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Archive for the ‘French Politics’ Category

Updated mapping of the far-right in France made by the collective of the anti-fascist site La Horde.

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Cartographie2021 : un an de violences de l’extrême droite

Intimidations, attacks or preparations for attacks, throughout 2021, Reports of Force compiled, mapped and classified 105 violent events perpetrated by far-right activists. Is the phenomenon growing? What are their favourite methods? Which city or town is the most affected? Answers in our survey.

LA CARTE DES VIOLENCES D’EXTRÊME-DROITE EST ACCESSIBLE ICI

To get the context this recent book, which appeared at the end of least year is recommended in its own right but also as an introduction to the media- (Valuers Actuelles, C News, Sud News, the list is long, long long..) networks illustrated in the above chart.

Comment sommesnous devenus réacs ? Frédérique Matonti 

Frédérique Matonti : «Il n’y a plus de digues pour empêcher l’extrême droite d’imposer sa vision du monde»

In 2002, the historian of ideas Daniel Lindenberg made a massive impact by publishing Call to Order (Seuil), a powerful essay in which he identified a rapidly emerging movement: the “new reactionaries” , «nouveaux réactionnaires» pamphleteers and essayists marked by chagrin (and loathing) in the face of modernity” . Twenty years later, the title has not aged a bit. The neoconservative jugglers and of the radical right occupy more than ever the media space, lead the ideological agenda and have popularised the most extreme thoughts. So much so that the most famous of them is now campaigning by rehabilitating Pétain and Vichy. 

In How did we become reacts?(Fayard), Frédérique Matonti, political scientist and professor at the University of Paris-I Panthéon-Sorbonne, is sounding the alarm again. The work, which is more of an intervention essay than a sociological investigation, updates the idea of ​​the shift to the right of the debate in French ideas. New anathemas have appeared, new figures too, in a changing intellectual-media configuration that defines this new cartography.

The book is beautifully written, researched, concise and. above all, heartfelt.

The French far right have some similar British allies as in:

We note this, nevertheless,

French mayors set to scupper Emmanuel Macron rival Eric Zemmour’s presidential bid

Far-Right TV pundit struggling to muster 500 ‘endorsements’ from local officials – a prerequisite for a presidential bid.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 14, 2022 at 3:38 pm

French Presidential Elections Poll: Divided far-right (Le Pen and Zemmour) totals historic high at 29%.

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Divided far-right (le Pen and Zemmour) totals historic high at 29%.

For those following French politics this is a thorough and must-read study.

The rival far right candidates, despite the issue of immigration coming at 31% third in the list of people’s concerns (after living standards, 40% and Covid 33%), seem to have been pushed aside by Vallière Pécresse of Les Républicaines. She is of the traditional (formerly ‘Gaullist’) centre to hard right and now looks to be the main challenger to outgoing President Emmanuel Macron.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon continues his decline below 10% and now stands neck-and-neck with the Green candidate Yannick Jadot The Socialist Party candidate and Mayor of Paris, Hidalgo fails to reach 5%. The rest of the left barely registers, the Communists have the same score as sovereigntist Frexit campaigner Dupont-Aignan. The Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste are at 1,5% as is left sovereigntist Montebourg. At 0,5% Lutte Ouvrière are at a level that is statistically irrelevant. Jean Lassalle despite nicking his party name from Chris Williamson (Résistons) is a centrist, far from the left.

Le Monde comments;

Two elements call for caution, however. First of all, abstention. According to our panel, 61% of those questioned declared themselves “certain to vote”, which is nine points less than in December 2016. Logically, “probable” and “potential” abstainers are 27% of those questioned. , compared to 18% five years ago. As the campaign progresses, the French will take an interest in the stakes of the ballot and some of these abstainers could decide to vote. It remains to be seen for whom.

Another very important data: electoral mobility. Our survey shows that in two months 30% of respondents have changed their minds and are part of those we call les changeurs” (literally, money changers/currency exchangers) . A significant figure.

.. if the total of all the candidates of the left, environmentalists and the extreme left is between 24% and 29.5%, it seems impossible to join together, or even co-exist, their programmes which diverge on points as crucial as ecological transition, nuclear power. , security or secularism, or even imagine that revolutionaries will line up behind reformists.

Election présidentielle 2022 : un scrutin plus que jamais imprévisible, selon la troisième enquête électorale publiée par « Le Monde »

The left has been further shaken up by this announcement,

Former left-wing justice minister Taubira considering run for French presidency

France 24.

Christiane Taubira, a leading figure on the left of French politics and a justice minister in the Socialist government of former president François Hollande, said Friday she was considering running for president next year, and would give an update on her plans in January

In a video posted on her Twitter account Friday, Taubira said: “What matters is the fragility of daily life for millions of you, the uncertainties of the future, the fragmentations that are at work in French society.”

Christiane Taubira, a leading figure on the left of French politics and a justice minister in the Socialist government of former president François Hollande, said Friday she was considering running for president next year, and would give an update on her plans in January.

In a video posted on her Twitter account Friday, Taubira said: “What matters is the fragility of daily life for millions of you, the uncertainties of the future, the fragmentations that are at work in French society.”

Taubira comes across very well, “Taubira was nominated Minister of Justice by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, following the victory of François Hollande in the 2012 elections. At the time, she was one of the few black, female politicians within a prominent ministry in the French government. She soon emerged as one of the most outspoken and progressive voices in the government”.

Many people, including the writer of this Blog, like her.

However…. there are those who recall her Presidential candidacy in 2002, which some blame for fragmenting the vote at the time. “In 2002, Taubira was a Left Radical Party (PRG) candidate for the Presidency, although she did not belong to the Party; she won 2.32% of the votes.”

Taubira 2022 : le spectre d’une candidature sans projet

The left magazine Regards is not short on criticisms,

According to what generation you are from, Christiane Taubira does not evoke the same memories. There are those who remember her first steps in the National Assembly in 1993 when she supported vote of confidence in the Prime Minister of the time, a certain (centre-right) Edouard Balladur…. A year later, she campaigned alongside Bernard Tapie for the European elections, supported by the Left Radical Party (PRG).

There are those on the left who hated her in 2002 when she decided to run for president. The same people accused her of having weakened the left with her 2.32% in the first round, preventing, according to them, the Socialist Lionel Jospin (16.18%) from reaching the second round and having made the run off possible between Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen – often forgetting that among the other contenders for the Élysée Palace, there were other left candidates, Arlette Laguiller (5.72%), Jean-Pierre Chevènement (5.33%), Noël Mamère ( 5.25%), Olivier Besancenot (4.25%) or Robert Hue (3.91%).

Finally, there is the Christiane Taubira of the last two decades, the one whose voice and lyrical flights still resonate with delight in our ears, when she defended in 2001 the historic law recognizing trafficking and slavery as a crime against humanity or that in 2012 in favour of gay marriage (marriage pour tous). The same person who resigned, some time later, from the government of Manuel Valls to mark her political disagreement with his project to deprive people of French nationality (Note: initially for offences that, “constituant une atteinte grave à la vie de la Nation” serious damage to the life of the nation, essentially terrorism, after intense and complex controversy the law was not passed) – even if we forget a little too quickly that the only minister, in the Council of Ministers, who strongly opposed this announcement was George Pau-Langevin, in the Overseas portfolio.

..

Despite everything, she remains an icon of the left without really knowing the grounds or the reasons for it.

(full article via link above).

Regards is historically a Parti Communiste Français magazine, although it has a broader left basis at present.

Guardian:

Written by Andrew Coates

December 18, 2021 at 1:50 pm

French Communist Party Standing for Presidential Election..

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VIDEO. Qui est Fabien Roussel, député du Nord, candidat à la tête du PCF ?

“A fading star that is nearly politically dead” but one which continues “to radiate”. Bernard Lazar description of the Parti Communiste Français in 2005, still has some force today (Le Communisme une Passion Française).

In the first decade of the new millenium, if the Communist Robert Hue got only for 3,4 % of the Presidential ballots in 2002, and their list 4,8 % in Parliamentary elections, going down from 35 to 21 MPs, they still had real influence. PCF MPs had been part of the left “gauche plurielle” under Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (1997 to 2002), “co-habiting’ with the right-wing President Jacques Chirac.

At the same time the radical left which some saw as the successors of the PCF, had an influence. The period saw the arrival of ‘alter-globalisation’ movements, historic highs for far-left candidates – 5,72% for Trotskyist Arlette Laguiller (Lutte Ouvrière), 4,25 % for Olivier Besancenot (Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire) in the same contest as Hue – and left-wing greens.

Many people considered that, as these election results suggested, if the PCF was declining other parties and movements of the radical left were taking its place. Phillipe Raynaud described this world as the plural far-left (extrême-gauche plurielle), covering a vogue for theorists like Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek and Toni Negri, revived Trotskyist organisations – the Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste was formed in 2009 – to the influential association, ATTAC (L’Association pour la taxation des transactions financières et pour l’action citoyenne), which pioneered alter-globalisation before the arrival of Occupy!

But, Raynaud noted, much of its energy was negative: against economic liberalism, against both the liberal right and reformist left. Beyond this protest the writer, sympathetic to political liberalism, suggested that the left may have been able to express a wish for alternatives to capitalism that have survived the collapse of Communism, but had yet to move beyond reacting to the crises of globalisation and capitalism. ( L’Extrême Gauche plurielle. Entre démocratie et révolution. 2006).

Watching debates on the French radical left over the last weeks there was none of this ebullience. It has long been accepted that the left has to be more than a reaction against economic liberalism, and Reaction, Geoffroy de Lagasnerie being only one of many writers to make the point (Sortir de notre impuissance politique 2020). But many would be than happy were they in the position of they were in over a decade ago when radical movements from the left simply had an impact.

The Communists are not in a happy place either.

Fabien Roussel returns to the fundamentals of the PCF

For the first time since 2012, the Communist Party, Parti Communiste Français (PCF) is presenting its own presidential candidate, its national secretary, Fabien Roussel. 

Since 2012, the Communists have campaigned alongside Jean-Luc Mélenchon. The alliance took shape in the  Front de gauche pour changer d’Europe  in the 2009 European elections when the left populist was the leader of a small break-away from the Parti Socialistes, the  Parti de gauche. They got  6,5 %, above the level needed to have MEPs. In 2012 PCF members voted in favour of Mélenchon as a Presidential candidate, heading the Front de Gauche on a left-wing programme. At 11,1 % in the first round, way beyond the score the Communist  Marie-George Buffet had got, running independently, in 2007 – 1,93 %.

In 2017 despite opposition from the PCF leadership whose experience of working with Mélenchon was, it is reported, not always a happy one, the majority of party members voted to back the Presidential bid of the man now leading the new party/movement/rally La France insoumise. He came Fourth in the first round, with an impressive  19,6 %.

That the PCF had changed its electoral position after a democratic internal vote of the membership indicated a very public break with the historic practice of ‘democratic centralism’ which guaranted the victory of the leadership. In 2018 the main party ‘line’ document was also rejected by card-carriers. At the  XXXVIIIe Congress Secretary  Pierre Laurent left his post and was replaced by Fabien Roussel, now candidate for the Presidency. What remained of the bloc with Mélenchon, the Front de Gauche, was dissolved.

The return to full PCF independence led to PCF list for the European elections in 2019, which got 2,5 % and no MEPS. This follows continuing decline in municipal politics.

La France insoumise (LFI), has lost an ally in the seasoned activists and backing from the (remaining) Communist municipalities and councillors. For the Presidential elections this means that Mélenchon’s it is struggling to collect the 500 signatures of elected officials required to enter the official race for the Head of State. At the beginning of December, LFI had only got around 300 names for Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

The PCF has around 40 000 members, and a large number of real, not ‘virtual’ activists with roots in the working class, associative life and municipal politics. If there are no formal tendencies in the party, there are groupings, ‘courants’ of some serious weight. They also include a small group La Riposte which has ‘links‘. with the British ……Socialist Appeal. (Courants actuels). The PCF, if you watch their videos, live transmissions, and read their literature have a serious and appealing left programme. In competition with 6 other left candidates for next April’s Presidential election.

The PCF’s runner Fabien Roussel stands at around 2% in the opinion polls.

Former leader calls for support for Mélenchon and gets silenced:

Has the far left overtaken the PCF?

The two candidates of the radical left, Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) and Philippe Poutou (Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste) both poll at 1%.

Written by Andrew Coates

December 15, 2021 at 1:49 pm