Can Le Pen win?

Marine Le Pen: can she win in 2022?

As in 1848, “a spectre is haunting Europe”. But unlike in Marx and Engels’ time, it’s not the “spectre of communism”. In 2021 the ghost at the socially-distanced feast is the ‘far right’, or what its more hysterical opponents would term ‘fascism’.

And as has been the case periodically ever since the mid-1980s when Jean-Marie Le Pen’s Front National (National Front) made its first electoral breakthrough, France is the main focus of ‘anti-fascist’ concern.

The latest flurry was prompted by an opinion poll carried out on 19th-20th January and published this week. It shows not only that Marine Le Pen, who took over her father’s party in 2011 and renamed it Rassemblement National (National Rally), would ‘win’ the first-round of a presidential election, but that she would be only 4% behind in a hypothetical second-round run-off against incumbent ‘centrist’ President Emmanuel Macron.

Analysts have long taken for granted that Le Pen would be one of the top two first-round candidates at the next presidential election (due to be held in April 2022), and would probably lead the field at this stage, but have assumed that she would certainly lose the run-off.

In 2002 it was a ‘shock’ when Jean-Marie Le Pen overtook a divided left and qualified for the run-off against conservative President Jacques Chirac, but he was then defeated 82%-18%. Then in 2017 Marine Le Pen finished only just behind Macron in the first-round, but lost 66%-34% in the run-off.

There are two big factors presently helping Ms Le Pen. The first is of course Covid-19. Unlike his German neighbour and fellow ‘centrist’ Angela Merkel, whose popularity has been boosted by the pandemic, Macron is not seen to have had a ‘good war’. Indeed French failures in the production of vaccines have dragged down the entire EU and made the UK look a model of competence by comparison.

The second, perhaps deeper problem is that Macron has sought to reassure French voters by taking a hard line against what he would call ‘Islamism’. Perhaps intentionally, this is perceived not just as anti-‘Islamist’, but anti-Islam.

To be fair, there is a substantial section of French liberals and socialists who are committed secularists, for whom suspicion of all religious influence (originally suspicion of Catholics but now also or especially of Muslims) is central to their politics. Such committed secularism would seem eccentric in the UK and outrageous in the USA, but is perfectly normal in France.

A socially distanced (and increasingly politically isolated) President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath at Charles de Gaulle’s London statue in June 2020. Might Macron emulate de Gaulle in stepping aside from the presidency rather than risk defeat in 2022?

But even in France, other socialists and liberals prioritise their ‘anti-racism’ above their secularism. Macron is taking a big risk: in attempting to win over voters who are concerned about Islam or about wider immigration-related issues, he risks alienating these sections of liberal-left opinion. The latter group of voters might be so disgusted that they abstain or ‘waste’ their votes in next year’s run-off rather than voting for Macron as the ‘lesser evil’.

Moreover yet another section of the old socialist/communist vote – working class voters in depressed post-industrial areas – have become a core part of Le Pen’s support.

Perhaps this latest opinion poll is the nadir of Macron’s fortunes: the Covid news can surely only get better, can’t it???

If it doesn’t, one risky option would be for the French establishment to ditch Macron in favour of a ‘fresh face’.

Marion Maréchal, seen here with her grandfather FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, might be the long-term successor to her aunt Marine Le Pen.

Either way, the 2022 elections are surely Marine Le Pen’s best but also last chance. If she cannot defeat a Covid-damaged Macron (or a last-minute substitute), the French anti-immigration movement would be likely to seek a new figurehead.

There’s everything to play for, and an interesting year ahead for race-conscious patriots across Europe.

French author jailed in latest opinion crime crackdown

The French author Hervé Ryssen – pen name of 53-year-old Sorbonne graduate Hervé Lalin – has been jailed near Paris for the ‘crime’ of expressing opinions deemed ‘anti-semitic’.

Among his ‘crimes’ was publication of a book in 2018 entitled (in English translation) Understanding the Jews, Understanding Anti-Semitism, which the court found to have ‘denied the Holocaust’. This and several of M. Ryssen’s other books have been translated into English by Carlos Porter and are available via The Barnes Review.

Hervé Ryssen

On 18th September the Paris court ordered that Hervé Ryssen must begin serving a 19 month jail sentence for this crime of questioning orthodox versions of mid-20th century history. He will be brought from his cell to the ’17th correctional chamber’ at Porte de Clichy, Paris, for a new trial at 1.30 pm on 2nd December 2020.

Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the French National Front and former presidential candidate, has denounced the sentence.

English translations of several books by Hervé Ryssen are available from The Barnes Reviewclick above for link

This week veteran British nationalist and National Front Directorate member Richard Edmonds, together with H&D assistant editor Peter Rushton, wrote to Mr Ryssen/Lalin in prison.

An English translation of the letter appears below.

From Richard Edmonds, …Sutton, Surrey, Angleterre. Dated 23. September 2020.

To Herve Ryssen-Lalin,
Maison d’Arret de Fleury-Merogis, prisoner number 459-091, 7 Avenue des Peupliers, F-91 700, Fleury-Merogis, France.

Dear Herve Ryssen-Lalin,

Everybody is talking about your incarceration and everybody is condemning it…the nationalist weekly news-paper, RIVAROL, the founder of the Front National, Jean -Marie Le Pen and all the friends of Free Speech.

At this very moment the trial is taking place in Paris of the murderers who attacked the offices of the (vile) satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, and the President of France, Macron, has just stated that in France people have the right to blaspheme, meaning that the vile blasphemies of Charlie Hebdo are O.K.

[Note for British readers: a few years back, the front cover of the “satirical” French magazine showed a cartoon of the Holy Ghost buggering Jesus Christ who in turn was busy buggering His father, God Almighty; this filth all deemed O.K. by the French Establishment.]

Former Prime Minister Theresa May, alongside Sir Eric Pickles (chairman of Conservative Friends of Israel) declares “I am a Jew”, in a campaign inspired by supporters of Charlie Hebdo

Macron went on to boast that in France there was Freedom of Speech…but that clearly does not include the freedom to discuss details of the Second World War, otherwise you, Monsieur Ryssen-Lalin, would not find yourself locked up in this prison and for many months to come. What to say ? We find ourselves in a hypocritical and tyrannical world.

One can only add that you find yourself in the company of first class persons: At this very time the very brave German woman, Ursula Haverbeck aged 91 years finds herself locked up in a German prison up for the “crime” of expressing her non-violent opinions regarding details of the Second World War: as does the German Revisionist Horst Mahler, aged 84, and the German defence lawyer, Frau Sylvia Stolz, both incarcerated for expressing their non-violent opinions on events that took place more than seventy years ago. I note that the French Revisionist, Vincent Reynouard was locked up in this same prison; he wrote a book on his experiences in Fleury-Merogis prison.

Sincerely, Richard Edmonds and Peter Rushton.

UPDATE: Defenders of traditional European values and liberties have begun demonstrations of support for Hervé Ryssen at various sites across the French capital.

Free Hervé Ryssen!

Rivarol editor convicted under French ‘hate speech’ laws

Jérôme Bourbon, editor of the long-established weekly journal Rivarol, has been given a nine-month suspended prison sentence by the Paris criminal court for the ‘crime’ of posting Twitter messages critical of international Zionism and raising questions about the state of free speech in 21st century France.

The three offending ‘tweets’ dated from 2018. M. Bourbon was banned from Twitter in 2019.

One of the offending ‘tweets’ commemorated First World War French hero Marshal Philippe Pétain, and had been posted by M. Bourbon to mark the centenary of the November 1918 armistice.

M. Bourbon was also required to pay ‘damages’ and court costs amounting to €6,000.

Rivarol is one of the longest established nationalist / traditionalist journals in the world, dating back almost seventy years to January 1951. Its 65th birthday banquet in 2016 was attended by Jean-Marie Le Pen and the late Prof. Robert Faurisson.

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