Tariq Ali tells Porkies about the French Left (Parti de Gauche, Mélenchon) and the stand on Greece.
Tariq Ali : Plenty of Books, Should Brush up his French.
The crisis faced by Greece is extremely serious.
The international left, and in particular the European Left, has expressed solidarity with the Alexis Tsipras and the Syriza-led government.
We expect that there will be criticism from the fringes against their strategy.
We support, absolutely, the British Greece Solidarity Campaign.
But there is one person, the ageing sage of Highgate, and Norfolk Lord of the Manor, who cannot resist the opportunity to use the drama facing Greece to pursue his personal vendettas.
In this case against Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of the French Parti de gauche and a staunch secularist (the latter playing a big part in Ali’s reaction).
Reading yesterday’s Le Monde in an Athens cafe I saw two long articles. Habermas denouncing Syriza for being nationalist and defending the EU and praising MarioDraghi, etc. A long interview with Melenchon arguing against Syriza defaulting because it would hurt FRENCH banks. I had heard that Melenchon was in a state of degeneration but hadn’t realised that the political cancer had affected his brain. The sooner this imbecile is replaced by his group, the better.
Now there are many reasons to be criticise Mélenchon (if Ali is going to pose as an expert in French politics the accent would seem obligatorily) .
This range from his personal behaviour which is not always very amiable, though personally I find his use of the word ‘connard’ often merited. to his vaunting as a model the alliance between his party, citizens’ groups and the Greens (EELV) in Grenoble (which has just privatised the town’s street lighting). There is also his belief that the French left needs a form of populist left not dissimilar to Podemos. This, he indicates, should be led by a bold-thinking leader, whose identity I am sure everyone can guess.
Recently another reason to be wary of the former French Presidential candidate (2012, 11.05%), a bit more than Ali’s (0,9%) in Southall in 1979, Mélenchon has been strongly criticised for his pamphlet, le Hareng de Bismark, which attacks the German “poison” (an oh-so-funny pun on “poisson”, fish) infecting European politics (see: Quand le pamphlet anti-allemand de Mélenchon agace. Maurice Szafran.
But to our knowledge Mélenchon has always expressed absolute support for Syriza.
As indeed he did in the Le Monde article Ali half-read, where he laid the blame for the present Greek predicament on…….Germany.
La responsabilité intégrale du danger repose sur Merkel et Schäuble [la chancelière et le ministre des finances allemands], qui ont parié sur la tension et l’inertie de Hollande.
The complete responsibility for the danger (facing Greece TC) lies with Merkel and Schäuble (German Minister of Finaces), who have relied on the tensions facing Hollande (French President) and his inertia.
He indicated, simply, that France would also suffer from the results of forcing Greece into a corner, and into destitution.
Al in other words, confused the observation that that this would have a bad effect on French banks, with an argument that this was the reason why Mélenchon was worried about a Greek default.
Or maybe the French was simply too much for the Counterpunch puffer to grasp.
Yesterday Mélenchon issued an argument appeal for France to support the Greek government: Mélenchon à Hollande sur la Grèce: “Tu ne peux pas laisser faire ça.
So, if there is anybody who has “degenerated” it is “Tariq – “Charlie Hebdo had it coming to them” – Ali.
Though – to pursue our own long-standing feud – his politics have been falling apart for some time now: Punish the warmongers: vote Lib Dem Tariq Ali. (2007 Red Pepper).