Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

France: Mélenchon’s new hope: alliance with the Greens (EELV).

with 6 comments


Mélenchon for Citizen Revolution with French Greens.

The Front de Gauche (FdG) held a national general meeting (Assemblée générale) last weekend on the 7th of December.

The splits between the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) and (largely) Jean-Luc Mélenchon remain unresolved.

The latter judged – after the local and European elections this spring – that the Front de Gauche was in a “pitiful state” ( en piteux état). That is the score of 6,33% and three seats for the European poll looked poor compared to, above all, the Front National’s 25% and 20 MEPs.

Mélenchon has not ceased reproaching the PCF for making electoral agreements with the ruling Parti Socialiste (PS) in order to keep hold of council seats and control of municipalities. As a counter-strategy the leader of the small Parti de Gauche, has not stopped vaunting the merits of an electoral alliance between his group, the French Green party ( EELV, Europe Écologie – Les Verts ) autonomous citizens groups  and ecologists and the radical left which took control of the small town of Grenoble (population 156,659 , about the size of Ipswich).

The point is that this list, the Rassemblement Citoyen de la gauche et des Ecologists, stood and won against an alliance of the PS and the PCF.

L’Humanité has reported on the weekend meeting.

After these disagreements over the municipal elections of 2014 a common declaration on the next electoral challenge is still being studied. There is a consensus for a broad alliance that goes beyond that of the Front de gauche (FdG), which breaks with the liberal economic policies of the government, and on the need for “citizen participation” and citizen assemblies at the grass-roots. There is a need to have a coherent selection of candidates at a national level. Other issues remains in dispute, notably on the position taken on the ‘second round’ of elections. That is the policy of, notably the Communist Party, of supporting Parti Socialiste candidates as part of the unity of the left. To the supporters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon any policy of supporting the governing Socialists – above all any agreement on common slates before the second round for local elections – is treason.

Reports (Libération) indicate that the Parti Communiste Français considers that the left of the Parti Socialiste, PS (the ‘frondeurs’)  is moving towards the FdG politics. This is, their strategy of drawing them leftwards has had an effect. The PS is certainly severely divided and its left has come to the fore with some important counter-proposals to the present right-wing course of Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

Mélenchon  has offered an alternative approach (it is too broad to label a ‘strategy’). Based on his own idea of mobilising the ‘people’ against the ‘oligarchy’ he has called for a new 6th Republic. ( l’Ère 
du peuple 2014) The left is ‘dead’ he has announced – echoing similar declarations made by the Spanish Podemos. Launching the Mouvement pour la 6ème République (MSR) he evoked the French Revolution and the its struggles for popular sovereignty. The leader of the Parti de gauche declared, ” c’est le peuple qui prend la place qu’occupait hier la classe ouvrière révolutionnaire dans le projet de la gauche ” – “The people now take the place of the revolutionary working class in the project of the left” notes a very critical assesment  L’ère du peuple, selon Jean-Luc Mélenchon

Not much has been heard of the MSR.

Now Mélenchon has popped up again.

Calling for a mass campaign against the ‘Macron’ reforms, which will weaken labour legislation, expand Sunday working and allow large shops to open, he has suggested that there are grounds for an alliance with the French Green Party – the EELV. (le Monde)

Talking of his future projects he states,

Nous avons un modèle : la victoire lors des municipales à Grenoble. La preuve est faite qu’il est possible de gagner avec un accord entre Europe Ecologie et le Parti de gauche – qui ne demande qu’à s’élargir au reste du Front de Gauche – contrôlé par un rassemblement citoyen à la base. La situation bouge chez les Verts. Cécile Duflot met des choses en mouvement, elle leur montre une issue possible. Je fais tout ce que je peux pour favoriser ce mouvement. La gauche est en train de se reformater. Mais la clé reste dans l’implication des citoyens.

We have a model: the victory in the local elections in Grenoble. The proof is that we can win with an agreement between the Greens and the Parti de Gauche. -which asks for this to be broadened to include the rest of the Front de Gauche – controlled by citizen participation at the grass-roots. Things are changing amongst the Greens. Cécile Duflot (former leader of this party) is pushing for change and shows a way out. I am doing everything I can to back these development. The left is reforming itself But the key remains the participation of citizens.

Le Monde

EELV is not, in most people’s view, a radical left-wing party.

Meanwhile we see (amongst many many examples) Mélo’s way of arguing.

Maul zu, Frau ! Frankreich ist frei. Occupez-vous de vos pauvres et de vos équipements en ruines !


6 Responses

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  1. Seen this on Foucault (who I’ve always detested….)? https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/12/foucault-interview/

    R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy)

    December 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

  2. Highly accurate: apart from his lousy politics he was a deeply unpleasant person, see also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Passion_of_Michel_Foucault

    and his gobshite on Iran Une poudrière appelée Islam.

    (very well known) http://1libertaire.free.fr/FoucaultIran02.html

    Notably, “With respect to this “political will,” however, there are also two questions that concern me even more deeply.

    One bears on Iran and its peculiar destiny. At the dawn of history, Persia invented the state and conferred its models on Islam. Its administrators staffed the caliphate. But from this same Islam, it derived a religion that gave to its people infinite resources to resist state power. In this will for an “Islamic government,” should one see a reconciliation, a contradiction, or the threshold of something new?

    The other question concerns this little corner of the earth whose land, both above and below the surface, has strategic importance at a global level. For the people who inhabit this land, what is the point of searching, even at the cost of their own lives, for this thing whose possibility we have forgotten since the Renaissance and the great crisis of Christianity, a political spirituality. I can already hear the French laughing, but I know that they are wrong.

    First published in Le Nouvel Observateur, October 16-22, 1978.


    I have loathed him ever since.

    Which is why indeed I take pleasure in using his concepts of a disciplinary society against Islamism.

    Andrew Coates

    December 10, 2014 at 6:04 pm

  3. Of course if he expelled all the members of the PDG who also entered into agreements like us with the PS in the municipals he would loose over 70% of his own party’s elected members- a fact he seems to overlook.

    Pete Shield

    December 10, 2014 at 8:12 pm

  4. This is latest crap he’s come out with (from Facebook friends),

    “Alexis Corbière et les fans de Jean-Luc Mélenchon trouveront-ils encore le moyen de défendre leur idole, après ses propos intolérables contre Ingeborg Grässle, eurodéputée conservatrice allemande francophone, qualifiée sur son blog de « caricature de « boche » de bande dessinée » et dont il raille l’accent allemand ? On attend de claires condamnations de ces propos, surtout de la part de gens si prompts à traquer un prétendu « vocabulaire » de « haine » à leur égard chez ceux qui les critiquent. Nous sommes d’autant plus confiants que comme nous le rappelle un lecteur, au Front de Gauche, on ne rigole pas avec la germanophobie.”


    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2014 at 10:41 am

  5. This has just been published. It is interesting and important. In many respects tends to confirm the analysis about the differences between the Parti de Gauche and the PCF outlined above:

    “Dans certains endroits, les discussions entre EELV et le PG semblent être prioritaires sur tout échange du Front de gauche. Dans d’autres, les relations entre le PCF et des courants de la gauche du PS se font au détriment des autres partenaires du Front de gauche.”

    Après la 2ème assemblée du Front de gauche


    Andrew Coates

    December 11, 2014 at 5:27 pm

  6. On Foucault some years ago I was rather taken by the term Anglo-Foucauldian Post-Marxist Pessimist used by someone in the NLR to characterise people like Paul Hirst and Barry Hindess and decided that I must seriously read the man himself.

    Big Mistake…

    R F McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy)

    December 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm

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