@LionelRALaurent suffers from a self-willed political amnesia. Old Socialist comments or just marvels?

Headline: Emmanuel Macron Is Losing His Urban Grip

Sub-headline: France’s cities aspire to more radical green policies, and that’s hard to square with voters from the rest of the country. 

The reader need only read Laurent’s first paragraph:

There were two obvious losers in France’s runoff round of local elections, held this weekend after a three-month delay caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. One was democracy. Only about 40% of eligible voters bothered to turn up, a record low. The other was President Emmanuel Macron, whose core urban fan base went Green.

That  ‘40% of eligible voters’ that expresses a ‘record low’ – it doesn’t occur to Laurent that there is a kind political equivalency, between to the number of abstentions, spoiled and blank ballots that ushered in Macron’s Jupertarian Politics.In the final contest against Le Pen: that number is 36.5 % , and that record low of 40% are numerically so close! In the Corporate Media, like the Stalinists of another time and place, historical erasure is the first order of business: with the caveat that not to report the full scale rebellion against Macron’s ‘reforms’ accomplices the same ends, as that erasure of another time. In order to see that ‘Rebellion’, gilets jaunes,  gilets noirs, gilets femmes, in something like ‘real time’, one need only look to twitter, more than likely foreign territory to a journalist of Laurent’s  eminence? 

Patience! Laurent has yet to play a trump card, such as it is:

The Covid-19 epidemic struck France a month later, completely overshadowing the first round of voting — which, in hindsight, really shouldn’t have gone ahead — and delaying the second round for three months. No wonder so many people avoided the voting booths and opted for post-lockdown sunbathing.

What to make of this very selective use, of the widely available evidence that presents Macron in the best possible light?

In the 2017 presidential election, the 42-year-old former banker and one-time Socialist attracted 90% of the vote in Paris. In last year’s European elections, his party came first in the capital, with 33% of the vote. This time around, Macron’s candidate came in third, behind Hidalgo and the center-right Republicans. 

That 36.5% number is obscured, by the above selectively curated election data?  But Laurent means to sweeten this bitter brew, of Macron’s long discarded Jupertarian window dressing by what means? ebbing ‘popularity’ in the face of a resistance that won’t go away, even in the face of police violence? 

Still, this election shows the potential for surprises and a further fragmentation of the French electorate. Covid-19 has put Macron’s economic reform agenda on ice, and it’s pushing him to mark a new start with a government reshuffle. This will mean deciding the fate of his successful and popular center-right prime minister, Edouard Philippe, while also seeking to steal the Greens’ thunder as standard bearers of the progressive Left.

Macron’s unslakable ambition to lead the faltering EU, as Merkel’s anointed successor, seems more distant, than when he was first elected, to the applause of so many of a Political Center, now composed of Neo-Liberals and Neo-Conservatives. Even the stodgy Times reported on Center-Right’s newest enthusiasm, Edouard Philippe!


Old Socialist





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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