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Right-wingery across the Channel

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Le Baron, Dec 9, 2021.

  1. Le Baron

    Le Baron pfm Member

    If you've been following the thrust of French politics over the last few months you'll have heard of Eric Zemmour. Yet another 'straight-talking radical demagogue' and hero of the underdog with all the wrong solutions. He motivates the same people as Geert Wilders and Thierry Baudet in the Netherlands.

    However the hullabaloo around all this is always handy for neo-liberals...

    It's interesting that Macron has chosen Zemmour as his official 'adversary' in this race. You can see he's shaping the presidential race as between himself and the threat of the 'dangerously radical far-right'. What better than that to make him look like the voice of reason and set the parameters of the debate.

    Also yesterday Valérie Pécresse was named as an official candidate. She is the actual challenge to Macron because she's the newer model; which is why he wants the other battle. Pécresse is another stupid neoliberal promising to 'cut public spending and taxes' and raise the retirement age and all the other tired tropes..pulling France into a position the neoliberals have ached to go for decades. Since a goodly portion of the French public are just as easily-fooled as all other countries on these issues, and also carried away by the idea of a female leader, it means France lurching ever more rightward, but under the disguise of 'balanced centrism'.
     
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Same playbook as here. UKIP, Farage and the ERG insurgency dragged the Tories right into Trump’s gold elevator and it worked well for all of them. The Tories purged all their moderate voices, got a huge parliamentary “majority” (on a minority voteshare, obviously) and absolute power. The ERG/UKIP/Brexit financiers exactly got the increasingly deregulated low-wage oligarchy/kleptocracy they paid for. Meanwhile both the left and centre collapsed as neither were in any way coherent, organised or prepared. They just didn’t appear to understand what was actually happening. I suspect most of them still don’t. We are where we are.
     
  3. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    Macron's preferred opponent in the second round is actually Marine Le Pen, not Zzzzemour. Macron knows she is still toxic to two thirds of the electorate, and not particularly bright. Eric Zemmour is useful to split the extreme right vote, but he's a one-trick pony with no executive experience whatsoever. Zemour is Bolloré's man, and Bolloré doesn't like Macron because he feels Macron has been working behind the scenes to prevent him from hoovering up TV channels and other media to build R. Murdoch levels of influence. He's already got a lot of channels that have been pumping up Zemmour relentlessly, but the candidate is showing signs of strain.

    Pécresse is the surprise at this stage. She is as close to the centre as you're going to find these days at LR (a low bar, I realize). She has a good brain and executive experience (various ministries under Sarko and chairing the local government in the Paris region for a number of years). But she has never run the party or been PM, she is low on charisma, and she has had to shift to the right a lot more than she would have liked during the campaign to secure the militant vote.She now has to contend with her runner up, Eric Ciotti, who is her opposite (as close to the extreme right as you're going to find these days at LR) and very vocal. It will be an uneasy combination for both of them, but Pécresse is actually a tricky opponent for Macron and could prevent him (and Philippe) from making a play for the mainstream right wing vote. Her plan is to accuse Macron of weakness and fiscal irresponsibility (even before COVID, pacifiying the gilets jaunes did not come cheap). It's going to be a more interesting campaign than if Bertrand or Ciotti had been chosen.

    Many left wingers feel conned by Macron 1, but the left wing candidates are hopeless. Many voters, who held their noses last time to beat Le Pen and did the same with Chirac years earlier, have "vote utile" fatigue and are indicating they could vote Pécresse in the second round, just for the craic. If she makes it that far.
     
    Cheese and eisenach like this.
  4. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Zemmour is himself the son of north African immigrants. His parents were Berber Jews from Algeria. From what little I understand, his thesis is that while earlier immigrants moved to France to become French, embracing the social and ideological principles of "Frenchness," the danger today is immigrants who do not want to do this, but want to establish their own culture within France. He speaks of "population replacement." He also has some weird ideas about masculinity and femininity. And while Le Pen comes across as patently "Fascist," in a French tradition that goes back to the enthusiastic collaboration and alliance with Nazi Germany on the part of some French political and military leaders, Zemmour is a completely new phenomenon.
     
    Dogberry likes this.
  5. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    Surely the point is that politics is still being shaped around the right wing ideology to “cut public spending and tax”, an ideology that is built on false assumptions, is injurious to any economy and dangerous to peoples lives
     
    Le Baron and Sue Pertwee-Tyr like this.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It is a cut & paste from Trump, QAnon etc. An absurd argument from a country as young as America which was built upon European white Christian colonialism and ethnically cleansing the indigenous populationand later importing slaves from Africa. Despite being a product of immigration anyone else is suddenly not welcome for reasons of fascism and white supremacy.
     
  7. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    ^ the right cannot win elections without inciting fear/hatred. Communism or being Jewish is gone but replaced by the obvious bogeymen: immigrants or Muslims or LGBT or Corbyn or socialism etc
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2021
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    By allowing Farage, UKIP, ERG etc to define the argument we are now in a place where the Conservative Party can very actively, and with full support of much of the press, scapegoat, demonise and dehumanise refugees etc whilst ramping up authoritarianism and eroding our rights to protest etc. We are in a very scary place indeed and it will be hugely disappointing if similar happens in France.
     
  9. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Not sure if it is 100% cut-and-paste. I have the feeling there is something specifically French, his definition of himself as "Bonapartist" and "Gaullist" for instance, touching base on two eras seen as "Great" in French history. Admittedly it is a bit like "Make America great again."
    I don't quite follow you about "a country as young as America," since France has been a "great power" since about 1300.
    And I don't agree about "white supremacy," I think he is more on the lines of cultural "Frenchness," with people of any colour or religion as long as they are committed to "Frenchness."
     
    MikeMA and Le Baron like this.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Looking at it again my post is really poorly worded. It is basically two things; the first being that this rhetoric is all across the political right everywhere, that being my main point, the second, which should be a second paragraph is just a rant against the American right which is where most of the batshit crazy lives. It does not apply to France and makes no sense the way it is written. I agree with your points.
     
  11. Le Baron

    Le Baron pfm Member

    This is precisely why she is not his preferred opponent. Zemmour is much more useful: a bigger gulf, more chance to play the issues Zemmour represents rather than the real social or economic issues (see below where you say Pécresse is his real challenge, but he doesn't want that battle). The race is being shaped as the obvious right-wing against the sensible-centre. Le Pen has mellowed quite a lot of her programme over time in order to be a more widely-acceptable candidate, which is why some have turned from her to Zemmour. We must never underestimate the taste for right-wingery in France.
    This is the real problem. She will accuse Macron of fiscal shenanigans whilst he is practically an identical neoliberal. She is a classic monetarist and in the field of macroeconomics either a complete illiterate, or willing to peddle this incoherence for political power. A mixture of the two is very possible.
    Yes, that is the commonly expressed position among the average voter. It always puzzled me that. Macron is nowhere near the left, never was. Anyone who witnessed the rise of Clinton or Blair and couldn't see Macron was more of the same is blind or unobservant.
     
  12. Dogberry

    Dogberry pfm Member

    I've just recently finished reading "Scum of the Earth" A Koestler's account of his internment and escape from France.Anti Nazi's and Spanish republicans among others were handed over to the Nazis.
     
  13. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Interesting how in the US, France and the UK the "new right" harks back to a Golden Age. For the US the 1940 - 1970 era of world power, mixed with the "pioneer spirit" of the 1800s, for France Napoleon and (more dubiously) De Gaulle, and for the UK Empire and Churchill.
     
  14. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    In Italy, since there was never a Golden Age, it is more along the lines of "Italy's rightful place," with echoes of Mussolinian revanchism.
     
  15. ks.234

    ks.234 pfm Member

    The right wing has risen to power attacking working conditions and public services.

    The economic backbone of the rise to power of the right, and the means by which it has created poverty and unemployment, which it has then used to create a climate of fear and a hatred against foreigners competing for scarce resources, is the lie that there is no money.

    If we want to tackle the right wing, we need to tackle the economic lie which props it up.
     
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  16. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    Just finished reading William Shirer's "Berlin Diary." In 1940 he visits the German front lines in France, and can't understand how the French army could have collapsed so quickly and so totally. According to Shirer, one reason was Germany's complete air superiority. But he also thinks it is due to some French crypto-fascist generals' unwillingness to fight the Germans, and at the same time Communist opposition to war with Germany among the rank and file (at the time Hitler was mates with Stalin. After France's defeat, there were indeed some French military and political leaders who wanted France to become Germany's ally in dominating Europe. All of which fits in with what you say.
     
  17. roman

    roman pfm Member

    MUTTY1, eternumviti and PsB like this.
  18. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

  19. PsB

    PsB Citizen of Nowhere™

    An interesting aspect is that the Vichy government handed over Jews voluntarily, without being compelled to do so by the occupation forces. The first xenophobic and anti-Jewish decrees were signed by the Vichy regime in July 1940, barely a week after it was established following the armistice. This was at a time when the Germans only occupied half of France and were still trying to get their administration of these occupied territories together. Legislating against foreigners and Jews was obviously an absolute top priority for Vichy. The first decrees revoked all naturalizations since 1927, specified that government and administration employees had to be not only French but of a French father, then did the same for doctors, etc. Petain had a bee in his bonnet about foreigners and Jews, and attributed France's decline to their pernicious influence.

    And this is the regime that Zemmour is trying to rehabilitate, under the fallacious pretext that "they handed over foreign Jews to save French Jews". What's wrong with that, eh?
     
  20. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    There are probably too many racists in France to give this man a proper chance. And the french racism I have experienced, heard and seen seems only to be directed at Arabs, Turks, Muslims etc. I remember it in the 80s when I was working beaches and restaurants.

    I'm surprised he has got as far as he has.
     

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