Gerard Nicoud is a young cafe owner likely to wield considerable influence in the French general elections due in six months time.
CU Nicoud walks towards camera and enters hall as audience applaud (2 shots)
SV & BV - Nicoud addresses meeting (3 shots) (French with English translation overlaid)
SCU Supporters blocking doorway
CU Arm band and lapel badge insignia (2 shots)
SCU Supporter gives money to official
SV & CU Nicoud autographing latest book for supporters (6 shots)
SV Nicoud enters bakery shop and selects cakes (2 shots)
SV & CU M. Renault baking bread (3 shots)
CU Emile Renault speaking in French (with English translation overlaid)
SV Emile Renault continues baking bread (3 shots)
CU Nicoud enters rally to applause
FALK: Gerard Nicoud has a flair for the dramatic entrance. Halls like this are his stage. To people like this he's a star.
Packed audiences cling to every word and listen with rapt attention as he talks ten to a dozen for two hours or more. He puts over the message they want to hear. (NICOUD SPEAKS BRIEFLY IN FRENCH).
TRANSLATOR: More and more tradespeople and workers are becoming aware of the dark future, that is to say, the sacrifice involved of all small family businesses on the alters of large commercial groups.
FALK: At massive rallies like this one in Paris, a heavy mob of his supporters guards the entrance and boots out all the dissidents. His supporters wear the Nicoud symbol on armbands, lapel badges and on hats and ties.
Every year, Nicoud generates nearly a quarter of a million pounds from members of the movement he's formed.
His first book is a best seller and at these meetings everyone wants the signature of Gerard Nicoud on their personal copy.
'Lee Dernieres Libertes' - The Last Freedoms. Up to two million people in France believe their last freedoms can best be preserved by following Nicoud. It is a remarkable tribute to his magnetism.
Nicoud left school when he was fourteen. Not long ago he was a waiter in a cafe and he's still only twenty-five years old.
Nicoud leads the 'little men' of France; the shopkeepers, the tradesmen, the small businessmen. They believe that their traditional way of life in France is dying. It is the age of the supermarket.
The Renault family are typical Nicoud supporters. They own a little bakers shop in a village near Lyons and Nicoud spends a considerable amount of his time visiting people like them. Madame Renault sells the bread and fancy cakes.
At night her husband Emile bakes his produce in a small bakery behind the shop. The business has been handed down from father to son for over a hundred years. Now Renault, for all his work, finds his standard of living decreasing as the supermarkets eat his profits.
TRANSLATOR: Personally, I work eighteen hours a day. You'll never find an eight hour day in the bakery trade. It's obvious that a great many small businesses are destined to disappear.
FALK: Value added tax, soon to be imposed in Britain, burdens him with paper work as well as hitting his profits. Since 1969, he's had to take compulsory national insurance which will be deducted from the pitifully small pension the state will give him when he becomes too old to work. For him the ultimate tragedy is that when he dies, the business will die too. His son and daughter won't work in the bakery because the financial rewards are too small.
Initials ESP/1314 ESP/1358
This British Broadcasting Corporation film shows M. Nicoud addressing a rally in Paris and looks at the life of a typical supporter. The film carries a commentary by reporter Bernard Falk, transcribed with cues on the following page.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Gerard Nicoud is a young cafe owner likely to wield considerable influence in the French general elections due in six months time.
Aged 25, he's the leader of the militant small shopkeepers' union, CID-UNATI, which claims nearly 200,000 members in France.
From his headquarters in the small village of La Batie-Montgascon, near Lyons, M. Nicoud campaigns for the rights of small businessmen in what he sees as a battle for the French way of life.
He condemns supermarkets and what he has described as "the cult of profitability."
M. Nicoud has pressed the Government for tax relief for small businessmen and is now trying to win seats on pension boards to improve the lot of retired shopkeepers and artisans.
Last November, M. Nicoud was sent to prison for fourteen months after he led attacks by his supporters on Government tax offices. In July, however, he was pardoned by President Pompidou and again took up his campaign against the Government and big business.