Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, reminded his bedraggled Socialist Party in September last year of the obvious: “The Front National is at the gates of power” as the Left tries to avert the electoral catastrophe with the usual mantras: “racism, antisemitism and homophobia“.
But the public is no longer impressed and could not care less, just like the when East-Germans no longer believed in the slogans of their lefties and started to chant: ‘we are the people’.
A low turn out today in France’s local council elections will probably play into the hands of the nationalists. The socialists are demoralized, like everywhere in Europe. Their globalist world view is collapsing. Polls predict that the National Front will be in the lead.
Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National, already has 18 council seats, and in the European Parliament in Brussels, the party has 23 MEPs.
EU funds just reinforce the dictatorship of Brussels and impoverish the downtrodden rural and small-town folk of the region, the terror of the French establishment says. “I have to remind people ad nauseam that this is not European money. It’s part of French taxpayers’ money that transits through Brussels with the rest going to pay for central and eastern Europe,” Le Pen sighs.
Le Pen is tilling the fertile electoral soil of taxes and immigration for a run at the Élysée Palace in two years’ time.
The pro-American elite is terrified of a President Le Pen since 2002 when Jean-Marie, Marine’s father and the founder of the Front, as it is known, featured in the run-off for the presidency. He was defeated by Jacques Chirac when voters rallied to block the pariah.
With his blonde daughter now in charge of the family firm, prospects for the right look brighter.
As the New Statesman eloquently puts it:
The country is in a foul mood. The sense of dispossession at the hands of a hostile world is feeding contempt for la France d’en haut – the governing caste. President François Hollande and his Parti Socialiste (PS) have been disowned by many of their disappointed voters, discredited by scandal and economic failure.
Marine Le Pen, 46, the youngest of the 86-year-old patriarch’s three daughters, is gliding above this desolate landscape, a protective Joan of Arc.
Le Pen is amused by the left’s indignation over the way that she has broadened her attraction, softening the anti-immigration rhetoric and adding Socialist voters to the party’s hard-right faithful, says Charles Bremner who interviewed her many times.
Charles de Gaulle, whom Le Pen admires, was accused of being both a fascist and a Bolshevik she says. “France is neither on the right nor the left – it’s just France . . . I don’t have the feeling that I tell patriots on the left different things from what I say to patriots of the right.”
When she was eight, a bomb destroyed the family flat. No one was ever arrested for the crime. Her father, an ex-parabat, soldiered on.
Also part of the family is Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, 24, one of the Front’s three MPs, and the daughter of Yann, Marine’s second sister. She is said to be closer to the patriarch than Marine because she opposes gay marriage, while Marine tolerates it.