In response to an FT article by Gideon Rachman on 21st November 2016, entitled ‘Marine Le Pen looms over a Trumpian world’
“This time last year, I wrote that “I have a nightmare vision for 2017: President Trump, President Le Pen, President Putin.” So, after Donald Trump’s victory, the next question is whether Marine Le Pen can indeed capture the French presidency?...
The consequences of a victory for the far-right in France would be drastic for both European and world politics. A Le Pen presidency could well lead to the collapse of the EU. She wants to pull France out of the European single currency and to hold a referendum on France’s EU membership…
Within the EU, Germany’s relations with southern Europe have been poisoned by the euro crisis, while its relations with eastern Europe have been soured by the refugee crisis. Meanwhile, Britain has voted to leave the bloc. The election of Ms Le Pen in France could be the final blow to the vision of Europe represented by Ms Merkel, and constructed by generations of European leaders, since the 1950s” - Gideon Rachman
Thanks Mr Rachman. The FT seems to have softened its tone…somewhat…from its commentary at this stage in the process prior to the UK referendum and the US presidential election. This is good - clearly demonization does not work…besides which it makes a mockery of the so-called ‘liberalism’ it purports to uphold. However, I believe there is much further to go in formulating a persuasive argument for the election of a mainstream candidate in France, or anywhere else for that matter.
That persuasive argument needs to start with ‘mainstream’ politicians and journalists getting off their high-horses and acknowledging the fact that, insofar as a vast number of voters are concerned, they have made an absolute pigs ear of:
1. The economy
2. The conflict in the Middle East
3. The subsequent migration of people fleeing the chaos that we have done so much to create – yes ‘we’ – primarily the US, the UK, France, and Germany.
The ‘fight back’ against ‘extremism’ starts with two words that stick in the throat of politicians, whether from the left or the right – mea culpa.
It continues with a set of policies to deal with the genuine concerns of people, policies that don’t sound like this – ‘stop being such deplorable racists and just do as you’re told - vote for the right candidate, which of course means the left candidate’
The mainstream, particularly the ‘left’ has been doing itself no favours over the past year, correction decade, and until politicians, academics and journalists on the ‘left’ rediscover the ability to formulate cogent policies that address the genuine concerns of ‘normal’ people (as opposed to addressing fellow members of the cosmopolitan elite), they should get used to losing referendums and elections…and subsequently throwing their toys out of the cot – because that is exactly what will continue to happen.
My thanks go to two of my fellow readers, M & J, who have alerted me to the following two analyses - the first is a written piece from the writer John Gray; the second a clip from the satirist Tom Walker, AKA Jonathan Pie. Though they come at it from different angles and work through different mediums, they seem to have one very important thing in common - they get it. Enjoy: