On Marine Le Pen and Populism
Marine Le Pen and The French’s Front National are the big winners in
the French elections yesterday. France’s Front National scored the best
ever presidential campaign first-round result (18% of the votes).
As elsewhere in Europe, the French far right is dealing with matters
other political parties prefer to avoid or shove under the carpet.
Yesterday's results prove that many French are primarily concerned with
issues to do with immigration and ‘identity loss’.
While the so called
‘far Right’ engages with these matters, the Left and the Centre parties
perform an escapist attitude – they prefer to vet the discussion via
different means such as political correctness and even legislation.
media, would also shy away from the subject, and would prefer to
gate-keep any attempt to deal with the ‘unpopular’ topic.
Le Pen’s victory is clearly an alarm call. As the financial turmoil
starts to bite, it becomes clear that we are dealing with a ticking
bomb. The way to defuse the situation is to launch a free and open
discussion on maters to do with ‘belonging’, ‘identity’ and ‘culture’.
The Left has been confused about it all for decades. [The] European Left is
riddled with contradiction, it would, for instance, support national
movement around the world but never at home. The Left would adorably
support Palestinian nationalism in Gaza and the West Bank but it would
oppose similar English or French patriotism at home.
How do we explain
or justify such an unprincipled political attitude?
The Guardian referred to Le Pen today as a ‘populist appeal’. It
obviously missed the point once again.
Le Pen is popular because she
touches some (unpopular) issues no one else, (including the Guardian)
dares to touch. It is in fact the Guardian and other media outlets that
present a populist approach, maintaining some delusional notions of
correctness that appear to be detached from the reality in which we are