Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Counterpunch – Diana Johnstone – Defends Marine Le Pen Against “Racism” charge and Rallies to the Cause of National Sovereignty.

with 9 comments

Johnstone: Cannot “reduce” Marine Le Pen’s anti-Immigrant stand to “racism”. 

Diana Johnstone is a columnist for the American left site, Counterpunch.

She has, to put it mildly, ‘form’ on French Politics saying that the Front National is “basically on the left”. And indeed on British Politics, where she warmed to UKIP’s views on European immigration (Diana Johnstone’s poisonous nativism) (1)

In her most recent contribution (21st of April)  to the favourite journal of ‘wise-guys’ who want the ‘low down’ on politics, this is her view on tomorrow’s French Presidential election.

The Main Issue in the French Presidential Election: National Sovereignty 

Johnstone is torn in the French elections,

A most remarkable feature of this campaign is great similarity between the two candidates said to represent “the far left”, Mélenchon, and “the far right”, Marine Le Pen.  Both speak of leaving the euro.  Both vow to negotiate with the EU to get better treaty terms for France. Both advocate social policies to benefit workers and low income people. Both want to normalize relations with Russia. Both want to leave NATO, or at least its military command.  Both defend national sovereignty, and can thus be described as “sovereignists”.

Left-wing internationalists may protest at this side of Mélenchon’s politics (La chevènementisation de Jean-Luc Mélenchon Philippe Marlière).

She ignores such critics

The main divide appears to be racism.


In a country suffering from unemployment, without jobs or housing to accommodate mass immigration, and under the ongoing threat of Islamist terror attacks, the issue cannot be reasonably reduced to “racism” – unless Islamic terrorists constitute a “race”, for which there is no evidence. Le Pen insists that all French citizens deserve equal treatment regardless of their origins, race or religion. She is certain to get considerable support from recently nationalized immigrants, just as she now gets a majority of working class votes. If this is “fascism”, it has changed a lot in the past seventy years.

So that’s all right then.

Human rights bleeding hearts and internationalist globalisers  might remarks that giving national preference to the French in jobs and housing, chanting “on est chez nous”, claiming that the French have fewer rights than foreign residents(“les Français ont parfois moins de droits en France que des étrangers, même clandestins”) restricting free schooling to French citizens, and systematically linking terrorism to immigration is about as racist as you get.(Immigration et terrorisme : Marine Le Pen multiplie les intox.)

Then there is this,

The globalist media are already preparing to blame the eventual election of a “sovereignist” candidate on Vladimir Putin. Public opinion in the West is being prepared for massive protests to break out against an undesired winner, and the “antifa” militants are ready to wreak havoc in the streets. Some people who like Marine Le Pen are afraid of voting for her, fearing the “color revolution” sure to be mounted against her.  Mélenchon and even Fillon might face similar problems.

Against the views of the “globalist media” Johnstone concludes,

By far the most fundamental emerging issue in this campaign is the conflict between the European Union and national sovereignty.

 That  Counterpunch claiming to be on the left, publishes Johnstone’s  defence of the ‘nation’ against the EU is, well, not unexpected.

A section of the former French ‘republican’ and anti-EU  left has moved from  ‘sovereigntism’ to active involvement in the Front National. From the “regulation” heterodox economist Jacques Sapir (a former supporter of the Front de gauche) who has called for a “common front” against the Euro with the FN ( J’ai dit, et écrit, que, dans la lutte contre l’européisme, il faudrait faire front commun et que, sous certaines conditions, le Front National pourrait y participer) to Thibaut Garnier (former youth secretary of the  Mouvement républicain et citoyen (MRC) and many others, they have found in Marine Le Pen a defender of National Sovereignty (Ces chevènementistes séduits par le FN).

This little gang obviously has its admirers in the US.


9 Responses

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  1. louisproyect

    April 22, 2017 at 12:16 pm

  2. She is a complete horror, the epitome of ‘political confusionism’, and worse.

    Andrew Coates

    April 22, 2017 at 4:00 pm

  3. Thanks for that Paul, I remember your post.

    Now obviously its time has come again!

    Andrew Coates

    April 22, 2017 at 4:36 pm

  4. It’s clear that sections of the Stalinist “left” hate bourgeoisie democracy and advanced capitalism so much that they’re willing to make alliances with fascists. Thanks for exposing this, Andrew. Will reblog at Shiraz Socialist

    Jim Denham

    April 22, 2017 at 5:28 pm

  5. Socialist Worker manages criticism of Mélenchon.

    “After a strong performance on televised debates, Jean-Luc Melenchon is terrifying the bosses. He rails against the rich, campaigns for peace, hounds racists and mourns drowned refugees.

    But his programme, centred on constitutional reform for a “Sixth Republic”, is an uneasy mix of class anger and soft nationalism.

    It’s all about the “people” asserting “sovereignty”, with French flags and the national anthem—leaving room to back border controls, arms exports and deals with dictatorships.”


    Andrew Coates

    April 23, 2017 at 1:02 pm

  6. Carole Cadwaladr has been doing some excellent work on the emergence of the populist alliance between the far right, some figures with supposedly “leftist” reputations, Putin fans and Trump: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Kgj4GevR7U

    Jim Denham

    April 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

  7. Mélenchon has said that he doesn’t accept the provisional voting results, and will wait before the official count before saying anything definite.

    Quoi qu’il en soit, lorsque les résultats officiels seront connus, nous les respecterons. Je ne saurais dire ni faire davantage à cette heure.

    and that he will consult his supporters about what next:

    Je n’ai reçu aucun mandat des 450 000 personnes qui ont décidé de présenter ma candidature pour m’exprimer à leur place sur la suite. Elles seront donc appelées à se prononcer…


    Meanwhile, the main support base of Mélenchon, the PCF, has called for a Macron vote in the second round, while denouncing Macron himself quite sharply.


    Jim Denham

    April 24, 2017 at 10:55 am

  8. […] on his blog last year. More recently Tendance Coatesy attacked both “the notorious” Johnstone and Petras for their comments on Le […]

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