Category Archives: France

Macron Versus Le Pen? Not A Great Choice

The first round of voting in the French Presidential Elections is now complete, leaving the two final candidates, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. One is a neoliberal populist, the other represents the friendly face of Vichy-style fascism. For le peuple de France, it’s not a great choice.

Let’s not kid ourselves: Macron will continue in the same vein as Hollande.  He’s a former banker that served as Ministère de l’économie et des finances under Hollande and has the support of Manuel Valls, the Blairite former Première Ministre.  It was because the Parti Socialiste government moved so far to the right that the party now faces liquidation.

Les Républicains, formerly the UMP, formerly the RPR, which is the Gaullist continuity party, also faces an uncertain future. Their candidate, François Fillon polled a pathetic 19% and was almost level with Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s France Insoumise, who performed well but whose vote was split due to the presence of other Left candidates in the field.

Meanwhile, the British media coos and makes bedroom eyes to Le Pen’s fascists. To call the FN ‘populist’ is to ignore their history and their reactionary politics.  A Le Pen presidency would drag France back several decades. People of colour, Muslims, Jews and women would find themselves seriously disadvantaged by her party’s policies, which call for restrictions on immigration, withdrawal from the European Union and possesses a narrow-minded view of culture. The FN’s new look is nothing more than an attractive (for some) shop front. Behind that are shelves stuffed with the old attitudes of disgust for the Other and a deeply reactionary Catholicism.  It’s the same old shit in a slightly altered package.

So there it is: a choice between continuity Hollandisme or fash.  Whichever way French voters decide to cast their ballots, it’s either business as usual or a new era of isolationism that awaits.

 

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Tory MEP Hannan Describes French Front National as ‘Left-Wing’

I usually get stuck into the Lyin’ King when he characterises parties of the far-right as ‘far-left’. Beastrabban’s done the job here and even provided some historical analysis. Interestingly, Mussolini was  on MI5’s payroll in 1917 to make pro-war noises in Italy to convince people of the need to leap in on the side of the Allies during World War I. Let’s also remember that Churchill greatly admired Mussolini.

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Daniel Hannan

Tory MEP and supporter of NHS privatisation Daniel Hannan. In his view, the Front National are left-wing.

Following this morning’s post tracing the accusation that the National Front/ BNP are left-wing parties to the pamphlet by Stephen Ayres of the National Association For Freedom (NAFF), now the Freedom Association, The National Front are a Socialist Front, I received this comment from Buddyhell:

Hannan has today written a blog that describes le Front National as “far-left”. He will not be told. Even his stablemates attack him for the way he lazily draws lines between fascism and socialism. In essence, Hannan is smearing the Left with these assertions.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/danielhannan/100265536/france-has-given-up-on-its-politicians-with-good-reason/
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I’ve blogged before about the way Fascism included left-wing elements amongst a number of competing and contradictory ideologies and groups. Mussolini had started off as a radical Socialist, but broke with the party over his support for Italy joining the First…

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Telegraph Comment of the Week (#13)

This week’s comment was left on this blog by Dizzy Doug Carswell, Randist and sometime writing partner of the Lyin’ King. Carswell – bless his cotton socks – has actually criticized Le Pen’s Front National (it’s run like a family business rather than a political party).

The shocking truth is that the most popular political party in France, according to one recent poll, is the Front National, supported by almost one in four French voters.

The Front National is beyond the pale.  They are not simply a protest party, but extreme. Their political philosophy, in so far as they have one, seems to me to derive from a reading of Jean Raspail’s dystopian novel, the Camp of the Saints.  Pessimistic, they seem to lack any uplifting vision of France or the future.

So far, so good but then Carswell falls back on the same old nonsense about “tax and spend” as if governments don’t tax people and don’t spend money.

Tax and spend decisions in France – and indeed in Greece and elsewhere – are no longer made those the voters elect, but by Eurocrats. So French – and Greek – voters and politicians no longer have responsibility for making the big political choices.

And if you take responsibility away from the people, they behave irresponsibly.

Nothing like a simplistic analysis.

Now comes our Comment of the Week. This one is from someone who calls themselves “artemis in france”. While Carswell attributes the rise in FN’s fortunes to opposition to the European Union, Art of Piss thinks it’s all about those ‘dirty’ foreigners.

Artepiss in France

This screed joins ever single hate-filled dot that right-wing cretins like this one love so much.  Notice how Art of Piss lumps together the two vilified groups du jour in the minds of European fascists and ethno-nationalists: Muslims and Roma. He also manages to finish with the obligatory “Marxist diktats” that are apparently a characteristic of the very neoliberal EU.  How odd. What I find bizarre about this comment is the way Art of Piss claims the Roma protested against the “face veil ban”. Did they? Then there’s his “Many suburbs of Paris ressemble (sic) Baghdad”. How so? He does not say. I think it’s because he sees loads of Les Arabes living les banlieux. Non? I suspect that his only knowledge of Baghdad comes from pictures on the telly that have been refracted through the lens of his own cultural relativism. He’s never been there.

Remember if you see a Telegraph comment that deserves to be included in Comment of the Week, then please send an email with a screenshot together with a link to the blog or article to: buddyhell@hotmail.com

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Filed under Europe, France, Media, Telegraph Comment of the Week, Tory press