Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Fragmentation of the French Left: Génération.s, ( Benoît Hamon, former Socialist presidential Candidate) holds its first Conference.

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Benoît Hamon: “le mouvement anti-identitaire.”

Benoît Hamon stood as the candidate for the French Socialist Party (PS) and the ‘belle alliance populaire’ in the 2017 Presidential elections. He was selected by a Primary, in which 2 013 743 people voted in the final run off. Hamon’s victory momentarily gave a ray of hope for the party. His Pour la Génération Qui Vient (2017) promised to free the land from the “liberal nightmare” and to launch a “democratic awakening”, Citizens’ Initiatives, and a  human centred approach to the technological revolution. Apart from green policies, he advocated Universal Basic Income.

In the contest Hamon received a humiliating 6,36 % of the vote. In the following contest for Parliament he lost his seat in Yvelines, eliminated in the first round with only 22,59 %.

Critics of his campaign, such as PS Secretary Jean-Christophe Cambadélis criticised his  “solitary” campaign, which was unable to bring together people outside of his circle, and not even talking about the world of work – that is appealing to trade union support. The winner of the PS Primary snubbed his own party. Hamon, he said wanted to be the leader of an alternative alliance of the left of the Socialists with the Greens and acting accordingly. (Chronique d’une Débâcle. 2012 – 2017. Jean-Christophe Cambadélis. L’Archipel. 2017.)

With Hamon’s “Green Party” campaign, you got,  Cambadélis said, a “Green Party score (“campagne d’écologiste, score d’écologiste” Page 111)

The Socialists  suffered deep depression after many of their members and allies left to back Emmanuel Macron (his ‘treason’ still rankles with François Hollande). Those with some will to continue are torn into mutually recriminating factions, and have only 30 MPs.

Hamon and his allies created their own party. Most of the Young Socialists ( MJS) joined as well as former MPs, and councillors from the left of the PS.

Wikipedia has a useful entry in English,

Génération.s, le mouvement (English: Generation.s, the movement) is a French political party created on 1 July 2017[2] by Benoît Hamon who, according to its founder, aims to “Refound and gather the left”[3] in France. Sometimes rendered Géneration(s) or Génération·s, it was formerly named Mouvement du 1er Juillet (1st July Movement), and has also been known by the short name M1717.

Its foundation follows the sharp decline of the Socialist Party in the 2017 presidential election, where Benoît Hamon was a candidate, and the legislative elections, in which he lost his seat as a deputy.

The movement presents itself as an initiative to assemble the forces of the left in France.[3] The political ideologies it supports are European federalism, ecosocialism, and democratic socialism.[4]

The new party claims to have 60 000 members and a thousand or so local committees.

But their profile in national politics is uncertain.

The weekend Convention, attended by up to 1500  activists  discussed alliances with Yanis Varoufakis, and the DIEM25 for the next European elections. Negotiations with what remains of the French Green party, the EELV., have not gone well. La France insoumise, engaged in its own battle for ‘hegemony’ on the left, under the leadership of  JeanLuc Mélenchon were sniffy. But the genial leader has now offered a “pact of non-aggression”. Which is very kind of him.

The  response from Hamon’s side, whose target is not hard to guess, made mention of not aligning with “ left-wing nationalism” (le Monde)

There is talk of an agreement with the PS… (Après un an d’existence, Génération.s cherche sa place à gauche).

In the meantime Hamon’s party has called for a new ‘humanist’ response to populism and the politics of identity, “ On veut être le mouvement anti-identitaire » his right hand man, Guillaume Balas has stated. (Génération.s cherche un nouveau souffle « humaniste »)

More information:  Le Manifeste de Génération·s.

Discours de Benoît Hamon à la convention nationale de Génération•s le 1er juillet 2018


8 Responses

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  1. It was interesting to see the impact of Macron on the Socialist Party here in the Aude. The Aude has been a Fabius inclined bastion of the PS for decades, really post war onwards. To call it left wing may be over stating it, lef of Paris but socially conservative and it was more like a mafiosi, they held the Department, the Region, most major towns, just about all the villages, apart from the commie ones. If you wanted to work in the public sector a party card was more important than any useful skill sets. With the chute of the PS under Hollande’s rather insipid ‘leadership’ a large majority of the elus sensed the way the wind was blowing,and that their careers and comfortable nest eggs were under threat. Macronism; which had barely raised it’s head down here was suddenly all the rage, faced with a strong FN, very strong in some places, the number of life long socialist elus that have suddenly seen the light of Macron shinning down from Paris has been quite staggering. It is almost like the party card was an incidental side affair n their own ambition, well actually it is exactly like the party card was an incidental side affair in their own ambition

    Pete Shield

    July 1, 2018 at 12:16 pm

  2. A deeply repellent side of the PS, and a reaction resembling no doubt the fall of Craxi and the Partito Socialista Italiano in Italy in 1994.

    Andrew Coates

    July 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm

  3. The pasokification of social democracy is in sharp contrast to the progress of Labour

    Nick Wright

    July 1, 2018 at 2:42 pm

  4. Which no doubt explains Hamon’s politics…er. not.

    Still, up the workers!

    Andrew Coates

    July 1, 2018 at 3:42 pm

  5. …and to think we want to elect a left-wing labour party here in the UK! Oh well, don’t say we weren’t warned with what has gone in in France, Venezuela etc.
    What do left-wing governments and Billy Bunter have in common? They both borrow a lot and promise to pay it back with that ever elusive postal order.

    Steven Johnston

    July 2, 2018 at 12:48 pm

  6. You just never got over the day we beat you lot in the Greyfriars Remove!

    Andrew Coates

    July 2, 2018 at 4:30 pm

  7. To pay you back we got the labour leadership to only select ex public-school boys to their cabinets!

    Steven Johnston

    July 2, 2018 at 5:23 pm

  8. I forget, once you get into power, you can make like the Venezuelans and print your own Postal orders!
    Chaps, we all better stock up at the tuck shops before it’s 58 pounds for a bottle of coke!

    Steven Johnston

    July 2, 2018 at 6:56 pm

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