppressive German enemy and its occupying forces. Many were not recognised until several years later.

I critiqued the idea of the Women’s Resistance as being locked into a period of time, because the wider movement of female resistance is, by necessity, ongoing. More female resisters came to the fore in France this weekend.

The César awards – France’s equivalent of the Oscars - took place in Paris on Friday evening. Roman Polanski, the Franco-Polish film director, still wanted in the United States after he admitted to statutory rape, won Best Director for his film J’Accuse  (An Officer and a Spy), about the Dreyfus affair. In fact Polanski was nominated for twelve César awards, sparking a public petition from an outraged film industry, leading the entire César Academy board to resign at the end of last year.

Adèle Haenel, currently playing to great reviews in Portrait of a Lady on Firewalked out of the ceremony after the announcement of Polanski’s win, dramatically yelling “Bravo paedophilia” and “Shame”. Haenel has been a leading advocate for France’s #MeToo movement, and in November she accused another French director, Christophe Ruggia, of sexually harassing her between the ages of 12 and 15. Her female director followed her out of the ceremony, as did several other attendees. The host Florence Foresti failed to return to the stage after Polanski’s win, later posting a short but certainly not sweet message on her Twitter account: “Disgusted”.

He received backing on Saturday from the philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy, who tweeted: "That the #Cesars waited until #Polanski was absent and could not respond, to mock him, humiliate him, overplay disgust and go so far as to refuse to pronounce his name, that says a lot about where the real “Miserables” were last night."

Ironically this was in the same week that Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape in a New York courtroom.

So, while #MeToo as a movement is building resonance across the world and resilience among many women who may now feel more able to come forward and speak out, the drama in France indicates that there is still a vital role for women’s resistance. Perhaps especially in France.


Thirteen more patients in the UK have tested positive for coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases in the UK to 36. The prime minister Boris Johnson is to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency Cobra committee later today, when the official government plan on how to tackle the spread of the virus will be finalised and signed off.

Priti Patel is expected to face questions in parliament about her behaviour after being accused of bullying by Sir Philip Rutnam, her department’s top civil servant. Rutnam, the Home Office’s permanent secretary, quit on Saturday after accusing Patel of creating a “vicious” campaign against him.

The Greek government has announced that in just one day it has stopped nearly 10,000 migrants from crossing over the land border from Turkey. The Greek deputy defence minister Alkiviadis Stefanis has accused Turkey of encouraging migrants to make the trip to Europe, after Turkey vowed to open its doors for migrants to travel to the EU. Many of the blocked migrants have been sent to Evros, an area along the Turkey border.

Business and economy

Private equity firms are rushing to buy a majority stake in Asda after US owner Walmart chose to offload the supermarket. This came after Walmart’s competition watchdog decided to block Asda’s merger with Sainsbury’s.

Thousands of former Northern Rock shareholders are organising another fight for compensation after the nationalised bank was left with £5 billion in surplus equity, having fully repaid its government loans. Chairman of the Northern Rock Small Shareholder Action Group, Dennis Grainger, said that he will write to the prime minister and chancellor to recover the excess profits made by the Treasury. (£)

Share prices in Asia have risen after the Bank of Japan promised to help protect markets from the impact of the coronavirus. The bank’s governor announced that the bank would “monitor developments carefully and strive to stabilise markets”. The bank last made this kind of statement in June 2016, when the UK voted to leave the EU.

Columns of note

In The TimesClare Foges argues that the ‘me’ generation are too selfish and cannot be relied on to self-isolate, therefore the government need to take more ‘draconian steps’ to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Decades ago, she notes, governments could rely on an obedient public, with wartime campaigns such as ‘Make Do and Mend!’. Now, however, it is a different story, with a stark lack of trust in authority. Our individualist society means that these slogans will be far from enough, she concludes. (£)

In the Financial TimesNick Butler notes that although the oil majors’ climate change targets are good, we should not celebrate at this stage. The six largest oil companies in Europe have set targets in an attempt to combat climate change, however these companies produce just seven per cent of global demand. Most global oil production, he writes, comes from companies owned or controlled by national governments, such as Brazil’s Petrobras. These state-owned companies will cover any gap in supply as the European companies shrink their production. And demand for oil is increasing. Serious campaigners need to focus their efforts on the users of energy, he concludes. (£)

Source: The Guardian


What's happening this week? World stock markets are likely to fall further this week after reports last week revealed that factory output in China had plunged significantly, as a result of the coronavirus. Investors expect to discover this week whether the outbreak of the virus is accelerating in the US, and how far central banks and governments are prepared to go to deal with an epidemic.

Investors will also find out how many vegan sausage rolls the UK baker Greggs has sold when it reports its full-year results on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 has a quarterly reshuffle on Tuesday, with NMC Health, Tui, easyJet and Kingfisher at risk of demotion from the index.

Insurers Legal & General and Aviva will report annual results on Wednesday and Thursday respectively – both have general insurance arms that face UK flood claims, whilst Aviva’s focus on Asia will mean there is very high interest in their results. On Friday we will find out the US jobs figures: the US economy is expected to have created 190,000 jobs, down from 225,000 in January.

What's happening today?


Greencoat Rene.


Johnson Service

Lukoil Adr



JPMorgan Rus  UK Economic Announcements

(9:30) PMI Construction

(9:30) Mortgage Approvals

(9:30) PMI Services

(9:30) M4 Money Supply

(9:30) PMI Manufacturing

(9:30) Consumer Credit

Int. Economic Announcements

(00:00) Industrial Production (GER)

(07:00) Factory Orders (GER)

(07:00) Current Account (GER)

(07:00) Balance of Trade (GER)

(08:55) PMI Manufacturing (GER)

(09:00) PMI Manufacturing (EU)

(14:45) PMI Manufacturing (US)

(15:00) ISM Manufacturing (US)

(15:00) Construction Spending (US)

Source: Financial Times

Did you know?

If every adult in the UK sent one email fewer each day, it would save carbon emissions equivalent to 80,000 flights from London to Madrid, or taking 3,300 diesel cars off the road.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons Oral questions

Education (including Topical Questions)


Medicines and Medical Devices Bill: Second Reading


High Speed Rail (West Midlands – Crewe) Bill – Grant Shapps

Estimates Day

The House will be asked to agree all outstanding estimates – Mr Ben Wallace, Jesse Norman


Return of Elgin Marbles – Margaret Ferrier House of Lords Oral questions

Ensuring UK creators of artistic content have the same copyright protection as those in the EU – Lord Clement-Jones

Oral questions

Whether the proposed UK autonomous global human rights Magnitsky-style sanctions regime will apply to persons engaged in illegal organ trafficking or obtaining organs for transplant without consent – Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

Oral questions

Government plans for the Port of Holyhead – Lord Roberts of Llandudno

Oral questions

The debt levels, mental health and ability to work of those receiving Universal Credit – Baroness McDonagh


Fisheries Bill [HL] – Committee stage (day 1) – Lord Gardiner of Kimble

Short debate

Impact of treatment by unregulated and unregistered persons offering psychotherapy or counselling services upon the mental health and wellbeing of their clients – Baroness Jolly Scottish Parliament No business scheduled.