Close the door, they’re coming in the window…

Second round of the French Presidential elections coming up….and Macron is well in the lead over Le Pen according to the polls.

How could he not be? The press – whose present ownership was assisted to its position by Macron when a minister of Hollande – is behind him and the established political forces are calling for that hoary old standby – the ‘front republicain’  – to preserve France from the shame of a victory by the Front National.

Vote Macron to keep out Le Pen.

It is 2002 all over again when people walked into the voting booths with pegs on their noses to vote Chirac in order to crush the other Le Pen, this one’s father.

There was even a man who took his wish to avoid contamination to the lengths of going to vote in the full fig of a deep sea diver…boots, helmet, the lot.

And, the power of the ‘front republicain’ behind him, Chirac won 82% of the vote.

But will Macron win by a similar landslide?

Should he?

Before examining the current state of affairs, we should take a look at the rise of the Front National.

A tiny Poujadist movement, it would probably have died out early in its life if not given impulsion by that most sinister man, President Mitterand.

First  President from the PS (Socialist Party) in the Vth Republic he was determined to beat off the challenge from the traditional right wing parties and maintain the PS in power. To that end he promoted the Front National.

He instructed the television channels to give more air time to Jean-Marie Le Pen, so raising the profile of the FN which then profited from Mitterand’s imposition of proportional representation in 1985.  Thirty five deputies from the FN were elected in 1986, giving the party a presence in the National Assembly which it would have been unable to achieve under the previous system.

The Front National was on its way. Thanks to a Socialist President.

In 2002 the FN had again to thank the PS whose candidate, Jospin, was so arrogant – entitled, one might say – that he thought it useless to spend money campaigning in the first round…he was sure to be put through to the second.

I can see him now…self satisfied prat…. pictured walking to his campaign H.Q. called L’Atelier – the workshop. He wouldn’t have known what a real workshop was like if it had bitten him and bite him it did.

The workshop – the real life one – sat on its hands. recognising what the PS was becoming – a party for the entitled where the locals did the  work and the golden boys and girls were parachuted in to safe seats.

As Jacques Brel notes so well, the bourgeoisie can make all the right noises in its youth…but it remains the bourgeoisie.

And with the end of the trente glorieuses – the years of the post war settlement – well behind it, the workshop started to wonder about its future.

Was it safe in the hands of the PS?

Clearly not with Jospin….but it rallied to the call for the ‘front republicain’ to preserve the values of French society when faced with Le Pen senior.

Chirac was succeeded by Sarkozy, whose opponent from the PS was Segolene Royal: her campaign was run by her ‘partner’, the father of their four children, Francois Hollande, First Secretary (boss) of the PS.

He sabotaged her campaign from  first to last. Sarkozy won.

Next time round the PS candidate was…Francois Hollande.  Quelle surprise.

He won, by not being Sarkozy. By saying that he hated the rich. By promising to bring Merkel’s Germany to heel.

We all know where the last promise went…a capitulation on the lines of Petain in 1940.

Hating the rich? Another capitulation.

But at least he was not Sarkozy.

Under Hollande France has stagnated. Unemployment has risen. Ordinary people see no future for their children.

Support for the FN has burgeoned in these circumstances…promising as it does a return to old values….to stability…to the known, rather than the uncertainty of modern life …..and Hollande has been content to see it burgeon because, like Mitterand, he sees the FN dividing the right.

But Hollande sees further than Mitterand: he sees the FN dividing the left as well, to the benefit of the established….the bourgeois, the servants of the banks.

Not content with demolishing the campaign of Segolene Royal, he has demolished the campaign of the current PS candidate, Bernard Hamon, by giving his support to Emmanuel Macron….the man who sunk his own ambitions for a second term.

Hollande has, once again, betrayed his party. One wonders who has bought him…..and for how much.

I find it shameful that these politicians not only sell themselves…but sell themselves so cheaply.

So, we turn to Macron.

The next president of France.

He has a ready made party – En Marche.

Funded by? His well connected friends in finance and the media.

His programme? To gain power.

His backing in the National Assembly? To be determined…..his party’s candidates in the forthcoming national elections have not been announced. Possibly because enough rats have not deserted their sinking ships yet.

Except, of course, from the PS.

At his rally in Lyon all the well kent faces were there….Hollande’s ministers,  looking for another safe billet….those right wing politicians who opposed Sarkosy…

Shown the door by the people…they climb in through the window.

Le plus que ca change, le plus que c’est la meme chose…

Vote Macron and you vote for the incompetents whose rule has led France into the impasse.

Vote Le Pen and you vote for another corrupt party.

Mindful of the struggle to obtain the vote, were I able to vote in France I would vote blanc.

Support neither candidate.

I could not vote Le Pen…but neither would I wish to see Macron with a vote which would legitimate his presidency.










39 thoughts on “Close the door, they’re coming in the window…”

  1. Neither choice is good. Macron always decides for big business and Le Pen, I don’t know, she channels anger and little else. Where I live unemployment hovers near 20% and no one will hire, much as they would like to, because they can’t lay anyone off. The unions have shown that they will happily put a company into bankruptcy rather than budge on even the tiniest, most rational adjustment of labor law. Everyone wants to do what they have always done but somehow have it turn out differently. It’s a stalemate and it’s strangling what should be a wonderful country.

    1. One of the things I found so exasperating about what should be, as you say, a wonderful country was the inflexibility – the inability to find horses for courses…. which meant that small businesses were lumbered with legislation which was appropriate for the post war nationalised mammoths but much too onerous for little guys. I remember the wait for works to be done…because the chap would accept all the jobs going and then, not daring to employ anyone extra, would get round to them as and when he could.

      Just dreaming, but I wonder what would happen if the FN disappeared into a black hole…whatever bogey would the major parties think up next to frighten the populace into voting for them?

      1. Nathalie Artaud, of the Lutte Ouvrière party. Charlie Hebdo expressed their position very clearly. “We’ll hang the priests with the guts of the bankers!” Quite the firebrand. She’d do just fine.

  2. And the sheep slides in, takes off his suit and reveals himself a wolf 🐑 🐺- how on earth did we know that was going to happen …..

  3. After the elections for Brexit and Trump, I could well believe anything may happen. We cannot vote anyway, but whatever happens I cannot see it being a good result! Great post.
    Hope the tree planting is going well, take care Diane

    1. Off for more free saplings today…’s a super initiative by the Min of Ag and they are pushing out projects to cut down the amount of land used for grazing in order to turn it over to reforestation projects. A chap is coming out to us to advise on fodder grasses to sow…

      I can’t see the FN winning and if they did they’d have a hard job getting legislation through the national assembly….but Macron worries me – all the usual suspects lining up behind him to keep the ship steady as she goes – down.

  4. I have looked at the itemized results in our area as declared last week. What a mess, no-one is likely to be happy and looks like doom and gloom for more years to come. One of the joys of having a President I suppose.

    1. I checked my old area….huge turn round from voting PS for years. Melenchon and Le Pen had the most…the bigots came out for Fillon while Macron was nowhere….

      I suppose it will be Macron, but how anyone can vote for a man who refuses to give any idea of who would form a government I do not know…

  5. Phew. Thanks for this – and for reminding me of Jacques Brel. I can’t help imagining how uncomfortable the people in that audience must have felt – nowhere to hide, sitting so close to him! Sure there were one or two cochons there 😉 Must pull out my old vinyl… Then again, maybe not, the world’s depressing enough!

    1. I can’t imagine being so close to someone performing…no wonder cabaret didn’t appeal to me…

      You might like Brassens..’Quand on est con, on est con…’
      Dedicated to all who vote for either candidate…

  6. Oh gasp, gag, that it the international political scene has turn so …!! You fill in the word. Great videos. The first one reminded me of my good ole dad, born in Leeds, England and had a British slap stick sense of humor. It made for much levity and balance in my life. Thanks for the walk down silliness memory lane. 🙂

    1. When it comes to modern politicians the words of Scotland’s Lord Braxfield – a hanging judge if ever there was one – come to mind:

      ‘Ye’re a vera clever chiel, man, but ye wad be nane the waur for a hanging.’

      Though in their case it would be well deserved.

  7. Having just lived through this in the States, I am very curious about this election. We held our noses and voted for a third candidate. Simply couldn’t give a vote to either of the two leading candidates. But, even with money, media, and the machine behind her, she couldn’t win. The people were too pissed off. Still watching to see what President Trump can do with two parties opposing him (yes, in a two-party system), but the people simply said, “Enough.” Popular vote numbers meant nothing, by the way, given that that isn’t how presidents are elected here. Had it been based simply on our vote, many would have opted to hold their nose and vote for one of the two. Thank heaven we had another choice we could make. The world is in tumult, but perhaps it is time. Nature always seems to right herself. (Thanks for the Jacques Brel music. My brother Dennis introduced me to Brel decades ago when I was a child; I enjoy him more each decade, because I understand his vision more!)

    1. No, the voting numbers don’t count in the U.K. either…except for the Brexit referendum, which has really upset the ruling apple cart. No brand of government is going to get that sorted in a way which those who voted for it will be content with,
      Fascinating to see the products of the PS sitting in line like puppies awaiting the biscuit from Macron: treachery counts for nothing in the hunt for a maroquin.
      I’m glad you enjoyed the Brel….I think you are right, he needs a bit of age to appreciate to the full, whereas Brassens is, to me, more accessible.

  8. I’m not up to speed on the nuances of French politics, but I hope that whoever the next President turns out to be, it won’t be yet another country slipping relentlessly into fascism and turning the clock back 50 years.

  9. The choice of a lesser weevil still gets you a weevil or weasel or something. I, for one, am glad we in the US have never had to deal with such a situation.

    1. Snorf, snorf to that…..
      Macron sounds like a cross between a macaron (nasty sweet biscuit) and a mackereau (pimp) quite appropriate for one who blandishes to deceive.
      Le Pen is…Le Pen….
      Either way its weevils…or weasels…

  10. Politics seems to be in a terrible state everywhere. There are too many politicians thriving on stirring up hatred and fear. We have a general election coming up in the UK and it’s a case of figuring out who is the least worst.

    1. When I first came to Costa rica there was a presidential election…and one of the candidates’ posters proclaimed him to be the ‘menos mal’ which amused this anglophone immensely.

  11. The politicians almost always do sell themselves on the cheap, although they themselves make out like bandits. After all, one can only spend so much money in a lifetime, and we, the people, have no idea how much these hucksters take in behind the scenes.

    That they sell their country and countrymen out for a pittance is the real crime. Loyalty isn’t what it used to be, one supposes.

  12. I’m coming to this late, but it’s still worth reading. If I could have voted in France, I would have voted for Macron anyway–keeping out Le Pen is that important–but with no illusion that it would solve the problem, only postpone it.

    1. Blanc for me….I could not bring myself to vote for either of them.
      Looking at the Macron method I think France is in for a torrid time. His party nominates its key suporters for the National Assembly together with a bunch of totally inexperienced followers who will toe the line in the hope of keeping their seats as Macron aims to reduce the number of deputies. So they vote him powers to rule by decree…and whooppee for the bankers and the big companies.

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