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Pro Trump Thugs Demonstrate in London as US Lobbies for Tommy Robinson.

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Trump, “I think they like me a lot in the UK” – pro-Trump London Demo.

Today London played host to a raft of far and radical right leaders from around the world as pro-Trump and free Tommy Robinson demonstrations merge in Whitehall.

Hope Not Hate.

The day kicked off with a ‘Welcome Trump to London Demonstration’ near the US embassy in Vauxhall. Despite being organised by the oddball Make Britain Great Again group, led by the equally bizarre Luke Nash-Jones, the event attracted a number of UKIP speakers including Elizabeth Jones from UKIP NEC and UKIP London chairman Freddy Vachha.

The most high profile speaker was the Australian anti-Muslim activist Debbie Robinson from the anti-Muslim party, the Australian Liberty Alliance. Robinson, who was accompanied by Avi Yemini, is also President of the key Australian ‘counter-jihad’ organisation, the Q Society of Australia. 

Martin Costello of Make Britain Great Again addressed the crowd screaming “round up all illegal immigrants and get them out of here” and “we shall never surrender” into the microphone.

FREE TOMMY ROBINSON DEMONSTRATION

The main event happened in central London and kicked off just after 3pm in the wake of the shocking revelation that Sam Brownback, the US ambassador for international religious freedom, lobbied the UK on behalf of Tommy Robinson (AKA Stephen Yaxley-Lennon).

As the stage and screen were erected just in front of the Monument to the Women of World War II on Whitehall, notable figures from across the international far right and the right-wing alternative media began to gather. Members of Lennon’s team such as George Llewelyn-John and co-founder of the English Defence League (EDL) Kevin Carroll helped set things up alongside Siegfried Daebritz from the German anti-Muslim street movement PEGIDA. Also milling around the stage area was American “alt-light” figure Jack Posobiec.

The Guardian Reports,

A union leader has said he was the victim of an “unprovoked” attack by a mob after he addressed a counter-protest to a rally in support of Donald Trump and the jailed far-right leader Tommy Robinson.

Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the RMT, was among a number of officials assaulted by Robinson supporters, according to the union.

Witnesses said a mob ambushed a group at the Westminster Arms pub in central London on Saturday afternoon in a targeted attack.

In a video on social media, Hedley said: “We got attacked by a load of thugs, completely unprovoked.

“We defended ourselves obviously and there were a lot of casualties on both sides. But it was a completely unprovoked attack – we were just sitting there having a drink.

“If you oppose Tommy you get attacked by a glass and a chair – we have to stop this.”

He described the attackers as being from the far-right English Defence League, which Robinson used to lead.

One witness, who asked not to be named, said: “They [the attackers] knew what they were doing.”

Guardian.

AMERICAN THINK TANK FUNDING TOMMY DEMOS

Hope Not Hate,

it has emerged that Lennon has also been receiving significant financial assistance from across the Atlantic, receiving money for legal help from the Philadelphia-based organisation the Middle East Forum (MEF), led by Daniel Pipes.

Worryingly, MEF also claims to have held an “organizing and funding” role in both today’s protest and the previous protest in June, which was marred by violence and vandalism and saw nazis and other antisemites among the crowd.

MEF’s blog claims that they “provided all the funding and helped organized the first “Free Tommy Robinson” event held June 9 in London.” The event in question attracted around 10,000 people and saw police officers being chased and attacked near Trafalgar Square. Sections of Lennon’s supporters also hurled metal barriers, bottles and street signs, injuring five people and resulting in the arrest of nine.

Despite this, the MEF also decided to once again contribute to the funding and organizing of today’s Free Tommy demonstration in London, writing that it was arranging for US Congressman Gosar to speak at the rally. Gosar has previously courted controversy when, in an interview with VICE News, he suggested that the August 2017 alt-right Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, which led to the murder of counter-protester Heather Heyer, may have been organised by an “Obama sympathiser” and raised the possibility that it may have been funded by Hungarian philanthropist George Soros. Gosar also accused Soros of having “turned in his own people to the Nazis”.

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Football: a Lament for the Two Englands.

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Résultat de recherche d'images pour "baudrillard sur le football"

Pseudo-Cosmopolitan Sneers Get Robust Answer From Spiked online.

 

“England for him was no longer a real place, but a consecrated isle in the lake of forgetting, where the God of the English still strode through an imaginary Eden, admiring His works.”
― Roger ScrutonEngland: An Elegy

THE TWO ENGLANDS.

Brendan O’Neill

There’s the England where we gathered in pubs and parks to go wild for the team, and in the process made new friends, hugged strangers, helped inebriated people into Ubers, and there’s the England that frets that this heaving mass of fans will turn violent and harm women and girls.

“Human beings, in their settled condition, are animated by oikophilia: the love of the oikos, which means not only the home but the people contained in it, and the surrounding settlements that endow that home with lasting contours and an enduring smile.”
― Roger ScrutonHow to Be a Conservative

And,

There’s the England that pursues of the promise of nationhood, and the England that views the nation as outdated. There is the England that feels national pride and sometimes even waves the English flag, and there is the England repulsed by such ‘jingoistic’ behaviour. Even in London itself, you can have a working-class estate adorned in England flags not far from Corbynista-inhabited parts of London where the only flag you’re likely to see is the EU one. Two Londons. The England that sees itself as a nation, and the England that sees itself as a small cog in the pseudo-cosmopolitan machine of Brussels whose wise counsel is apparently preferable to the opinions of ordinary Brits. Especially the ones who wave that bloody flag and beat their wives when England lose.

“When the chips are down, Orwell argued, our workers do not defend their class but their country, and they associate their country with a gentle way of life in which unusual and eccentric habits – such as not killing one another – are accepted as the way things are. In these respects, Orwell also thought, the leftist intellectuals will always misunderstand the workers, who want nothing to do with a self-vaunting disloyalty that only intellectuals can afford.”
― Roger ScrutonHow to Be a Conservative

I know which of the two Englands I prefer. Like millions of others, I experienced it many times over these past few weeks, and I know it is not the foul, prejudiced, violent land of the new technocratic elite’s nightmares, but rather is a place where people value collectivity over individual identity, talent over race, and pulling together rather than waiting to be enlightened by those who presume to know more than us. En-ger-land – it’s not so shabby.

Brendan O’Neill

For further information on the new politics of Spiked see:

Melanie Phillips Goes the Full Farage: “Sack May, give Farage a peerage, make him party leader and PM.”

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Phillips Leads the March on Downing Street!

Hat-Tip: The Seer of Hegemony.

Melanie Phillips is Britain’s answer to Alain Finkielkraut.

Both of ’em likes to whinge about falling educational standards, the loss of national identity and the perils of cosmopolitan multiculturalism, as in their parallel works, All Must Have Prizes (1996), Guardian Angel: My Journey from Leftism to Sanity (2018), and the Frenchman’s L’identité malheureuse (2014 – which reads like a line by line French version of Phillips’ oeuvre).

But one hesitates to imagine even  Alain Finkielkraut going outright raving nationalist as in the above and the below.

FAITHLESS, CRAVEN AND COWARDLY – THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT’S BREXIT BETRAYAL. Melanie Phillips.

we can say with near-certainty is that what Mrs May has done is put in serious doubt a Conservative victory at the next general election – and maybe at any further general election for a long time after that.

For she and her cowardly and faithless colleagues have betrayed Brexit voters, betrayed democracy and betrayed the British people.

..

the worst danger of all from this debacle: that the British people will simply lose faith not just in the wretched Conservative party but in the democratic process which will become increasingly meaningless.

That said, this thing is far from over; indeed, it may have only just begun. For if the EU sticks to its previous intransigence, it will reject the British government’s offer and insist that it makes further concessions to the EU’s rules which even Mrs May dare not make.

Which means, prepare now for “no deal”. Which Britain should have done right from the start.

But however this finally ends, Mrs May and her craven colleagues have done real damage – to themselves as politicians, to the Conservative party and to democracy itself.

 

These chaps are already moblising for the March on Downing Street to speak for the “disdained masses who have been championed by Melanie Phillips..”

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EU People’s Vote, Liberal Elite Versus “community, place, belonging ” (Paul Embery).

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Image result for far right unity demo 24nd June 2018

“For we are the people of England, that never have spoken yet“?

Those familiar with French politics will know all too well the gaggle of former left-wingers who have discovered patriotism, moral order, and nationalism barely disguised as “republicanism”.

Amongst many many others, Jean-Claude Michéa (admirer of George Orwell’s ‘common decency’) “«Les classes populaires ont presque entièrement disparu du champ de vision de l’élite et des classes moyennes… », Alain Finkielkraut “Alain Finkielkraut fustige ”une nouvelle élite barbare” et les ”collabos de la modernité” Michel Onfray, ( Michel Onfray contre les élites ) Michel Houellebecq (Les élites haïssent le peuplehave for a long time attacked the liberal ‘elite’, political ‘correctness’, the ” “nouveau progressisme”, unbridled free markets, fragmented identities, and  individualism.

The alternative?

France, the French People, perhaps the terroir, maybe the land and its memories – whatever takes their prejudiced fancy.

Many are, like the anti-Charlie Emmanuel Todd, advocates of “national solidarity,  leaving the Euro and economic protectionism (“il faut sortir de l’euro et pratiquer le protectionnisme.  la solidarité nationale et la fraternité.)

If like Todd they do not generally support Marine Le Pen it is because she does not include all the French people in this destiny.

It would not take long to find these currents  in the ideological soup across the whole continent.

So it no surprise that we are now seeing a similar stream of support for Family, Flag and Community against the” liberal pro-EU elite” as they call it)  in this country as the Carnival of Reaction following Brexit unfurls.

Disgracefully not unfrocked Priest, Giles Fraser, micturated recently with a stream of urine against ‘rootless cosmopolitans’.

Paul Embery, a public shit house for Family, Faith and Flag, is world class in this game of who can pee higher against ‘liberal elites”.

Brexit voters weren’t duped by propaganda.

PAUL EMBERY 26th of June. Unherd.

This is his comment on the Saturday People’s Vote march.

“Listening out for the hysterical outpourings of the grieving liberal intelligentsia can be an interesting pastime. It’s almost as if they are trying to outdo each other in their paroxysms of utter contempt for the mob.”

Indeed the stout working class types pictured above did not get as much publicity as the People’s Vote elite.

Embery has a word of advice for the limousine liberals (as the US original of this copied ‘patriotic’  diatribe had it in the past). The “explanation for why millions of working-class people voted for Trump and Brexit. But you’d need to rub shoulders with them every once in a while to know it.”

Thanks for the tip!

Here it is at greater length:

Left behind by globalisation, witnessing their communities rapidly changing from the effects of deindustrialisation and large-scale movements of people, suffering the effects of low wages and poor housing, they took the opportunity to hit back against a cloth-eared liberal establishment that had treated them with disdain for too long. Treat people like cattle, and you’ll get kicked.

You don’t have to be a cheerleader for Trump or Brexit to recognise this obvious truth.

Me old china, the Leave campaign was led by the wealthy (like his mate Arron Banks), and the public school educated and supported by the mass right-wing press.

And, we shall say to Scholar and a Gentleman Embery, that, well, let’s just just say that Disdain is Trump’s middle name….

That if they were ‘left behind’ – every tout for Brexit’s cheapest answer to everything – they are going to be stuck in the wilderness  after this bunch of chancers running EU withdrawal get their way.

Yet….

Apparently this is not the main issue.

Emberey’s new conspi theory it that the same ‘elite’ is now out to attack ‘free speech’.

For the new sinister agenda is not just to subvert the referendum result, but also to establish a compliant media where, in future, only the ‘facts’ as interpreted by these enlightened progressives and their chosen experts may be allowed to see the light of day.

Of course they know they can’t get away with crude bans on platforms giving air to alternative opinions, so their methods are more insidious. Thus we see increasingly restrictive laws designed to suppress freedom of speech, support for state-backed regulation of the press, boycotts of mainstream newspapers, and the sinister threat to reputations and livelihoods for the crime of saying the wrong thing.

He continues, outraged,

This mix of draconian legislation on the one hand and a repressive and intimidating public atmosphere on the other is toxic. The end goal is to batter us into submission so we think twice before expressing unfashionable opinions.

You can see it in the activities of outfits such as Stop Funding Hate – an authoritarian and menacing campaign dressed up as ethical and progressive. This group demands a boycott of any company which advertises in newspapers spreading “hate” (for which read ‘newspapers whose editorial line we dislike’). Several firms, fearful of damage to profits and reputations, have capitulated. They know the group is serious. It would happily see businesses, large and small, go to the wall and be forced to throw thousands of ordinary workers on to the scrapheap for the crime of advertising in the ‘wrong’ newspapers. So much for its high-minded ethics.

Its target isn’t really hate, of course; it is alternative opinions, particularly those traditional, some might say old-fashioned, opinions to which millions of Britons still hold true, but which are considered beyond the pale by the liberal elite.

Here is the wily plotters’ statement,

After what it called “decades of sustained and unrestrained anti-foreigner abuse, misinformation and distortion”, the United Nations has accused some British newspapers of “hate speech”. UK experts are now warning that hate crime is being “fuelled and legitimised” by the media. Relentlessly hostile and often inaccurate headlines have been described by charities as “dangerous”. But, indirectly, nearly all of us are funding them.

We’re taking on the divisive hate campaigns of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express by persuading advertisers to pull their support.

There is a version of Godwin’s law that rightward drifting left-wingers always cite George Orwell at some point.

So it is no surprise that Embery says, “Our radical tradition is that of the Levellers and Chartists, of Tom Paine and George Orwell…”

He ends with this,

I along with millions of other working-class people voted for Brexit for reasons of democracy, community, place, belonging and accountability. Don’t tell us we did so because of something we read in the Daily Mail or on the side of a bus. For if you believe that, you really understand nothing of your own country.

No I know nothing.

Though I would say that “community, place and belonging” sound to me very much like ideas that echo the ideas of the far-right French writer Maurice Barrès (1862 – 1923) of la Terre et les morts, the notion that we are above all else rooted in our national soil and carry on the memories of our ancestors, and the same author’s criticism of the  Déracinés – the cosmopolitan rootless.

I would add that my fights (sometimes physical) with those at school and in my North London homeland, including in a factory,  with those who used to say “good ‘ole Enoch” in the late sixties and ‘seventies,  did not take place with ‘left-wingers’ of the Embery stripe telling me that really Enoch Powell has a point….

 

The Full Brexit: Alliance of Labour Patriots, Spiked-on-Line, Immigration Obsessives, Left Sovereigntists and other Oddballs.

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Full British Brexit’. Not ‘bog roll Brexit’!

What does a leader of Trade Unionists Against the EU, concerned about ‘easy divorce’ and immigration, somebody who defends “Flag, faith and family” and who (2011), wanted Labour to be an organisation, “that involves those people who support the EDL within our party”, a prominent contributor for the left-wing magazine Jacobin, a founder of a new Social Democratic Party, the  former editor of Prospect magazine, a pamphleteer for  Labour Leave, a Harvard Professor, Murdoch’s Man in Brussels, a well-known figure in the British Communist Party (CPB), and a small battalion of former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party and contributors to Spiked-on-Line, have in common?

Answer: THE FULL BREXIT

 

The Full Brexit is not a political party. We do not all agree about each and every policy or document on this website. But we do agree, first, that the left’s proper role is to be the architect of a better, more democratic future and, second, that a clean break with the EU is needed to realise that potential.

To this end, we will provide analysis of the present political situation and proposals for the future. We will engage with the public, politicians and anyone who shares our democratic ethos. And we will conduct our work in solidarity with those on the left in other European countries to develop a genuinely internationalist and democratic politics of national sovereignty.

Brexit offers an unprecedented opportunity to reshape Britain for the better. Please join us in that mission.

The common sovereigntist thread (Popular Sovereignty and “Taking Back Control”: What it Means and Why it Matters), the links with Spiked-on-Line (Revolutionary Communist Party, RCP) of the signatories below  – you might be tempted to call it a Brendan O’Neill front – and the ever more right-wing drift of these people makes this a more authentic  warning from Hell.

Beginning with Paul Embery and Trade Unionists Against the EU recent comments on Trump splitting up arrested migrant families.

Founding Signatories

​Christopher Bickerton, University of Cambridge. Extensive Spiked on Line Archive.

Philip Cunliffe, University of Kent, “University of Kent’s Dr Philip Cunliffe: Brexit is a triumph for the people over the elites.”

Paul Embery, Trade Unionists Against the EU:  The left-wing zealots are threatening our freedom.

…..try discussing with these people – the self-appointed guardians of enlightened society – the idea that immigration levels are too high and should be reduced. You’re a xenophobe. Try saying that kids are better served being raised by two parents, one of each sex. You’re a homophobic bigot. Don’t believe someone with the anatomy of a man can suddenly become a woman just because he says he is? Transphobe.

Thomas Fazi, Author and Journalist. ‘Left’ Sovereigntist: WHAT IS NEEDED IS A PROGRESSIVE VISION OF NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY May 2017.

Maurice Glasman, House of Lords. Blue Labour. “Work, family, community.” wanted Labour to be” a party that brokers a common good, that involves those people who support the EDL within our party” (Labour isn’t working. 2011.)

David Goodhart, Author and Journalist. Founding editor of Prospect. The Road to Somewhere 2017. “A fault line in Britain existed, he suggested, between Somewhere, those people firmly connected to a specific community which consists of about half the population, “Inbetweeners”, and Anywhere, those usually living in cities, socially liberal and well educated; the latter being only a minority of about 20% to 25% of the total, but in fact had “over-ruled” the attitudes of the majority.”

Matthew Goodwin, University of Kent. “Concerned” about Immigration, “Brexit Britain is in denial over immigration Debate since Brexit referendum has failed to tackle immigration — the key motivator behind the Leave campaign.”Politico.

Pauline Hadaway, University of Manchester. Spiked-on-Line extensive Archive.

James Heartfield, Author and Journalist. “In the 1980s he was a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party.” Fanatical Sovereigntist.

Kevin Hickson, University of Liverpool.

.. Kevin left the Labour Party in the summer of 2017.  Never a fan of Jeremy Corbyn, he accepted the outcome of the leadership contest but was increasingly uneasy with the sneering attitude of some within the Labour Party to the working class and all things British.  This reached its peak, he felt, in the constant attempts to undermine, if not stop the Brexit process.  It was this which led to him resign from the party.

With his belief that political principles are futile unless put into action he joined the SDP which is the only party, Kevin believes, to offer the correct combination of left-of-centre social and economic policies and a commitment to uphold the will of the people to leave the European Union. Having previously worked closely with Labour Leave on Brexit, Kevin is now the organiser for SDP’s North West region and keenly engaged in raising the profile of SDP, locally and nationally.

Lee Jones, Queen Mary University of London.  THECURRENTMOMENT 

Puts its faith in the Mother of Parliaments, “as The Current Moment argued all along, Brexiteers made the mistake of failing to trust representative democracy, and instead rushed to trigger Article 50 and marched unprepared straight into the EU’s favoured terrain: meeting-rooms safely closed off from democracy where they may bully smaller negotiating partners.”

Costas Lapavitsas, School of Oriental and African Studies (author of the recent so-called ‘left’ article backing Brexit in the US Jacobin magazine).

Tara McCormack, University of Leicester.  Spiked on Line.  19th of April 2018. SYRIA, THE TIMES AND FREE SPEECH.”The Times states that by questioning the British government’s stance we are apologists for Assad. More absurd still, it claims that by questioning and debating British foreign policy we are somehow shutting down debate.”

March 2018: THE EU: WHERE DID IT ALL GO WRONG?

“Krastev argues that the migration crisis in the EU has pulled national politics or, perhaps to be more precise, the national electorates, back into the picture, as the borderless, cosmopolitan ideal is forced to confront the reality and impact of migration, and attendant concerns over welfare, identity and rights.”

“Moreover, questions around identity and values do need to be discussed freely. It is certainly reasonable to ask if significant migration of other religious groups will impact on post-liberal or conservative values in Europe. Yet such debate is considered unacceptable by the EU, leaving the resentments to be expressed by right-wing populist groups.”

Jasper Miles, Goldsmiths College, University of London. Joint author of Labour Leave pamphlet, “The Labour Case for Brexit.”

Peter Ramsay, London School of Economics. Linked to THECURRENTMOMENT 

“…as The Current Moment argued all along, Brexiteers made the mistake of failing to trust representative democracy, and instead rushed to trigger Article 50 and marched unprepared straight into the EU’s favoured terrain: meeting-rooms safely closed off from democracy where they may bully smaller negotiating partners.”

Richard Tuck, Harvard University​. “Tuck has long believed that Brexit would benefit the British Left — both by killing the drive for Scottish independence, and by opening up a new space for radical left politics in Britain.” Policy Exchange 2017.

Bruno Waterfield, Murdoch Journalist – Brussels Correspondent — The Times.

Philip B Whyman, University of Central Lancashire. Sovereigntist fantasist, “Beyond Brexit: how to build an independent British economy.”

Suke Wolton, Regents Park College, University of Oxford. Author of “Marxism, Mysticism and Modern Theory. 1996. Not known to have moved on since.

Amongst others attaching themselves to this bandwagon I note Mary Davis (Communist Party of Britain).

People’s Vote.

We will doubtless hear today dire warnings from the Brexit left about splitting the labour movement by marching with anti-Brexit campaigners in the People’s Vote Campaign.

Given their own background in dividing the Labour and trade union vote to Remain this is like hearing Satan preaching against Sin.

But it’s Full Brexit alliance that ought to be kept  in mind when hearing attacks on the People’s Vote campaign against Brexit.

What a bunch!

Macron, Un Président Philosophe. Brice Couturier. The Anti-Populist Progressive? Review.

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Macron, Un Président Philosophe. Aucun des ses mots n’est le fruit de hasard. Brice Couturier. Editions l’Observatoire. 

An interview which broke with the deferential traditions of the 5th Republic made the French headlines all week. On Sunday the 15th of April the journalists Jean-Jacques Bourdin and Edwy Plenel questioned the head of state for two hours on the balance-sheet of his administration. Elected with a sweeping majority for the party La République en marche, he defended a policy of immediate reforms, from the rail service, to higher education. Macron “listened” to the anger of opponents – the railway workers, students, aeroplane pilots, functionaries, and the squatters occupying the ZAD at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. But republican norms had to be respected. Universities were victims of “professionnels du désordre” (le Monde 17.4.18).

As the exchange got underway Plenal, the anti-Macron founder of the independent Mediapart, and a former member of the Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, interrupted. “You are not our Teacher, and we are not your pupils”. An Editorial in Le Monde the previous day talked of Macron as a pedagogue ready to lecture, regardless of the wishes of his audience, until he had completed his lesson. (Macron au cours préparatoire. 14.4.18) Excluding the possibility that the President was unaware of his interlocutor’s troublemaking potential one assumes that a snappy put down far from a chance part of the course.

The Anti-Populist Progressive? 

But what syllabus is France’s President instructing us from? This is far from an issue limited to the Hexagone. There are policies on the European Union. Macron’s “camp progressiste” has stimulated interest amongst homeless supporters of the Third Way, Die Neue Mitte, and the liberal centre. For many of these people Macron represents a successful ‘anti-populist’ unifying force.  Much of the French left, which saw many transfers from the right of the Parti Socialiste (PS) and allied figures, to the new President’s camp, by contrast, announced immediately after his victory that this was a Presidency for the wealthy, for the ‘elite’. For former Socialist Minister Anicet Le Pors, he is “mandated” by international finance, the ruling circles of the EU, the bosses, the administrative technocracy, show business, and nearly all the media. (April 2018. Le Monde Diplomatique)

With the present unrest attracting attention the English-speaking left has been quick to label Macron a neo-liberal, a spin of Tony Blair and Thatcher, out to attack the labour movement and impose markets on the public sphere. The ‘bromance’ with Donald Trump over Syria adds force to the comparison with the former British Prime Minister.

Perry Anderson, in a peremptory post-election account, went deeper. Adorned in best periodic style, he suggested that the “neoliberal reformation of France”, attempted for over three decades, had been impeded on different sides by the constituencies of right and left. Macron, in effect, cut through the various knots tiring up the centre left and right, and formed a real “bloc bourgeois” ready to carry out a liberalisation of the economy, and free up entrepreneurial energy. (1)

But some clarity is needed about the beast in power. There are already plenty of books about the President, and the electoral campaign that swept him to the Élysée. But what is his ideology, beyond carrying out his neoliberal “mandate”? ‘Macronism’ appears a less promising candidate than Thatcherism or even the rebarbative Blairism. A suggestion by Régis Debray that – the reader will have guessed this – that the Head of State represents Americanisation, with a ‘Protestant’ twist (see below), this does not take us far. It might be better said that his ideology is something picked up and stuck together as the result of an academic, administrative, business and political career.

In Macron, un président philosophe, Courtier who has a solid academic, and media background, and a less firm commitment to a form of left wing liberalism, offers us a series of insights into this broad picture. As he indicates, the former assistant to the philosopher Paul Ricœur, graduate of French elite Political and Administrative colleges, Finance Inspector, Rothschild Banker, and Minister under François Hollande, offers rich intellectual pickings. Blair, the erudite few may recall, had the lecturer Peter Thompson at Oxford, and the lessons of reciprocity from John Macmurray, behind his Christian socialism. Macron has somebody, Ricœur, a thinker with a Protestant backdrop, whom people have often heard of, if not read.

The President, we learn, has many many more figures in his hinterland. French books have a vexing lack of indexes. It would be hard work to list every sage cited in un Président philosophe, they range from Hegel, Marx, Carl Schmitt, Nietzsche, Peter Sloterdijk, Joseph Schumpeter, Michael Young (meritocracy), to Jürgen Habermas. This only follows the reference-laden writings and speeches of the book’s subject.

From Ricoeur to Saint Simon. 

It would be useful to boil this down to the essential. To begin with here is the debt to Paul Ricœur. For Courtier he offered the germs of an “identitié narrative” from the individual to the nation, to history. The use for a President of certain ideas about France, recently indicated in recognition to the importance of the legacy of Catholicism, is obvious. Macron has, in other words, considers cultural legacies, the presence of memory, to hold the country together – a view whose originality or interest is not immediately apparent.

Next Macron can be compared to Saint-Simon, the prophet of a society run by “industrials” and “intellectuals”. In this vein he is said to consider globalisation as a system of fluxes to be organised and regulated (Page 253). Finance, the mark of neo-liberalism, is to be channelled to the long-term greater good.

If Macron is a believer in capitalism he acknowledges it is not a system that works smoothly, if with great effort, like some building a planetary network of Saint-Simonian canals. There are moments of creative destruction (Schumpeter), clearing out the old inefficient enterprises, bureaucratic burdens and the “corporatism” of organised labour. ‘Progressive’ states, and the transnational European project, are needed to both facilitate and harness this process. .

Finally, there is building European Sovereignty, and the problems that globalisation creates. Courtier refers to David Goodhart in outlining the problems France faces. (3). Can Macron bring together the France of the “zones péripheriques”, the old working class far from the elite, and the metropolitan “gagnants de la mondialisation” (winners of globalisation), regarded as Macron’s core backing, if not electorate, together? (Pages 291 -2)

The difficulty of reconciling the “somewhere’ salt-of-the-earth folk and the – scorned – “nowhere” cosmopolitans would appear hard for somebody identified with the (however misleadingly) with the latter “bobos”. The task of bringing integration against the ‘identitarians’ of the far-right and those who assert the absolute right to multicultural difference, by the “modèle republican français” appears equally arduous. The often reverential, if not hagiographical tone of Un président philosophe, does not help resolve the difficulties. The use of Goodhart to bolster his opinions indicates a rightward slant with no countervailing force. 

The philosophical commentator Alain famously declared that when somebody says that they are neither right nor left, he is sure of one thing – that they are not of the left. Macron is always careful to declare that he is of the right and the left. But there is a little indication of the latter. Pierre-André Taguieff has represented him as the herald of “successful globalisation”, a Europe in which France would be a “nation-start up” and the “État-enterprise”. To decipher the business-talk Anglicisms that pepper Macron’s speech is to confirm this view.

Managerialism, Saint-Simon, Schumpeter, both far from any conception of “bottom up” democracy, political or economic, and a homeopathic communitarian philosophy suggested by Courtier’s reading of Goodhart, do not make an attractive picture of France’s President. If this is what “progressivism” has become in Europe, than it is doubtful if it will attract many enthusiasts beyond France, and certainly not from left-wingers (3)

The European Project and the left.

In the article cited above Anderson pins the ultimate root of this strategy on the European Project. In the trickle down from his approach, others seize on every obstacle to the EU – Brexit included – as an advance against neo-liberalism. Today’s French strikes and protests – regardless of their specific causes or aims – are considered part of this movement.

But the real issue for the French left, in the aftermath of their defeat, may be said to have been whether Macron could be opposed by the “left populist” strategy of Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s La France insoumise (LFI), to ‘federate the people” against the “elite” or by a new “left bloc” based on alliances between the parties (now stretching from the remains of the PS, Benoît Hamon’s group, the PCF, LFI and its allies, what is left of Les Verts, Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste, NPA) with the social forces presently fighting the wave of Macron reforms. This, as Stefano Palombarini suggested last June, would require an internationalist strategy towards changing the EU that breaks from the populist drift to ‘sovereigntism’. (4)

It is said that with his steam-roller reforms Macron has now been abandoned by whatever support he had from the ‘reformist’ liberal left. That after a year’s presidency he has veered towards authoritarianism  to “jacobinisme vertical”. Whether this is true or not the left is not united. There is no indication that the largest group in the French National Assembly, LFI, at the moment engaged in a “war of movement” to capture hegemony over the left, intends to explore this possibility. It might still be said, that to wrestle the European issue out of the hands of the Macrons and the existing EU system of governance, while fighting the sovereigntists, remains the key issue for our continent’s left, in all its diversity, strengths and weaknesses.

****

(1) The Centre Can Hold. Perry Anderson. New Left Review. No 105. May/June 2017. See: L’Illusion du Bloc Bourgeois. Bruno Amable. Stefano Palombarini. Raisons d’agir. 2017. Speculation that François Hollande and his immediate circle played a part in Macron’s Presidential ascension has waned with the publication of memories reproaching his one-time protégé for his actions.

(2) The Road to Somewhere. The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics. David Goodhart. Hurst & Company. 2017.

(3) Page 283. Macron: miracle ou mirage? Pierre-André Taguieff. Editions l’Observatoire. August 2017

(4) Face à Macron, la gauche ou le populisme? Stefano Palombarini

Giles Fraser, former Guardian Columnist and Present Priest of St Mary’s, Newington, Touts for Assad in Syria.

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Giles Fraser, Vicar, former Guardian Columnist Touts for Assad.

Hat-Tip JP.

This will remind many people of the kind of criminal lies and delusions spread by the fellow travellers of Stalin.

As in  David CauteFellow-Travellers: A Postscript to the Enlightenment,  1973 (revised edition, as The Fellow-Travellers: Intellectual Friends of Communism,  1988.)

He is not alone:  London Times articles about Assadist university professors  Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist)

Fraser has a more recent history of deluded apologies for murder.

2016:

Giles Fraser (Guardian) attacks Charlie Hebdo.

Zineb El Rhazoui, formerly of Charlie Hebdo, “white atheist sneering at non-white believers” says Giles Fraser. 

Giles Fraser is a columnist for the Guardian.

In his spare time he is  parish priest at St Mary’s, Newington.

Giles Fraser does not like French secularism.

He devotes most of his energy to unmasking Republican France’s  “foundation myth”, the “glorious triumph of atheistic rationality over the dangerous totalitarian obscurantism of the Catholic church.” (France’s much vaunted secularism is not the neutral space it claims to be)

During his morning bath Fraser thinks of the Vendée and the Drownings at Nantes (Noyades de Nantes) of refractory clergy.

A walk on the beach sends him musing on the ‘Burkini’.

Passing by a Stationer’s  the Priest considers the shadow of the secularist Guillotine.

It goes without saying that he did and does not like Charlie Hebdo, modern Atheist “Iconoclasts

It is with little surprise that we find that Fraser now manages to drag Charlie into this debate: “Kelvin MacKenzie has been cleared by Ipso over his column on the Channel 4 News presenter. What message does that ruling send?” (Is it ‘open season’ on Muslims, as Fatima Manji suggests? Our panel responds.)

 Fraser comments,

Defending freedom of speech is one thing, but freedom of speech is brought into massive disrepute when it becomes a moral alibi for white atheists to sneer at non-white believers, and Muslims in particular. It was exactly the same with Charlie Hebdo – they hid their racism behind that all-purpose moral pass, freedom of speech. But at least they were equal opportunity offenders – they had a pop at all-comers: Jews, Christians, Muslims.

Racism?

Is Charlie a group of ‘white atheists’?

You mean that anybody criticising Islam gives an “alibi” to ‘racists”?

That Charlie “hid” its racism?

As in the case of this much loved comrade….

Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism’ (New York Times 18.10.16.)

Undeterred by fatwas and death threats, the author has released an incendiary and thoughtful new book, bound to provoke debate.

She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

Written by Andrew Coates

April 16, 2018 at 11:07 am