At The Financial Times, episode MDLVII : Macron and the EU Elections. Old Socialist comments

Headline:Emmanuel Macron struggles to contain far-right in EU election race

Sub-headline: French president’s party faces risk of losing to Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National

In the forth paragraph of his essay Victor Mallet repeats the Neo-Liberal Propaganda:

Two years ago, fresh from victory in a presidential election that reshaped French politics, he launched a bold EU reform agenda.

No surprise! To refresh the readers recollection 36.5% of the electorate rendered  their ballots spoiled, or otherwise uncountable in the final election.  This is the ‘victory’ that has become the battle cry of Neo-Liberals, passed off as ‘Reform’ in the pages of this newspaper. Its now the official Party Line. ‘History is bunk’ as Capitalist Henry Ford opined!

Macron is now in a panic that the ‘poll numbers’ are too low in the coming EU elections:

A Harris Interactive/Epoka poll for Le Figaro published this week put the far-right, Brussels-baiting Rassemblement National (RN) of Marine Le Pen on 22.5 per cent of the vote, fractionally ahead of LREM, with 22 per cent.

Mr. Mallet develops his melodrama with addition of the ‘big guns’ , Edouard Philippe, this redolent in the vocabulary of Schwarzenegger/Stallone violent Hollywood kitsch. In opposition to RN’s redoubtable wunderkind Jordan Bardella.

Again, Macron enters stage right, as ‘upender of an entrenched political order’ 

A win for the RN would bolster Europe’s nationalists and populists and deal a further blow to Mr Macron’s ambitions to upend the EU’s entrenched political order, as he did in France two years ago.

With the gilets jaunes demonstrating every weekend, and the fact that one of foremost critics of the EU, Yanis Varoufakis is running in this election cycle, doesn’t quite register with Mr. Mallet, whose expanding cast of characters in the EU Melodrama embraces these actors:

Pascale Joannin, Angela Merkel, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Elvire Fabry.

The  gilets jaunes even get a mention as ‘fewer in number‘, yet the ‘reforms’ of Macron ‘face increasing public resistance’.

The anti-government gilets jaunes protesters, although fewer in number now, continue to demonstrate in city centres every Saturday as they have for the past six months.

And the government’s economic reforms, including an attempt to reduce the size and cost of the civil service, face increasing public resistance.

Mallet reports that Macron’s ‘reforms’ have hit a vexing problem:

The latest blow came when the Constitutional Council last week authorised the launch of a previously unused referendum process — initiated in parliament by the combined opposition forces of left and right — that will delay for at least a year and possibly even annul the planned privatization of airports operator Aéroports de Paris.

Here is where the opposition to Macon’s ‘reforms’ confront the reality of the politics of the  present in France. That Mallet describes those ‘reforms’ that ‘face increasing public resistance’ .The reader can then look at a vote for RN, not as a vote for Le Pen, but as a vote against the ersatz Reform of Macron’s LREM.

“I’m going to vote for a party that will block Macron,” said one 45-year-old civil servant taking part in a small gilets jaunes protest outside LREM’s Strasbourg rally. “Unfortunately that means the Rassemblement National.”

Old Socialist

https://www.ft.com/content/55ab54ce-74bd-11e9-bbad-7c18c0ea0201

 

 

 

 

 

About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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