Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Jean-Luc Mélenchon Debates Éric Zemmour on BFMV.

with 4 comments

Image

Opinion Polls this week had put a Zemmour Candidacy ahead of Mélenchon.

Last night on BFMT there was a two hour debate between the leader of La France insoumise (LFI) Jean-Luc Mélenchon and the far-right self-proclaimed Presidential candidate Éric Zemmour.

I watched it. Zemmour’s hatred for immigration, that is immigrants, in general and Muslims in particular stood out. The theme of the ‘great replacement’ (grand remplacement) and the end of the French nation was never far from the polemicist’s lips, as was crime, social security fraud, and allegations of a brewing civil war. Islam was the opposite of the country, “aux antipodes de la France”.  C’est une guerre de civilisation qui nous est menée, une guerre de pillages, une guerre de viols, une guerre de meurtres.” (A war of civilization which is being waged against us, a war of looting, a war of rape, a war of murder.) said he. The ‘polemicist’, who is from a Jewish background, generously allowed that possibly some Muslims might be assimilated to the French republic, on the model of his own community’s integration. Those who did not fit in should leave.

To British eyes it seemed extraordinary that this unbridled hatred was given an airing. Fact-checks on some of the wilder claims did not diminish that impression. Experienced in communication and media techniques (having seen him on C-News) Zemmour got away with the ravings of a bigot.

Not one to take this claims lying down Mélenchon called his opponent a racist with court convictions for it, “Vous êtes un raciste, condamné pour ça. » On immigration Mélenchon defended “créolisation”, that is cultural mixing. On the name issue (Zemmour wants children to have French forenames) he rightly said that a French prénom was a name of a French person. The left populist also cited the claim that Couscous was France’s favourite dish – reminding people that not everybody has the British taste for curry.

The LFI leader tried, many times, to get the discussion back to issues that could be rationally, or at least, calmly talked about. His election programme included retirement at 60, blocking the prices of energy and certain food products – as well as increased agricultural ‘sovereignty’ for France – leaving NATO or increasing the minimum wage to 1,400 euros. Taking up some of his favourite themes Mélenchon vaunted France’s maritime role and the potential of space exploration. .

Zemmour attacked Mélenchon for daring to criticise heavy-handed – brutal – policing, for his Trotskyist past, questioned how anybody from a Marxist background could back green energy, and for good measure peppered his speech with attacks on the “obese” welfare state and people living on benefits.

Both figures linked the growth of abstention in French elections to the lack of effective change on offer. Emmanuel Macron, Zemmour said, stifled politics, representing both the liberal right-wing and the liberal-left wing.

Hell, those two hours were dire.

Zemmour, who has still not officially announced his candidacy for President, is eating into Marine Le Pen’s electorate.

Before people smile:

“Eric Zemmour would collect 10% of voting intentions in the first round of the presidential election and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 8% if Xavier Bertrand would be the right-wing candidate and Yannick Jadot the EELV Ecologists) candidate. Same score if Xavier Bertrand and is a candidate and Sandrine Rousseau is committed for the Greens. Eric Zemmour would total 10.5% of the vote and Jean-Luc Mélenchon 7.5% if Valérie Pécresse wears the colours of the right and Yannick Jadot defends EELV. Last scenario: Eric Zemmour is credited with 10.5% of voting intentions and Jean-Luc Mélenchon with 8% in the event that Valérie Pécresse and Sandrine Rousseau are candidates.”

La Dépêche. 23.9.21.

There has been a debate on the French left as to whether it was wise to debate with Zemmour.

Here is a good introduction to Zemmour’s ideology:

Le «zemmourisme», un ultranationalisme intégral.

This is what Britain’s ace reporters are interested in today:

Written by Andrew Coates

September 24, 2021 at 9:16 am

4 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Interesting that Éric Zemmour is now being outed as having a live-in affair with his seconded civil service ‘advisor’ after Paris Match magazine showed pics of the far rightist embracing Sarah Knafo, 28, as they bathed in the Mediterranean near Toulon at the weekend. The Times says today “Zemmour has three children with his wife of 35 years and reacted with outrage, accusing the Macron administration of orchestrating the publication in the news and celebrity weekly to damage his chances in the April presidential elections. “It seems that I am beginning to cause enough worry for Paris Match, the poodle of the governing powers, to try to damage me.” But then, as a simple Anglo-Saxon, I always thought such things were seen as traditional and proof positive by (I assume) many male French voters ? (unlike here; c.f. Hancock) .Am I wrong ?

    David Walsh

    September 24, 2021 at 11:55 am

    • I don’t think this is the case any more than the French idea that English people are frigid.

      There is lots of speculation about why Paris Match has carried this story,

      “Authorised or not, this photo allows the journalist quasi-presidential candidate to create a buzz while “humanising” his image.\\\\\2

      “According to several sources, the images were taken by a famous star Snapper, Pascal Rostain.”

      “Within the editorial staff of Match, opinions differ. “Real paparazzied,” says a journalist. “I think it’s organized,” says a reporter on the contrary. The author of the article, Emilie Lanez, had been investigating Knafo (the young woman) for weeks.”

      Zemmour claims to be launching a legal case against Paris Match.

      https://www.liberation.fr/politique/elections/eric-zemmour-dans-paris-match-vraie-ou-fausse-paparazzade-
      20210922_QAFHIZXIMJCNNHGG5IMXXRQJKI/?redirected=1

      Andrew Coates

      September 24, 2021 at 2:30 pm

      • He *does* look like Mr Burns, doesn’t he …

        Jim Denham

        September 24, 2021 at 6:22 pm

        • He does, and he’s up to seriously nasty stuff recently:

          Andrew Coates

          September 24, 2021 at 6:46 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: