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France: Return of the Left?

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French Left Gets Serious About the National Assembly Elections and its Future.

The French left has not collapsed or been absorbed in the way its Italian counterparts have done in the face of a new centrist party (il Partito Democratico, in Italy’s case). Hopes are growing that, with Mélenchon toning down his left-populist rhetoric about “federating the people” against the “elite”, “la caste” beyond political divisions, the serious business of creating left alliances, not just in the National Assembly but on the ground, may begin.

Seventy-year-old Mélenchon is not standing in the coming elections – he has said that one can be prime minister without being an MP (technically the case for a number of former PMs). Commentators point to the candidacy of Manuel Bompard in the LFI leader’s former Marseille seat. Is he passing the reins of power over to the person who headed the negotiations that created NUPES? Can a more durable strategy of left unity come about with a new generation in charge of La France insoumise?

Full article: Return of the left in France?

For those interested in the minutiae of French Trotskyism- and who isn’t? – this is interesting. Jean Luc-Mélenchon came into politics as an activist, and regional cadre, of the ‘Lambertist’ current of Trotskyism.

That is, the Organisation communiste internationaliste, l’OCI, the Lambertists, from the pseudonym of their leader Pierre Lambert, real name Pierre Boussel (June 9, 1920 – January 16, 2008). One of the fragments left of this tendency, the Le Parti ouvrier indépendant, Independent Workers Party, (POI) (not to confused with their deadly foes, le Parti ouvrier indépendant démocratique (POID) – the feud ended in the historic 2015 split)- has been in touch with the leader of La France insoumise. More precisely they have backed Mélenchon’s electoral interventions since 2017. The POI is one of the smaller parties/groups that form part of the NUPES alliance.

Despite its decline, the POI still has a large building in Paris 87, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. Known by its street number, 87, this workers’ fortress has a reputation, not always a glowing one, amongst those who have little fondness for the Lambertists. The HQ has been given over to meetings of Mélenchon’s Presidential front, the Union Populaire. Some say they intend to buy it. The POID are enraged,

“Pierre Lambert would turn in his grave seeing how the hard work of activists that had made it possible to acquire this premises have been betrayed. (…)The large (Meeting) room at 87, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis, yesterday adorned with red flags, portraits of Marx, Lenin, Trotsky, is today adorned with te tricolour and posters glorifying the new Popular Front. ” says Daniel Gluckstein, leader of the POID.

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 Nouvelle Union Populaire écologique et sociale (NUPES)

PartyAbbr.IdeologyPolitical positionLeader(s)
La France Insoumise and allies
La France InsoumiseLFIDemocratic socialism
Environmentalism
Left-wing populism
Left-wing to far-leftAdrien Quatennens
Left PartyPGDemocratic socialism
Environmentalism
Left-wing populism
Left-wingJean-Christophe Sellin
Hélène Le Cacheux
Ensemble!E!Socialism
Eco-socialism
Left-wingCollective
Picardie DeboutPDSocialism
Environmentalism
Left-wing populism
Economic nationalism
Regionalism
Left-wingFrançois Ruffin
Ecological Revolution for the LivingREVDeep ecology
Green politics
Environmentalism
Pacifism
Left-wingAymeric Caron
Independent Workers’ PartyPOICommunism
Marxism
Left-wing[25] to far-leftCollective
Rézistans Égalité 974RÉ974Democratic socialism
Regionalism
Left-wing to far-leftJean-Hugues Ratenon
Ecologist Pole
Europe Ecology – The GreensEELVGreen politics
Alter-globalisation
Centre-left to left-wingJulien Bayou
Génération.sG.sDemocratic socialism
Environmentalism
Eurofederalism
Centre-left to left-wingBenoît Hamon
The New DemocratsNDSocial liberalism
Social democracy
Environmentalism
Centre-leftAurélien Taché
Émilie Cariou
Ecology GenerationGreen politics
Integral ecology
Ecofeminism
CentreDelphine Batho
Socialist Party and allies
Socialist PartyPSSocial democracyCentre-leftOlivier Faure
Place PubliquePPSocial democracy
Environmentalism
Pro-Europeanism
Centre-leftRaphaël Glucksmann
New DealNDSocial liberalism
Progressivism
Keynesianism
European federalism
Centre-left to left-wingArnaud Lelache
Aline Mouquet
French Communist Party and allies
French Communist PartyPCFCommunismLeft-wing to far-leftFabien Roussel
Pour La RéunionPLRDemocratic socialism
Post-Marxism
Regionalism
Left-wingHuguette Bello
Tavini HuiraatiraTHSocial democracy
Democratic socialism
Progressivism
French Polynesian autonomism/independence
Centre-left to left-wingOscar Temaru
Péyi-APéyi-AMartiniquean independenceCentre-left to left-wingJean-Philippe Nilor
Marcelin Nadeau

Written by Andrew Coates

May 30, 2022 at 12:23 pm

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