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Posts Tagged ‘Arnaud Montebourg

Sovereigntism: “Not Left, Right or Centre” George Galloway’s Workers Party of Britain Stands Candidate in Canterbury District Council By-Election.

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The Workers' Party of Britain – The Workers' Party of Britain – Rebuild and  Transform Britain

British Sovereigntist ‘Left’.

Sovereigntist politics have made a big mark in French politics. Issues relating to claims about the importance of political, economic, and cultural independence of France are not only more explicitly discussed but make the political headlines beyond controversies as important as, say, Brexit is in the UK.

The news from France today is that Arnaud Montebourg, a former Socialist Minister and pessimistic reformer inspired by nation-state based versions of “anti-globalisation” (démondialisation) centred upon protectionist ideas, has not given up his Presidential bid. A sovereigntist, who sometimes still claims to be on the left, Montebourg got into trouble over this:

The quondam ‘left wing firebrand’ and one-time Minister of the Economy, Industrial Renewal and Digital Affairs (2012 – 2014) , announced his candidacy at the start of September. Better known these days for his Honey – he markets it under the highly amusing label of Bleu, Blanc Ruche (Bee-Hive) – this venture has got the backing of ultra-sovereigntist and another one-time Socialist, Jean-Pierre Chevènement and the remnants of the ‘Che’s Citizen and Republican Movement (MRC), the anti-Charlie Hebdo essayist and protectionist Emmanuel Todd, and (somebody of whom one would have hoped better Thomas Guénolé, whose unhappy experience of working at close quarters with Jean-Luc Mélenchon, La Chute de la Maison Mélenchon : Une machine dictatoriale vue de l’intérieur (2019) has been referred to on the present site. The objective was to gather together “sovereigntists”, that is those from all political backgrounds, who put French national sovereign power first, foremost, and at the top of priorities. Made in France has become the axis of his economic policy.

By no coincidence whatsoever that was the Chevènement Presidential programme (the MRC was then called the Mouvement des citoyens (MDC) in 2002 (5,3% of the vote). His approach was to appeal beyond left and right, to the Republic (“au-dessus de la droite et de la gauche, il y a la République”) . The campaign got the backing of, amongst others, this unenviable list,  Régis Debray, Max Gallo,  Emmanuel Macron and  Florian Philippot (later to be Marine le Pen’s henchman, now leader of his own far-right outfit, Les Patriotes).

L’Engagement is the name of the outfit working for Montebourg. It addresses those who want to “take back control of our lives” (reprendre le contrôle de nos vies) wrest the state from the hands of a minority and get it to work for the general interest ( le retour d’un État au service de l’intérêt général, libéré de l’emprise d’une minorité). A New France based on “la souveraineté populaire et l’indépendance économique.”

An important part of the campaign is a robust approach to immigrants and integration. Those living in France, he has said, must “learn French, respect the laws, accept the values ​​of French society, like secularism, and should work, and have their own resources ”.

Monty, as nobody calls him, got in a mess a couple of days ago with this call “, he proposed to block “all transfers” of money from immigrants , and evoked “the 11 billion that goes through Western Union” , to put pressure on countries that refuse to take back their nationals expelled from France. Wokists all all sides did not hesitate to point out that Marine Le Pen had already had that idea. It also looks as if preventing immigrants in France from sending money to family or friends, was not only illiberal but most certainty illegal under French and European law. Montebourg has back-peddled, “ C’était une erreur, cette mesure ne sera pas dans mon programme. » An error, a measure which will not be in his programme.

 0,2 % of those surveyed have expressed a favourable opinion of the candidate’s ‘robust’ views on immigration. But it is said that they have expanded his audience on Twitter, (Présidentielle 2022 : avec ses propos sur l’immigration, Montebourg élargit son audience… sur Twitter)

Beyond Left and Right Sovereigntist politics, with patriotism, protectionism and lots of state control, looks as if it’s found an expression in the UK….

Introducing the Workers Party

LEADER: George Galloway :: Deputy leader: Joti Brar

Our country needs the state to guide the economic life of the country in such a way as to promote work, to respect the dignity of labour, and to serve the working people. All adults have a duty to work in a useful fashion, according to their talents and abilities, and society has an equal duty to ensure that useful employment is available to all, part-time or full-time according to the domestic, health and life constraints of the worker.

The Workers Party positively embraces Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. Britain needs to be free of the EU regulations that would restrict our fiscal and monetary policy and prevent Britain from taking public ownership of key utilities and transport infrastructure.

 If we are to be free to direct the affairs of our country to meet the needs of working-class people, we must be able to have something to say on the free movement of capital out of our country as well as the free movement of labour into it. Under a socialist system, the control of our borders, both physical and financial, will be a guarantee not only of the rights of our workers to good labour rights and rates of pay, but will restrict the ability of capital to pack up and leave for greener pastures, abandoning our workers and decimating British industry.

We reject a future of parasitism where the British people, through the operation of the City of London, degenerate into an unemployed feckless rump living off cheap imported food and the plastic-electronic consumables of global capitalist anarchy.

One has to admit that the Workers Party of Britain does have some rather ‘specific’ views on national independence:

Workers Party Britain-Kent Retweeted

Arnaud Montebourg Launches Presidential Bid: Sovereigntists and Political Confusionists.

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Arnaud Montebourg, créateur des miels Bleu Blanc Ruche, sur le marché de Louhans ce lundi 10 juin | Voix du Jura

Montebourg: a Hive of Actitity Behind Presidential Bid.

Arnaud Montebourg is a former member of the French Parti Socialist, a founder of a left-wing current Nouveau Parti Socialiste (NPS). He was  Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances and held other posts under François Holland’s Presidency until 2014 when he resigned. A lawyer by training he quit politics. After some academic teaching, he moved into business. At present he runs a company  Bleu Blanc Ruche, producing ice-cream,  honey and almonds.

Montebourg has developed his own ideas. He first talked of a ” capitalisme coopératif” and then advocated ‘de-mondialisation’ – de-globalisation.  Against globalised capitalism, and for green policies, one of the few explicit lines of thought he came up with were centred on the idea of ​​a strong state, controlling finance, and capable of taking measures vis-à-vis the financial and banking system.

On this basis he stood in 2017 (as head of his own micro-party, Le projet France) in the Parti Socialiste’s ‘Citizen’s Primary’. This vote, open to all who signed a declaration of support for left-wing values,  to choose their Presidential candidate. He came third, behind Manuel Valls and Benoît Hamon (who became the PS candidate) with 17.52% of the vote.

Montebourg has now launched a new bid to stand for French President in the 2022 election.

 

The ex-Socialist has been discussing the construction of a large front, from the French right to the republican, sovereigntist left,  to oppose Emmanuel Macron. “I am no longer attached to any party”. He has talked to figures on the hard-right Les Républicaines (LR) like the leader of their group in the  European Parliament, François-Xavier Bellamy. LR nationally is less than enthusiastic about a potential alliance, but that has not stopped him trying:

To promote his ideas and Presidential adventure Montebourg has formed a new micro-party,  L’Engagement (named after the book shown below).

Rejoignez le mouvement l’Engagement

Nous voulons le retour d’un État au service de l’intérêt général, libéré de l’emprise d’une minorité. L’Engagement affirme que les préoccupations des Françaises et des Français doivent être les priorités de l’Etat : la réponse à l’urgence climatique, la protection de nos emplois existants et à venir, de nos libertés, l’entraide et le dialogue entre tous.

We want the return of a State at the service of the general interest, free from the grip of a minority. L’Engagement affirms that the concerns of French women and men must be the priorities of the State: the response to the climate emergency, the protection of our existing and future jobs, our freedoms, mutual aid and dialogue between us all.

Who could possibly be against that!

Mediapart has a long article on this venture:

Montebourg, ou l’aventureux pari du souverainisme des deux rives

  ET 

L’engagement has garnered 2,000 rather heterogeneous supporters: socialists, but also voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon in 2017, disappointed Bayrou, radicals, executives and entrepreneurs,”

Tomorrow he was due to attend a Conference on the Republic organised by one of the factions that has emerged from the nationalist left, « Nation souveraine ». Cancelled because of the pandemic (perhaps there will be a mass Zoom?) the event featured this characters,

Jean-Pierre Chevènement (former left socialist,  authoritarian Minister in  the Jospin government of the late 1990s a founder of modern French sovereigntist politics), LR MP Julien Aubert (hard traditional right party see above) Henri Guaino, (also LR), the economist David Cayla (blames neoliberalism for populism), Céline Pina, at one point close to the secularist, but nationalist Printemps républicain before joining the red-brown group bringing together far right figures and left nationalists, a kind of heavyweight Spiked.  la galaxie Onfray

One of them would have been this chap,

….former aide to Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Djordje Kuzmanovic – who posed with a ’Union Jack to fête le Brexit, en février 2020, avec François Asselineau (has his own Frexit party, L’Union populaire républicaine (UPR)), Florian Philippot (former Front National) et Nicolas Dupont-Aignan (has his own national populist party Debout la France (DLF)…

What a meeting!

It is said that Mélenchon is concerned about this initiative eating into his support.

At least one person thinks he can get into the second round of the contest, the above red-browner Kuzmanovic.

The authors of the Mediapart article helpfully point out , however, that with 2,000 backers Montebourg faces 200 000 parrainages citoyens already pledged for a Mélenchon candidacy.

There are also potential left candidacies from Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and Christiane Marie Taubira  as well as presence of the (Green) Yannick Jadot. Amongst others…

There is a precedent for Montebourg’s bid..

Jean-Pierre Chevènement led the left socialist current, CERES in the 1970s (a founding force in the French Socialist Party, was the most famous French political figures who moved from any form of leftist politics to sovereigntism. In 2002 he stood for President as a republican nationalist. Declaring his candidacy was neither right nor left,  « ni de droite, ni de gauche » he won over royalists, former supporters of Jean-Marie Le Pen or sovereignists), socialists, as well as those close to the far left. He was backed by Régis Debray. Chevènement got  5% of the vote.

Of wider interest is the way in which figures of the left have become involved figures clearly on the national populist right. As a comparison Spiked springs to mind, although in France Montebourg has more serious connections,  intentions and ambitions.

Is this a response to the blow against Populism inflicted by the defeat of Donald Trump?

French sovereigntism looks to many like a form of national populism.

Written by Andrew Coates

January 22, 2021 at 12:48 pm