This is a cartoon from British weekly The Spectator, about French president-elect Macron. The cartoon in inspired by the fairytale The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Today, Dutch daily De Volkskrant writes about the candidates of Macron’s party for the parliamentary election in June.
Earlier this week, racist Blairite ex-Prime Minister Valls announced he wanted to be a candidate for Macron’s party En Marche! (official name by now: La République En Marche). The next day, En Marche said they did not want Valls as their candidate. Not so surprising: Macron dislikes Valls, as also De Volkskrant notes. However, today another development in this saga. Valls will not be an official En Marche! candidate; but En Marche! will not have a candidate of their own in Valls’ constituency to oppose Valls.
Macron’s official candidates include Gaspard Gantzer, the spin doctor of soon to be ex-President Hollande. And Jean-Michel Fauvergue, boss of the RAID ‘anti-terror‘ police.
One might call it positive that half the candidates are women. However, are all of Macron‘s women candidates really positive? One of them is 51-year-old Marie Sara. She used to be a bullfighter. Now she breeds bulls for fights and is director of a bullfighting arena. Ms Sara used to be a special type of bullfighter: a rejoneador. The task of a rejoneador is to kill the bull with a rejón de muerte (“lance of death”).
This reminds me of an opponent of Macron, French leftist presidential candidate Mélenchon, who stated there should be an amendment to the French constitution improving animal welfare.
This 29 March 2017 French video, with English subtitles, about Jean-Luc Mélenchon, says about itself:
MÉLENCHON – “ANIMALS ARE NOT THINGS“
Apart from bullfighting, Macron earlier showed he did not care much about the animals and plants of a nature reserve in the colony French Guiana, as he wanted an ecologically disastrous gold mine next door to it.
En Marche! made errors in announcing their candidates. They announced that ten people, including the chairman of Toulon rugby club, would be candidates. Soon, all ten said they were not En Marche! candidates. Also, ten people who are really candidates were omitted during the En Marche! press conference.
PROTESTS marked the opening of the San Fermin bull festival in northern Spain today as women’s groups wore black and purple scarves as a symbol of opposition to sexual violence. The world-famous event went ahead despite calls for it to be cancelled after five men were accused of raping a woman at the 2016 bull-run: here.
French President-elect Macron’s legislative slate: Social reaction bares its teeth
By Alex Lantier
12 May 2017
Yesterday, French President-elect Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the March (REM) movement unveiled a list of most of its candidates for the legislative elections of June 11 and 18. REM named candidates for 428 of the 577 electoral districts represented in the National Assembly, with the remaining 149 to be determined later, including in talks with other political parties.
The unveiling of the REM slate was accompanied by a massive media campaign presenting Macron as leading a renewal of France’s political establishment, which is discredited by the wars, police-state measures, and austerity policies of the Socialist Party (PS) government. The media hailed points like the strict equality in the number of male and female candidates in the REM list (214 each), or the fact that 52 percent have never held office before.
The purpose of this campaign is to try to win Macron an absolute majority in the National Assembly, and to intimidate deep misgivings and opposition felt by broad masses of workers to Macron’s organization. Over six in 10 voters have said that they do not want Macron to obtain a majority in the National Assembly, due to broad mistrust of Macron’s warmongering and anti-worker policies.
Macron’s aim is to wage a social counterrevolution in France. A former Rothschild banker and economy minister in the PS government, he plans to assemble France’s most right-wing government since World War II and the Nazi Occupation. He has called to restore the draft; massively boost military spending; maintain the PS’ state of emergency, which suspends basic democratic rights; and use the PS’ unpopular labor law to slash and rewrite contracts at workplaces across the country.
Initial details that emerged about the REM slate yesterday confirm that it is an almost chemically pure emanation of the banks and the security forces, completely divorced from the working class. The most prominent figure named so far as a REM candidate is Jean-Michel Fauvergue, the former leader of the RAID police special forces unit.
The 16 candidates who were the subject of detailed profiles in REM’s press release included four business owners or CEOs, three consultancy executives, two economists, two lawyers, two academics, two officials in state or non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and a fighter pilot.
REM’s aristocratic class character reflects Macron’s own profound misgivings about democracy, acquired as a student of the elite National Administration School and of Christian existentialist philosopher Paul Ricœur. In a 2015 interview he gave to Le un magazine as a PS minister, Macron laid out these views in some detail. He bemoaned the French revolution and the fact that King Louis XVI was found guilty of treason and guillotined in 1793 during the Terror, eliminating the absolute authority figure that Macron believes the French people wants and needs over it.
Asked by Le un if democracy is “necessarily deceptive,” he replied: “There is an absent figure in the democratic process and its functioning. In French politics, this absent figure is the figure of the king, whose death fundamentally I believe the French people did not want. The Terror left a collective emotional and intellectual void: the King was no longer there! Then there were attempts to fill this void with other figures: these were the moments of Napoleon and De Gaulle.”
Such views underlie Macron’s friendly ties with monarchist politician Philippe de Villiers, who backed neo-fascist presidential candidate Marine Le Pen nonetheless, and Macron’s full-throated “Republican salute” to Le Pen as the very first point in his victory speech on Sunday. …
After PS First Secretary Jean-Christophe Cambadélis’ May 2 statement that the PS is “dead and truly dead,” former PS Prime Minister Manuel Valls declared on RTL radio this week that the PS is “dead and behind us” and sought to register as a REM legislative candidate.
While Valls’ maneuver has backfired for now—Macron was a rival of Valls inside the Hollande government, and REM has refused to grant him its investiture as candidate, while the PS is starting expulsion proceedings against him for leaving the PS—it is clear that ever larger sections of the PS are thinking of following his path. For now, all 24 of the REM legislative candidates that have already held elected office were PS members.
The turning of the PS and its periphery explicitly and violently against socialism portends a vast and explosive social conflict that is being prepared in France and across Europe. With 70 percent of the population opposed to the PS labor law Macron will use to attack the workers, and 64 percent of youth already hostile to Macron’s plans to restore the draft, a powerful constituency for socialism exists in the working class and the youth.
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