Once more – as people get ready to vote today – I implore those convinced that the UK media report real news to look across the Channel and see the mess that just one architect of the federal EU dictatorship is making of a France now sick to death of Macronisation. The French police today are far more interested in protecting the State than they are the citizen. We would do well to notice that precisely the same thing is happening in Britain.
Yesterday evening, I went to the local cinema here to watch a French documentary that’s doing quite well on the circuit, called L’Epoque. I did so because first, it’s set in Paris during the period I lived there around 2017; second, because it’s had some quite good reviews; and third, because it is about the election of Emmanuel Macron…and what it was like living without much money in the capital city – while watching a neoliberal banker’s candidate millionaire being elected President by calling himself a Centrist.
The first thing to say is that the film evokes the the sense of violence and repression in the city really very well. I remember the feeling of being constantly under siege from student/Left demonstrations, groups of African immigrants with no work, security checks everywhere following outrageous Jihadist atrocities, and CRS riot cops variously closing off roads and beating seven bells out of les casseurs – that is, demonstrators throwing stones, starting fires and generally taunting the police.
In a more specific sense, it’s charm lies in the sensitive treatment of young people with dreams, hopes and yet a sense of acute alienation from the political process.
What is doesn’t capture is the overwhelming sense of a media snow-job being done on Macron and his rather sexy wife Brigitte as if they might be Brad Bitt and Jennifer Aniston. This really was the ultimate content-free Presidential election, with Macron – the hero of gullible young middle-class aspiring citadins (metropolitans) – promising that he would get France going….even calling his new Party La France en marche! complete with exclamation mark is if to say, “Gerritt?”
Towards the end of the movie, we see a pair of glass doors leading into a smart shop near L’Opéra, with graffiti scrawled upon it saying, ‘Today Macron, 2021 Le Pen’. It was written by somebody intelligent enough to grasp that, if the French could be taken in by a conman like Macron, then the National Front could do the same job. It was, if you like, not a warning from the past but rather, the future.
Since that time, the unemployed immigrant problem in Paris has worsened considerably, and of course we have seen the the rise and rise of the Gilets Jaunes, whose treatment at the hands of the CRS has been little short of barbaric.
Yet this period from 2016-19 in Paris has been almost completely blanked by Britain’s Establishment media. Macron is depicted as a powerful hard-man (un vrai dur) who represents why “all ideas of renegotiation with the EU are merely the search for a unicorn”.
In fact, Macron is a prisoner in his own city. Determined to flex his imaginary muscles, two days ago the President said, ” I cannot stand by as a spectator during the euro elections”. This evoked headlines everywhere:
On the same day, I spoke to some local Gilets Jaunes with whom I’ve become quite friendly. Their reaction was, “Excellent…this is the worst thing that could happen for the Establishment”. After the movie tonight, I called into my local bar for a swift nightcap, and asked what they thought of this development. Spectator? they asked – no, he is a dictator.
Bear in mind this was a full bar at 9 pm, and the view was 100% shared by farmers, the innkeeper, artisans, navvies, local entrepreneurs and the barmaid Béatrice. These folks (trust me) are not Leftists: some of them are ultra-conservative, none of them are revolutionaries, but all of them think that stealth taxes, centralised control and privatisations are nothing more than ways of extracting money from the real workers, while donating huge profits to the financialised Corporatocracy.
“Let’s face it,” one customer told me, “it’s the rape of everything civilised in France”. Sarkozy, meanwhile – that vrai dur of yesteryear – now finds himself facing criminal charges. One suspects he won’t be campaigning.
Being a resident these days, I have a vote in the euroelections. They take place here on Sunday. I have no idea how to cast my vote, because I feel just as disenfranchised here as I did in England. There is an Esperanto candidate standing, and I have a yen to vote for her.
You chaps still inhabiting Blighty have a much clearer choice: humiliate the Tories, and also stick a yardbrush up the nose of pro-EU Corbynistas like Paul Mason – the man who, in 2017, thought Macron was a Very Good Thing:
Mason is the sort of self-appointed “expert” held in such high regard by Leftist Remainians. His view of Macron (and Farage) and Brussels and capitalism and well – to be honest here – everything of any importance, is that of a half-baked yob. Indeed – trying perhaps to surpass the previously ill-informed view of his own self-importance in the greater scheme of things – well-‘ard Paul tweeted thuswise yesterday:
So there you are, people: if you support by far the biggest single bloc of UK voters in today’s election, you’re a scumfascistbigotclimatedeniernazi.
The default insults get longer with every year.
Meanwhile, further down the foodchain, life devoid of onanist ideologues goes on. Having chopped up a pile of smaller tree branches for next year’s kindling, last week I was distressed to discover this inside it:
It’s a blackbird nest, with the distinctive speckled sky-blue eggs in place. Sadly, they were stone-cold, and one knows for certain that – once an unsuspecting human has invaded the protection area of a nest more than once – the eggs will be abandoned.
However, two days later I spotted Mr Blackbird hard at it again near the site of the woodpile, sirreptitiously grabbing more bits of grass and moss to make a new nest.
So all’s well that ends well. Last night I watched a beautiful sunset. I ate two scrambled duck-eggs on toast outside in the barmy evening silence.
Planet Earth does not need superbloc geopolitics. Europe does not need Brussels. France does not need Macron. And Britain never needed Theresa May.
As I write, Leadsom has quit, and May is looking through the Yellow Pages for removal companies. Things are perhaps (at long last) moving on.