What does Le Pen propose?

I preface this post by reminding people I do not support any  candidate or party in the forthcoming election,  but think we do need to know more about Le Pen given her popularity in current polls.

The NF website in France is critical of the EU, seeing it as a source of unemployment and too many migrants. Arguing that France is suffering from “L’Europe contre les peuples”, the site chronicles the loss of industrial jobs, open borders, dominance of market forces, destruction of public services, poverty, uncertainties and substantial migration as features of modern France in the EU it does not like.

The party disagrees with an ultra liberal world ideology which it thinks is there in the EU to serve financial sector interests at the expense of others. The EU is seen as a client state of big money interests run by powerful unelected officials. It delivers long recessions, mass unemployment, and financial crises as shown in Greece. It has ignored the votes of the French, Dutch and Irish against the original Constitutional Treaty.

France is seen as getting a particularly bad financial deal from the EU. As the EU’s second largest contributor according to the site, the country does not benefit from the Euro and the internal market in the way Germany does. Large scale immigration is seen as lowering wages and destabilising society.

The website proposes that France uses Article 50 to get out of the Euro and to change its relationship with the EU fundamentally. France needs to restore control over her borders and law making, and be able to spend her own money. Control is seen to rest in Brussels and Frankfurt, and needs to be brought back to France herself.

The party offers a range of policies to help and support veterans, to promote economic growth and to improve public services.

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  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I have just read that Le Pen is saying she wants to destroy the EU which sounds good to me. Remember the EU only exists because the French are scared of the Germans and the Germans are scared of themselves

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Have people got such short memories that they can’t remember the fascists of the 1930’s (I mean millions of our grandfathers / fathers fought in the war against the Nazis, and the Nazis destroyed so much of our towns and cities – remember?).

      If we know what’s best for us, we need to stay miles away from any form of fascism – lite or otherwise, as well as any form of Communism / Socialism / Marxism.

      • Mr Sensible
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        Le Pen is not a fascist or nazi if that is what you are insinuating. It ruins the arguments so often presented by leftie -liberals that anyone who opposes their silly opinions is a fascist or a nazi .Anyone at all who opposes leftie liberal opinion is plainly very sensible indeed!

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          ‘It ruins the arguments so often presented by leftie -liberals’

          – but now you’re just type-casting me as a ‘leftie-liberal’ because i challenge Le Pen as being proto fascist. You know nothing about me, but we all have lots of information to form an opinion about Le Pen and the danger she and her politics poses to France and Europe in general.

          My grandfather spent 30 years in the British army. 6 of them fighting Hitler, and 3 of those in Spain as a British intelligence officer where he was shot at by a Communist, his driver being killed in the incident.

          Seems to me that people now are suffering from serious historical amnesia is they accuse people like me of being liberal lefties because i’m concerned by people such as Le Pen.

          • Mr Sensible
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            OK so you are not a liberal-leftie. You have no ideological excuse then for being wrong. You have a family history. OK. So do I. So does Le Pen. Forgive me, I understand you feel deeply. Maybe my family history however severe, is leading me down a wrong path.
            Israelis and Palestinians also have family histories. Each can tell you things to justify their actions and beliefs. You can understand why each is behaving as they do. Why they sacrifice their lives for the Cause.
            However, I believe you are wrong about “proto fascism”. I confess to never seeing the term until now. Le Pen does not use the language of fascism or nazism. All her phrases have been expressed by persons of supposedly opposite political and social orientation literally and euphemistically. The insidious war against “the rich” by socialists is no less divisive and inciting violence against people . Being born rich is not a genetic crime.

          • getahead
            Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

            When you mentioned “any form of Communism / Socialism / Marxism”, I thought you meant the EU, Ed.
            You can’t get a cigarette paper between the ideology of the USSR and that of the EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          ‘ruins the arguments so often presented by leftie -liberals’

          – also, I’m pro austerity, anti gay marriage, pro grammar schools, a supporter of Mrs Thatcher and Churchill, and a strong Conservative voter. Does that make me a ‘leftie-liberal.’

          No. So please don’t try and type-caste – that’s just a lazy and a way of trying to put someone down who you disagree with.

          • Mitchel
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

            You may revere Thatcher and Churchill but you can’t really support them.I hate to tell you but they’re dead.

          • hefner
            Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

            Thanks for showing off how pedantic one can be.

          • miami.mode
            Posted December 1, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink


            Pedantry may be overrated, but you spelt his name wrong!

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        Too late. You only need to understand and see the direction that Europe, and especially the EU, are taking.

        News reporting that, Merkel wants to ban what she calls, “Hate speech” or, as I would put it, “Anything that may embarrass the government ahead of any election”

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Have you read about:- Paul Gascoigne fined over racist ‘joke’ it seemed absurdly innocuous to me so do not think you are safe here. Most worrying of all to me were the over the top comments comments by the judge!

          Soon it will doubtless be extended to protect the climate alarmism religion and other aspects of the absurd “BBC think” government agenda.

      • Jon
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree with you. However, please can you outline which of Le Pen’s policies are fascist?

      • Jon
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree with you. However, please can you outline which of Marine Le Pen’s policies are fascist?

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        “No,we do not fight for values.I would fight for this country even if it had a communist government”

        Enoch Powell (who was neither a communist nor a fascist)

        • Lifelogic
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Nor was he a racist. As nearly all the lefties, luvvies and BBC types would have you believe.

      • Bored
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        No connection of Le Pen and nazi Germany. She does not claim territory other than that recognised internationally as France.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      ‘Remember the EU only exists because the French are scared of the Germans and the Germans are scared of themselves’

      – No. Germans are scared of fascism (and Communism) whether it be in Germany, France or the UK.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Oh nice moderate Germans, fearful of the rise of fascism in the UK.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          ‘Oh nice moderate Germans, fearful of the rise of fascism in the UK’

          – The Germans are a great people. So are the British. It’s not being German or British that makes one good or evil, but the personal moral choices we make as individuals and people. In the 1940’s, the Germans made a catastrophic mistake by endorsing Hitler. But we could easily do the same here in the UK in similar or different ways.

          • Anonymous
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            “But we could easily do the same here in the UK in similar or different ways.”

            No we couldn’t. But the removal of true small ‘c’ conservatism in the West has driven people to Trump/Farage.

          • Andy
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

            And they have just made another catastrophic mistake by pushing the UK out of the EU so they could secure German hegemony over all of Europe, which has been a dream since the days of the Kaiser. I hope it comes back to bite them in the a***.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            “But we could easily do the same here”

            Total rubbish and an insult to the British people.

            Neither communism nor fascism ever got strong traction with the mass of the population in the UK and there is no reason to suppose that they will in the future.

      • A different Simon
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        One could just as easily conclude that is democracy that the Germans are afraid of .

        It was the Germans who bank rolled Lenin to overthrow the interim government in Russia before they could call elections .

        • hefner
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          Really interesting to see how people sample history, a little bit from the 1910s, another one from the ’30s, yet another bit from another period just to make a narrative fitting their present prejudices.

          But that goes well with the dog’s breakfast regularly produced by JR and his “clever” use of statistics. Well, he mostly gets the readers that he deserves.

          • Hope
            Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

            If he or the bloggers upsets you do not read this blog. It is quite simple for an ever so clever chap like you to work out. Then your views can always be right in your own mind.

          • hefner
            Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

            Touche. But what is the point of anger being whipped up by JR if not to encourage angry people talking to other angry people.
            So what final result is being expected by JR?

    • ChrisS
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      What a succinct analysis of the EU and absolutely correct !

      You could have added the desire of successive French Presidents to dominate Europe. Until the Euro and the expansion during the Blair years, that worked pretty well with a series of hesitant German leaders.

      How the Euro has altered the balance of forces so dramatically in a relatively short time !

      The rise of Germany to being the dominant force was not deliberate. Even Merkel was at first hesitant in taking on the mantle of leadership but the entirely useless Hollande and the huge changes in the relative economic strength of the two countries has done for France.

      • miami.mode
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        …..The rise of Germany to being the dominant force was not deliberate……

        Not entirely sure about that CS. Reading financial journalists during the early noughties there were constant complaints about euro interest rates being too low for the Eurozone as they were deliberately kept low to assist Germany through its difficulties at the time, but caused havoc in such as Ireland plus the Med countries. £ to € at the time was often at 1.40/1.50 or more and there was the usual crowd in the UK saying our rates were too high.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      And because the Americans in the cold war era through to Trump wanted a united Europe.And because the globalists see this project/experiment as a stage towards their ultimate goal.

      But I agree,its dismantling is desirable.

      Stone dead hath no fellow.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Indeed rather a mix of misguided economic protectionism with a sensible desire to return to French democratic control of France.

    Certainly not “extreme right” as the BBC always like to refer to them.

    The betting odds suggest that the allegedly “Thatcherite” Fillon has about a 70% chance of winning. I think that would be better both for France the rest of the EU members and for the UK. I suspect that is what will actually happen, but it is certainly far from clear cut.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Fillon is an Establishment figure who, like Hollande and many more before him, will not fail at being a disappointment once in office. You see, when you finally look around and ask yourself; “Who promotes all this big government, green crap, TENS Network (HS2) and the rest ?”, you will quickly come to realise that it is the EU. Not only that, but the ‘Round Table of Industrialists’ who run things. This give credence to the view that FN have, which our kind hosts states in his piece, that the EU favours ‘big money interests.’

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        You could well be right.

    • Kenneth
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Compared to the BBC nearly everything is extreme right

    • matthu
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Betting odds only indicate which side big money is backing, not where popular support lies. As was recently most clearly demonstrated in the US presidential elections.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Big money often bets on the side that they do not back (if they think the odds justify a bet in that direction. That is how they keep their big money.

  3. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    They got one thing right “the country does not benefit from the Euro and the internal market in the way Germany does.” Germany runs a trade surplus and France a deficit and has to accept the rigours of the Euro at the same time. That in my view is the biggest threat to the continued survival of the EU. In the meantime the NF is is a grubby Pétainiste party with a human face, well with the mask of a human face anyway.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Oh come on. Far bigger threat to us at the moment is Putin (Parliament only discussed last week the possibility of war with Russia in 1917). As well as Isis, and the threat of mass migration from the Middle East and Africa.
      And China could pose a real threat to our economy in the future as it ‘invests’ in the UK market, siphoning off profits and intellectual property back to China.
      Germany (with us inside the EU) wants to be as nice to us as possible for geopolitical reasons – for China, the USA and others, it will be about as getting as much out of us as they can (and they will be far more hard-nosed / ruthless than the Germans).
      (Not forgetting of course, that the EU is made up largely of centre-right politicians where as China is still a Communist country).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        ‘Parliament only discussed last week the possibility of war with Russia in 1917’

        – sorry, 2017.

        • Gosh!
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          War with Russia in 2017? If Parliament wasted the country’s time in discussing this then there should be a law to sack immediately all the MPs who thought it plausible. There are too many idiots in Parliament. Just look what some oddballs said about firing on Russian planes in Syria. What dangerous fools thy are.If they are dead-set on fighting Russia then get them up in a plane and parachute them in over the Kremlin. Putin will appreciate the joke and send them back to Blighty with a Christmas bag full of toys, chocolate,and Russian dolls .

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Parliament,well the war cabinet,did discuss the possibility of a war with Russia in 1917;your great hero,Churchill, ultimately got his way and it proved an expensive,counterproductive failure.

          I don’t think we need a repeat in 2016 or any other year.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            I never said Churchill was a saint (I don’t admire him in the same way as I admire someone such as St Francis of Assisi or someone). He made some terrible decisions in his life time.
            But when it came to the Nazis and WW2 he got it basically right.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Eddie please reread my comment. I am talking about a threat to the existence of the EU not the UK.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Too late. You only need to understand and see the direction that Europe, and especially the EU, are taking.

        News reporting that, Merkel wants to ban what she calls, “Hate speech” or, as I would put it, “Anything that may embarrass the government ahead of any election”

      • scottspeig
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        The idea that Russia is still the boogey man to be used to scare people is ridiculous.

        They may be pushing their own agenda, but it is hardly any worse than the US do! The hypocrisy of the West is blatant and stinks!

      • zorro
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Why is Russia a threat to the UK? It was Cameron who wanted to extend the EU to the Urals…. I don’t recall Putin sayong that he wanted to extend Russia to Hadrian’s wall….


    • Hope
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      The EU is essentially about stopping Germany fighting and invading France. We note Prido’s comments that Germany is trying to dominate the EU in all key issues. Unfortunately it is in the country’s DNA. The country needs to learn humility to other countries. Allowing Germany to take over and lead the European continent by financial means through the EU is not a good idea. Nor will it help to stop any perceived Russian threat or spread of communism nonsense either.

      Good old Labour dclare love and admiration for Castro hate Putin!

      • zorro
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Germany’s treatment of Greece tells you all you need to know……


    • Hope
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Germany has periodically always tried to land grab to the east from Russia. Allowing it through the EU will only cause trouble and conflict.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Agreed. You only need to look at the Ukraine and to who is pushing things.

        • Mitchel
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          Third time lucky?

          • Mark B
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            Not with nukes pointing at us.

          • zorro
            Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

            Europaische Union… It just means so much more in German…


    • stred
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Petain collaborated with the Germans during WW2, why is the NF Petainist?

      Most of Mme Le Pen’s policies seem to be identical to Trump’s except for the banks and similar to UKIP/Remain except for free trade with the rest of the world. She has told her dad to shut it and stop talking merde about Jews. Fillon will get nowhere trying to take on bolshy unions and French farmers will still wish to milk the subsidies. At least everyone knows what she believes-unlike some other female politicians nearer to home.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        They come from the same strain of human being that Mosley’s BUF came from. Given the same opportunity Mosley would have chosen to have become Hitler’s viceroy in the UK. Looking at the NF’s ability to govern in France they have about the same level of competence as the BNP and UKIP have shown here.

        • stred
          Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          What is this ‘strain of human being’? The term sounds like something the Nazis would have used. I know some NFsupporters in France and they are more like Kippers than Blackshirts. Le Pen seems to be managing her party better than Labour and has been firm with her father, telling him where he is mistaken. Your comparison of UKIP to the BNP is strange. UKIP is not racist, despite smears, and is concerned with the levels of immigration and control, not the origin.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I see that Theresa May is still going on about pay gap ratios and workers on boards. True some directors pay is far too high. They have been helping themselves to funds properly due to shareholders.

    This especially when so many of them have a poor record and have quite often driven their companies over the cliff while filling their boots with gold.

    What is needed is far better mechanisms to enable shareholders to exercise more control over pay. I have no objection to workers being represented, but that is not something that May’s lefty government should force on to companies.

    Mrs May should concentrate on running the huge and largely incompetent state sector rather more efficiently before she start telling other what to do. Perhaps she she look at the pay for people like Mark Carney given his dire record. There is no shortage of people who could do a better job for about 1/5th of his remuneration.

    Mrs May could more usefully look at the appalling NHS structure. An NHS where you often cannot even get a GP’s appointment without pre screening by receptionist is a complete and very dangerous joke.

    The doctors themselves very often misdiagnose with serious consequences. How on earth is the receptionist going to know if say an abdominal pain is something you ate, mild indigestion or life threatening appendicitis, chronic cholecystitis, cancer …. in a three minute interview without any medical training or scans? People will die as a result or they will go to casualty which will cost more in the end.

    • margaret
      Posted December 1, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      re last paragraph… On this one I agree with you Life logic.. Over the telephone NHS lines are also open to misdiagnosis, but it is not only the way Nurses or Doctors misdiagnose , it can be how a patient represents their symptoms over the phone. A set of questions from one side of the phone is not a realistic way to look at the patient and use those things we use prior to physiological measurements for examination .. eyes , ears , palpation , smell ..

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    You skip over some of her more curious left-wing economic policies which are not designed to enhance growth at all. Anyway, it seems she will struggle to win against the (supposedly) Thatcherite Fillon. Let’s see.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      “You skip over some of her more curious left-wing economic policies which are not designed to enhance growth at all.”

      I thought you were talking about T May and her (let’s make UK businesses less efficient still) man Grieg Clark for a moment.

  6. Mark B
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    France’s problems are not just confined to that of the EU. The whole country is a mess and, just like the UK, has never really found a role in the world outside the EU.

    The EU was created by the likes of, Arthur Salter and Jean Monet to control the governments, parliaments and nations (people). They really believed that this would end the constant bickering and fighting (literally) that we have seen over hundreds of years. Well, it hasn’t worked has it ! They can’t agree on anything and that is because the project is not complete. The Commission, or to give its old and probably truer name, The High Authority does not yest have full control.

    The EU is an outdated idea that has long passed its sell by date, much like Communism. But because so much money for so few is at stake the forces against those like Le Penn and others will fight tooth and nail to hang on to their privileged lifestyles.

    etc ed

  7. David Edwards
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    If I were Le Pen, I would run the election next year on the single issue of the EU declaring that if I won I would trigger Article 50 and then call another general election, provided the French constitution allows that course of action.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Richard Littlejohn is good on Theresa May today. (Daily Mail)

    We are not leaving the EU.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink


      Many of us never thought we would. I am still not convinced we will leave. As for Le Pen – power to her. I hope she brings down the EU. It can’t happen soon enough. France and Italy are in a mess together with Greece and others. Germany has too much power but not much change there then. Pretty soon, if Mrs May doesn’t stop dragging her feet we will be the only country in the EU!!!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I suspect you are right. After all she is daft enough to suggest workers/customers on company boards, go ahead with HS2 and Hinckley. She also lied to the nation’s voters, in the referendum, that we had control of our borders through Schengen. Why should we trust her at all.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic – One suspects (knows) that Brexit has been interpreted as a backlash against globalism/corporatism.

        Ostensibly the moves against executive/worker pay disparities are in answer to the excesses from the likes of Philip Green – but it is alleged Green caused BHS to close and workers have lost their pensions. So what has that to do with executive pay excesses ?

        One thinks that the moves on executive accountability are a sop to disappointed Brexit voters. The answer (as always) to public disaffection is ‘we need more socialism’ when what we actually want is less EU and less government. The BBC and Remainers are seeing Brexit as an opportunity to stamp down on those whose only desire is a return to small ‘c’ conservatism by linking them to the Cox killing.

        When conservatism is denied to voters here and in America eventually the result is Trump/Farage and who knows what to come.

  9. Richard1
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Captured beneath her objections to the ‘liberal’ economic order are all sorts of absurd statist and socialist measures – just like Labour with Corbyn in fact, although anti immigrant as well. Let’s hope for the sake of France and the rest of us that M. Fillon wins.

  10. DaveM
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Le Pen won’t win because – like in this country – the electoral system is rigged by legacy parties so as to make vote share irrelevant. What she will do, however, is win enough to be able to hold Fillon’s feet to the fire.

    I’d vote for her purely because she refers to Hollande as M le Vice Chancellor!

    How does the EU bureaucracy intend to rig or reverse the upcoming vote in Italy?

  11. agricola
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    What you say about their manifesto sounds good. I would tend to worry about how they might conduct themselves in power. If they put the fear of God into the liberal elite in Brussels they are doing the people of Europe a great service.

  12. The PrangWizard
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Off Topic! But may be not so much.

    I read on Guido that Theresa the Appeaser – another one of her names – has just given away this country’s rights over patents. EU law will be supreme. A bit like Cameron sending England’s shipbuilding to Scotland just before the referendum there.

    Did she not make some announcement with Hammond recently stating that she would be giving money for business start-ups and they would be developed here and produce here? How do we build our new businesses, how do we develop them if our patents are owned by a foreign power having been given up, like the millions sold off with nearly all our established companies to foreign ownership. The benefits of inward investment my a… .

    We could do with a big dose of protectionism here, there will be nothing to have control over soon. BT Openreach to be sold of next? To the Chinese maybe? That would be the end. While May dithers Rome burns.

    Are all Tory leaders bred and trained to act duplicitously and traitorously?

    Roll on the ‘populist’ revolution!

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      “…May dithers while Rome burns”

      Reviewing the reign of the third century emperor,Philip the Arab,Gibbon in The Decline & Fall relates:-

      To the undiscerning eye of the vulgar,Philip appeared a monarch no less powerful than Hadrian or Augustus had formerly been.The form was still the same,but the animating health and vigour were fled.The industry of the people was discouraged by a long series of oppression.

      And he,too, was forced to pay tribute to a power to his East (Persia in this case).

  13. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The National Socialist German Workers’ Party did a lot for the German working classes in the early 1930’s.
    Then in the 1940’s, The National Socialist German Workers’ Party persuaded/forced millions of working class (and middle and upper class) Germans to go to war, murdering millions of Jews, and killing millions of soldiers, bombing cities over Europe, and leading to the death of millions of Germans, and the destruction of Germany itself.
    The National Front aren’t the The National Socialist German Workers’ Party. But there are some similarities (at least compared to the The National Socialist German Workers’ Party early on) and are certainly dangerous hardliners who have nothing to offer France or Europe but racism, division and hostility in general.

  14. Ed Mahony
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Many people predict Armageddon soon. Personally, i think it could be a million years or more (or less) before we destroy ourselves. But with the way the US and parts of Europe are heading at the moment in terms of right-wing politics, then they’re making Armageddon that little bit more lightly (God forbid).

    We need to stay well away from hard right-wing and left-wing politics (we know what it can do – just look at Europe in the 1940’s and just look at how Parliament discussed the possibility of war with Russia in 2017). And remember that our safety and security is based on Christian values – and if you don’t believe in God, then ethical values as close to Christian values as possible.

    But hard right-wing (and left-wing) values are all about the head without the heart (and soul) and must be avoided at all cost – only and always leading to trouble, above all, for those who inflict their politics on others.

    • Mitchel
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      The same Russia you think we may be going to war with is now the most Christian country in Europe-and certainly the biggest promoter of Christianity.But perhaps the Orthodox variety is not to your taste…not happy-clappy enough?

      • zorro
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Took the words out of my mouth….


      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        ‘But perhaps the Orthodox variety is not to your taste’

        – I love Orthodox Christianity – f0r their mysticism and icons (as well as the Protestants for their love of the Bible and work ethic, and the Catholics for their sacraments and strong moral teaching).

        ‘not happy-clappy enough?’ – I personally dislike the happy-clappy aspect of Christianity as i think it’s more focused on the emotions than the spiritual / the soul, in other words happy-clappy is sentimental.

        (Apologies if i come over-forthright in my views on other hand not sorry about something that brings real peace, joy, beauty and love – both soft and tough love to an extraordinary degree – at least that’s my experience – best wishes).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted November 29, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


          – i mean where does the music of Bach or Mozart come from? Or why is there beauty in inanimate nature (- e.g. the moon, the stars – where there’s no need for these to have beauty – and even if we might not all agree on beauty we all understand the concept). Or the beauty in mathematics and logic, in Shakespeare or Michaelangelo?

          – And since taking Christianity seriously, what peace and joy … and sense of love. I have to borrow from Shakespeare to try evoke something what it is like to experience:

          ‘the clouds methought did open up and show riches ready to drop upon me that when I wak’d I cried to dream again.’

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        ‘The same Russia you think we may be going to war with is now the most Christian country in Europe’

        – but this is the argument by association.
        It’s like saying, Stalin and Pol Pot were atheists who murdered lots of people => atheists are evil.
        Or, Hitler was an agnostic => agnostics are evil.
        Or, Vlad the Impaler was a Christian => all Christians are evil!

        Anyone can claim they’re Christian. That’s easy. But just because you claim it doesn’t mean you are (only God can be judge of that). That’s what the Bible says. Which is why the best Christians often say, I’m a human being trying to be Christian.

        Lastly, the best example of literature I can think of someone claiming to be Christian but was actually an imposter was Chaucer’s The Pardoner. Absolutely brilliant. He doesn’t believe in God at all but pretends he does using brilliant psychology to get the poor pilgrims to hand over their money. (And much of medieval history was about people using religion as a tool to twist religion in order to manipulate others, like the Pardoner, although of course there were many good Christian men and women then as well).

        • rose
          Posted December 2, 2016 at 12:07 am | Permalink

          When Stalin was really desperate during the siege of Leningrad, he had himself taken up in a small aeroplane and flown round and round the city while he recited Hail Marys.

          • Mitchel
            Posted December 3, 2016 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

            It was when the Germans were approaching Moscow-he had the Theotokos icon-the holiest-taken up,the plane circled the city several times,a last invisible line of defence.Stalin never entirely lost his belief.And it “worked”!

  15. SM
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    From what I have read of the NF’s policies, its leanings are very much towards State intervention and control, yet France needs to have less rather than more of that in order to benefit economically.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      The NF is hoping to pick up votes from traditional Left voters. Well we shouldn’t decry French intevertionism in their industries. Much of politics is doing what people want to be done. Many French people want protectionism. If the opposite were to done, then there would be strikes, divisions, and increase in support for Left parties The Free-Enterprise culture would fail irrespective of it long-term theoretical positives. People need space to do their own journey in regard to their opinions.

    • stred
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      It would be a surprise if the NF decided to have state control over their health service as they have an example over the Channel. Also, suddenly we have both French candidates and Mr Trump wanting to patch things up with the Russians. Mrs May still thinks we should not be allies with any country which bumps off its citizens who spill the beans. A long spell in a US prison for Mr Snowden and Mr Lasange is alright though and she will have to put on her best outfit when meeting that awful Trump man.

  16. DaveM
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Completely OT:

    BBC SPOTY nominations. Hilarious. No mention of the World Heavyweight boxing champion (or indeed the other 9 current British professional boxing world champions), the World F1 champion, the 3 x Tour de France winner, or the first modern-day Olympic golf champion. No cricketers either.

    But on the plus side, there ARE a lot of people I haven’t heard of from “diverse” backgrounds.

    I wonder if the Overseas Personality will go to an obscure homosexual Cuban tiddlywinks player – just to show sympathy for Saint Fidel’s death on behalf of “all Britons” you understand.

  17. Antisthenes
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The NF is like many populist parties it does not know which side of the political spectrum it is on wanting to impose policies from both left and right. Unfortunately they do not pick the best ones. The ones free market classical liberals would choose. They only differ from main stream parties by claiming they will not be authoritarian and elite establishment. Then promptly on gaining power become exactly that. Trump I expect will follow that pattern.

    The only saving grace is that they will keep the main stream party that you oppose out of power if your own is unable to be in a position to do so. Also it will stop the corruption baton from being passed along. Their own corruption will emerge but there will be a breathing space until that happens. An added bonus maybe that they will pursue some policies that are dear to ones own heart. In the case of Trump for me it is that he has kept Clinton and the Democrats out of government and he is climate change sceptic and anti progressive.

    Le Pen has only one saving grace and that is she is opposed to the EU. The importance of which for the UK has been diminished because of Brexit. No point cheering for her her presidency of France will be no less disastrous than Hollande’s. Especially as Fillon despite him being a Europhile is the best hope France has of sorting out it’s economic mess. Even perhaps adopting some Anglo-Saxon practices which France and the rest of continental Europe are so much in need of.

  18. Qubus
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Off topic but:

    I hear that a some sort of Conservative party official was seen leaving Downing Street conveniently carrying a Brexit memo under her arm; this allegedly exposed some aspect of the UK’s bargaining position on Brexit: “let them eat cake”.

    Is it just me, are the people just downright stupid or is it some sort of sabotage?

    • zorro
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Looking at the way the notebook was clearly open and who she works for, it doesn’t take much to realise the aim of the exercise…..


    • Chris
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      or clumsy attempt at disinformation?

  19. Stephen Berry
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    The coming election will be presented as a big clash between Le Pen and Fillon, but this is somewhat missing the point. The existence of UKIP drove the Conservatives into positions they would never have adopted. For instance, without fear of losing support to UKIP, would the Cameron Tories ever have offered a referendum on the EU?

    Le Pen is having a comparable effect on the centre-right in France. Fillon is being presented as a Thatcherite in the British Media. But he is also socially conservative Catholic who supports family values, wants to confront Islamist extremism, control immigration, restore France’s historic identity and end sanctions on Russia.

    Methinks that Marine Le Pen might go along with much of this?

  20. JimS
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The BBC tells me that Le Pen is ‘far right’ and that is clearly all that I need to know.

    Vote Miliband.
    Vote Scottish Independence.
    Vote Remain.
    Vote Hillary.

    I obey. I obey. (Exterminate..Exterminate..!)

    • Duff
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Thanks to the BBC, Sky News and persons such as Yvette Cooper MP and her Labour Party,, being called “Far Right” or even “Extreme Far Right” is becoming a wonderful compliment much the same as them declaring “Hey, how come you are so intelligent when so many others are talking like duff parrots?”

    • Davros
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Taking the micky out of a small minority group like Daleks is deplorable!

  21. JoolsB
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    With respect John, thought you would have been commenting this morning on what another party much closer to home propose. Now Paul Nuttall has won the UKIP leadership race, an English Parliament will at long last be a proposal by a politic party. Surely a vote winner and a vote stealer from the anti-English Con/Lab/Lib Dum parties.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts too


      Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Dear Jools–And did you hear him on Referenda? I hadn’t realised that it is UKIP Policy (that’s if it is–it may be just his) but I have been saying for years that we need much more direct decision (a la the Swiss). In particular his views on holding Referenda after enough people sign a Petition I thought just marvellous. I continue to have no idea why we need MP’s and Lords to decide for us much at all. Perhaps once but not any more. Capital Punishment for example is very simple to understand. There is much hope. I am a massive fan of Nigel Farage but there can be no doubt that with his Dulwich and City Trader background he has been handicapped “up North”…….but still hasn’t done too badly.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The English Democrats have been campaigning for a true English Parliament for some time. They have been stamped on by the mainstream parties and the media and accused of all manner of sins, but now sins are not sins any longer. They never were.

  22. ChrisS
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I think we need to separate Marine Le Pen from the FN. She is a cunning politician and she has only achieved success by ditching the racism of her Father and presenting a more moderate face. I don’t believe that’s an act.

    I don’t see how Fillon can succeed. France is essentially ungovernable as Sarkosy and Hollande found out to their cost. They both tried modest reforms yet gave up in the face of tremendous opposition. If Fillon can win the Presidency, the unions will try to bring whole country to its knees. He will have to bring the CRS onto the streets and use the army to maintain essential services in the face of coordinated strikes.

    It won’t be pretty yet labour market reforms and Austerity are the only way that France has any chance of avoiding further decline while in the straight jacket that is the Euro.

    Le Pen, by taking the country out of the Euro, could maintain the current protectionist policies that the French love so much. She can rely on continuous devaluation of the new French Franc to keep the show on the road. She might be able to keep things going for her first term, possibly enough to win a second, but sooner or a little bit later the game will be up.

    But who would be best for us ?

    For the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, Le Pen would be our best bet. After all, she will want a similar deal for France, but in the wider context, particularly long term trade, Fillon would be by far the better prospect but but only if his reform agenda succeeds.

  23. formula57
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this helpful analysis.

    It seems a Le Pen presidency (especially if in conjunction with winning a parliamentary majority) might well mean an end of the EU, at least as we know it. That outcome might be of sufficient benefit to all the peoples of the EU to make up for France enduring a government that would likely include some most unwelcome characters.

  24. ian wragg
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it’s correct to call the NF far right.
    Many of their policies are very socialist.
    There is a good chance that she could win the Presidential elections because I don’t believe Fillon stands a chance with any of his so called “Thatcherite” policies. There would be endless strikes to preserve the status quo.
    The thinking French realise there must be change and that it is not possible whilst tied to the Euro and the EU.
    Prepare for fireworks.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Her economic policies are socialist. For example she wants to tax profitable companies who return money to shareholders at a higher rate than those who use their profits to increase workers’ salaries. This is pure anti-capitalist socialism.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I can’t immediately see the point of the new legal case against the government which is now being threatened by the renamed Stronger In Europe campaign.

    There are 32 contracting parties to the EEA Agreement – 28 sovereign EU member states, 3 out of the 4 sovereign EFTA member states, and the interfering EC – and any one of those could object to the UK remaining in the EEA after it has left the EU, and even if it immediately became an EFTA member state instead.

    If that happened and the objecting party stood its ground then it would be irrelevant that the UK had not of its own volition given the year’s notice that it was leaving the EEA under Article 127 in the Agreement; the UK could not continue in the EEA once its status had changed and it could no longer be correctly listed as one of the EU member states, that is unless all of the other EEA member states consented to either turn a blind eye to that breach of the Agreement or to make the necessary changes to it.

    The UK government is not in a position to guarantee continued membership of the EEA after we have left the EU, that is not in its gift; so would it not be a bit pointless for the courts to lay down as a matter of law that Parliament must be asked to give prior approval to the UK leaving the EEA, separately from any approval for the government to serve the Article 50 TEU notice that parliamentarians may be asked to give?

    If Parliament is asked to pass an Act to authorise the government to trigger Article 50 TEU on withdrawal from the EU then parliamentarians should assume that by doing that they are also authorising the possible or probable consequent withdrawal of the UK from the EEA; the most that the government could offer Parliament would be a promise that it would try to persuade the other EEA members to allow the UK to stay in the EEA.

    Obviously Parliament should consider this aspect of withdrawal from the EU if it is asked to give fresh approval of the service of the Article 50 notice – supposing as is quite likely that the Supreme Court agrees with the absurd judgment of the High Court that there has not already been sufficient expression of parliamentary consent to the use of prerogative powers for this, through three Acts passed over seven years – but it could not possibly be constitutional for judges to presume to tell parliamentarians that they must consider it, even if they actually needed to be told which they should not.

  26. rose
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    But how can she get back control without leading her country out altogether? To full independence. Just coming out of the single currency isn’t enough.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      France is not just any member state. It is a Founder member and has one of the Parliaments on its soil. For France to rollback the EU would be an even bigger slap in the face than BREXIT. In fact, I really do not think the EU would last any longer after that.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Dear Mark–Couldn’t agree more–We were never wholeheartedly In in the first place and many on the Continent will be over the moon to see the back of us (Bye) –Nothing remotely similar can be said of (La) France

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Also off-topic:


    “Angela Merkel rebuffed a request by Theresa May for assurances that Britons living in the European Union and EU citizens living in the U.K. would keep their rights to residence, work and healthcare after Brexit.”

    “A senior European Commission official had quietly encouraged the initiative in a private capacity, both to improve mutual understanding with London and to avoid any suggestion that European citizens were being taken hostages in the negotiations. If the EU were to say it was ready to safeguard the position of Britons living in Europe, it would gain the moral high ground in the talks, the argument went.”

    “The Germans argue it makes more sense for the EU to keep the trade-off on British expatriates’ rights up its sleeve as a sweetener during the most painful phase of the negotiations, likely to occur in 2018.”

    So they are not bothered about “the moral high ground”, then.

    • Andy
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      The Germans never have been so why start now.

    • stred
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      It could be that Mrs Merkel thought Mrs May was playing silly buggers mentioning this deal, when no-one else on the Leave side had suggested sending anyone home before and even UKIP had ruled it out. Now we have both of these ladies suggesting illegal policies may be enforced.

      • rose
        Posted December 1, 2016 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        I’m not very happy with that “even” before UKIP. Why would they not be honourable and British in dealing with people who are legally resident here?

        • stred
          Posted December 1, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          ‘Even’ because Ukip is smeared as racist and zenophobe by the left.

    • rose
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      The moral high ground here means admitting millions of men from other continents and threatening expulsion of longstanding residents from Christendom. That is open. That is generous. That is liberal.

      I wonder how the other 20 odd countries who agreed with Mrs May’s proposal will feel about this distinction.

    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    When the frenzy at Calais was at its height, Ms Le Pen had quite alot to say via tweets, in French. The British government appeared to be dragging its feet with a kind of “Oh let’s just talk to the rampaging persons who are obviously upset and tell him they could very well behave a good deal better if they really spent a little more time in quiet reflection.”
    This attitude always annoys we British .

    I believe Ms Le Pen became aware a number of British people were reading her tweets, agreeing with her more than anyone else. She tweeted and I paraphrase: “The views I express are meant for French people, alone” It struck me alongside some of her many comments which I have read that she is very conscious that there are contexts of politics and political language and one should not automatically transpose.

    I think Ms Le Pen is a pragmatist. The French elite have sought to criminalise her words to the point she had to avoid mentioning religious and political groupings by name. We had a dollop of this nonsense from Mrs May months ago before she became famous where MPs were competing and mainly struggling for euphemisms to describe or allude to people chopping our heads off.

    If Ms Le Pen wins, let us hope in traditional and wonderful French style she ushers in an era of free speech.

  29. Le Pencil
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Even if Le Pen does not win, she has moved French politics away from its cosy left-wing thought-protectionism into a field of battle that some pundits call “right-wing”. The debate is no longer dominated by the insufferable left-wing liberal narrative of applauding the virtues of sticking your head in the sand.

    Le Pen is now one of two contenders able to manoeuvre without the Elite containing her weapons and strategies. All the media will and are assembling, whole cohorts to advance upon her position in similar fashion as the Remain Campaign,..orchestrated half daily comments by grandees and heads of industry, actors, circus clowns, and door-to-door homemade soap salespersons.

    She may win, totally. She must hope for the usual hyperbolic attacks upon her which will make her case for her. She is only saying what the French actually think but feel too frail in expressing openly.

  30. Our old enemy
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    We will have less trouble in some ways negotiating Brexit with Marine Le Pen. Make no mistake she will fight tooth and nail . But she will have no desire in making Brexit look wrong or counter-productive. Our ties with France could end up a good deal better than now.

  31. ferdinand
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    It may well be that Fillon will win but a vote for him does not reflect the anger in the unemployed French and the people who are fed-up with the EU and its overpowering control. These votes will surely go to Le Pen.

  32. LondonBob
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Again this obsession with Article 50. As professor of international law Ingrid Detter de Frankopan has pointed out the simple course is don’t trigger Article 50 at all.

    Second rate lawyers are misleading everyone by insisting that, in order to leave the European Union it is essential to “trigger” Article 50 in its entirety. This line has been swallowed whole by the government, the media and commentators. It is, however, absolute nonsense. Under international law and under Article 50 (1) itself, only notice to leave is necessary.

    The horror that I feel about this misdirection is compounded by that the fact that if Article 50(2) is ‘triggered’ it implies that the UK government accepts that the EU will decide the conditions of UK’s withdrawal. This has serious consequences. An arbitrary two-year negotiation window; a supreme agency problem between negotiating parties (the European Commission and various powerful governments) and a ratification process that is far from certain. All the while we will be contributing approximately £40bn gross, or £20bn net, to the European project. We will be paying for them to negotiate – and once we get to the end of the timeline there will be no real incentive to reach prompt agreement, as well as no reason to be true to their negotiated position. In fact any excuse of an election, a financial crisis or a small war – could derail years and millions of man-hours of work.

    Now turn this situation on its head. The United Kingdom withdraws from the European Union (as directed by the people of the country in the referendum of June 2016) in March 2017 with immediate effect. The European Union loses almost 14% of its revenues overnight. I suppose our mission / delegation will be received with a great deal more alacrity then they would otherwise. This would turn the screw on the Commission and force them to conclude negotiations rapidly. It would give them less of a chance to strike back, ask for an “exit” premium and force a rapid conclusion on all parties. While it is true that this could descend into a tariff war – it is likely that we would end up with this situation at the end of two years anyway. There is the Commission, 27 other governments with diverse objectives ranging from using Britain’s exit to foster greater unity or to underline the need for retaining sovereignty within the Union.

  33. margaret
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Her comments when interviewed were not the ones arising from a right wing stance. I suppose it is how one views totalitarianism . Is it right or left .

  34. John B
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen a number of interviews with Marine Le Pen on You tube – usually with a hostile interviewer trying to trip her up – and she seems remarkably sensible on most issues. She believes in the nation state having control of its laws, money and borders and that Islamic fundamentalism is a problem that French politicians have been too weak to deal with. She also appears to believe in smaller government but some of her views on state intervention in industry appear to be much more left wing than right wing. As usual, the mostly left leaning commentariat are always ascribing to her policies or ideas that she isn’t putting forward – but they know best don’t they?!

    • Chris
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      She put in a very commanding performance in the fairly recent Stephen Sackur interview, and also at the Oxford Union. Not someone to be underestimated, and she is not “far right”. That is a lazy misnomer by journalists and others who automatically equate immigration control policies with “far right”. As long as these journalists etc continue to make this mistaken analysis, they will continue to be confounded by the rise of Le Pen, and others.

  35. Lordylordy
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Some woman from the House of Lords appeared on British TV. Can’t recall her name or title. Never seen her before. Never heard of her before.Never been elected.She was on about how Brexit was a bad thing.With a smile, she stated she would debate in order to delay, if possible, Article 50, in the hope of NOT leaving the EU. Despite our vote.

    Interestingly and making passing reference to Le Pen, and Brexiteers, she stated that “nationalism” was a terrible threat to the world and she was about to enlarge upon what sounded was a regular rant before the interviewing journalist cut her short.

    Let us hope Le Pen fights her end for “nationalism” and wins in France. We here in the UK have so many people in the House of Lords who need making redundant. They are a bad advertisement.

  36. graham1946
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know much about French politics and assumed that Marine Le Penn and the NF were like our National Front (according to the BBC and MSM). However, when I have seen her interviewed she seems eminently sensible and from your description, I can’t really see much to argue with or be fearful of.

    Maybe she won’t get in this time, but she is surely a coming force, like UKIP which will arrive one day. This terrifies the likes of Junker and the EU elite whose time is surely written on the wall, unless they make a complete screeching u-turn which seems impossible as they cannot see anything wrong with their regime, even after the Brexit vote. None so blind as those who do not wish to see. All empires crumble in the end and the EU is surely due to be one of the shorter lived ones due entirely to the arrogance of the political elite.

    Italy is on the brink and I just hope we are out in time before their banks implode or we will be sucked into the aftermath, which is why, no doubt the Remoaners want us to drag out negotiations and a transitional period. We need to get out now. Ditherer May must get on with it and not only article 50, but fast negotiations as well. Dragging it all out to the next GE is not acceptable. She must surely be aware that she is only PM because of the Brexit vote and if she does not deliver fully by the GE the Tories will suffer.

  37. English Pensioner
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    I can see nothing wrong with what she proposes, broadly it seems to be the position of most countries outside the EU who want to put their own citizens first. Unfortunately these days, patriotism seems to be an extreme right wing crime in the eyes of far too many organisations including the BBC.
    Fillon seems to be a follower of Margaret Thatcher, a good sign if he is able to maintain this stance, but no doubt this will also be regarded by many as being extreme right!

  38. forthurst
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    The French people can at least be relieved that Sarkozy has been eliminated from the field. He claimed to wish to control third world immigration and promoted the exact opposite; he pretended to be a friend of Gaddafi and was instrumental in his overthrow and the subsequent flood of third world economic migrants into Europe.

    Those who want to understand Sarkozy’s real views on how France and Europe should ‘develop’ can find them on Youtube in a press conference he gave in Palaiseau on 17 December 2008, standing in front of the flags of France and the EU, in which he proposed that integration of aliens (apart from Arabs) would be best accomplished by means of the ‘encouragement’ of mixed marriages. This, of course, is identical to the vision of the ‘typical’ nuclear family that is found more and more being promoted in present day advertising. Is Marine le Pen’s vision more ‘extreme’ than that? Is her Party more ‘extreme’ than one that would harbour Sarkozy? If patriotism is so wrong; why is it nevertheless so right for some people? If borders are so wrong, why are borders and walls so right for some people? It is appalling that people have to fight for the right to be themselves in their own countries against ‘mainstream’ parties that hold the opposite beliefs.

  39. Gone cookie
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone noticed that in Obama’s Presidency we have heard more news about a US President and heard him speak at length more than all his predecessors put together? That we hear news commentary about the Middle East more than the sum total of news about and in the UK?
    We want our country back. We want our news back.

    So, they are having an election in France. Good of the BBC to squeeze the news in.

    Well, that’s for the French. Let’s get back to serious and worthwhile news about Pyramid Land and the Land of cookies and Doanld Duck, especially cookies.

  40. William Long
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I think the only way we are going to get free of the EU under our present regime is if it implodes after a defeat for Sig. Renzi in the Italian referendum and victory for Mme Le Pen so lets hope she does win.

  41. E.S Tablishment
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    We do not give a brussel sprout on a bed of slurping live snails with a dressing down from the Green Party what an unelected French politician proposes

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, here’s an article about what will happen if the Supreme Court decides to ask the EU’s Court of Justice whether or not an Article 50 notice is revocable:


    I haven’t read it all, I’ve just copied and pasted the text into a word processing application and found that it runs to over 6,500 words. And if the Supreme Court does make a referral then no doubt the case could run for years before the ECJ finally decided whether or not we could leave the EU without Parliament having passed another Act to authorise the government to start the process by serving the Article 50 notice that the UK intends to leave, or indeed whether we could leave at all, ever.

    And this is all because that liar Cameron did not do what he promised to do and instead allowed the bad losers the chance to start up their potentially interminable legal cases to try to keep us in the EU. I don’t blame Theresa May for that, because it was already too late by the time she became Prime Minister, I blame Cameron.

    For God’s sake don’t wait upon the Supreme Court decision, just introduce the bloody Bill into the Commons and draw up a list of new life peers to vote it through the Lords.

    • Chris
      Posted November 29, 2016 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Your utter frustration and anger is felt by many, Denis.

  43. Herr Düher
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    The French nation is deeply divided binary fashion on whether to stop all immigration or whether Marine Le Pen’s hair is bleached.

  44. Richard Butler
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    France has it’s own rust belt areas, once thriving industrial zones reduced to the very same sights seen in the US.

    The same sorts of people, proud and hard working, reduced to non-jobs or unemployment are hurting badly and demand change. The liberal status quo is dead.

    In other news;


    Still no Bregrets…

    68% of people think that Britain should go ahead with Brexit, unchanged from when we asked the same question in October. People who voted to Remain in June are evenly divided between those who opposed Brexit, but think the government has a duty to implement the decision and leave

  45. TheUnknownPolitician
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    The disconcerting way we look at the politics of abroad is through a one representative prism. US politics=Trump versus Clinton, Putin versus ?, Merkel versus? Castro versus ?Le Pen versus ?
    Less likely now I puzzle it, that Le Pen will not beat> ?

  46. a-tracy
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    Interesting, I was under the impression the French National Front were like the BNP anti-immigration, power to the French, nationalistic, protectionist, trade barriers etc. with socialist type policies and illiberal policies on things such as drugs. I’ve just realised I don’t actually know anything about them other than people calling them fascist, I’m not really sure what a modern day fascist stands to do either.

    I read Ed above (Not forgetting of course, that the EU is made up largely of centre-right politicians where as China is still a Communist country). I always thought the EU predominantly centre-left, with the centre slightly to the left also.
    EPP 216 centre, S&D 187 left, ECR 73 right/centre?, ALDE 69 left, GUE-NGL 52 left, Greens 50 left, EFDD 45 right, ENL 39 right?, NI 17 left, vacant 3.
    I’m beginning to think left and right are hard to define because of cross-over policies, some nationalistic policies are right wing yet the SNP is considered left wing.

  47. Cards
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Been having a look at images of present and past French Presidents. None of them openly wore women’s clothes.
    Does the female card exist in French politics as most definitely here and in America?
    Playing the woman-card though is a double defeat if they lose. It came hard to Hillary Clinton and she as JR indicated in a previous blog even spent money on a victory firework display. But in Marine Le Pen’s case all may not be lost if she loses this time. Not if her numbers are very good and the winner does not behave absolutely perfectly.

  48. David Tomlinsond
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    NF economic policies are die-hard socialist. Big government, protection of big French companies, high taxation, and a rigid economic protectionism. Very old fashioned French attitudes, no space for small businesses, nor any encouragement of entrepreneuralism (one quasi French word the French regards as Anglo Saxon).

    Be careful what you wish for!

    • stred
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      This reminds me of when I picked up 2 French hitch-hikers when Mitterand was up for election. They were keen young socialist nationalisers and asked me who I would support. I said Mitterand of course because my holidays in France would be plus bon marche. We may be able to look forward to good value menus in Francs again.

  49. Little Englander
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    We care about Europe and that’s why we invest so much in Nato (the shield) BUT are we actually bothered about the internal politics of the EU and the 27 after all that’s their business isn’t it? We’ve got a job to do which is primarily to ”take back control” which will mean freeing ourselves from the Single Market and seek Trade with the rest of the world and (individually) with those Countries in the EU who wish to do business with us. There is no point in bemoaning the fact, as many do, that negotiations are going to be very tough – of course they are and we expect nothing less and on that understanding we need to go hard ,determinedly and full on and not look for support from others within the 27 either collectively or individually because there will be a price to be paid for compromise and THAT which we cannot pay. Let us get on with what we have to do as all the rest is a diversion. “‘O”” if only it was ALL that simple??? IT IS – it’s us that makes it difficult not THEM.

  50. Ken moore
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Another willfully middle of the road article that careful avoids any reference to political correctness or anything that could possibly be considered ‘offensive’ to a Guradian reader.

    I can’t help feeling JR could have made it right to the top of the political ladder if it wasn’t for his tendency towards fence sitting.

    Europe has been brought to it’s knees by political correctness, Brexit, trump are all reactions to this stifling ideology…but JR will not even acknowledge it’s presence let alone condemn it….

  51. UKPravdaVictim
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    Sky News 11pm 29 11 2016 Reporting from Syria, Aleppo
    “The Syrian Army,and their Russian backers, are pushing the rebels out of their territory ( That is the territory belonging to the rebels ) Showing footage of rebels in civilian clothing firing missiles at the Syrian army. ” Rebels are resisting”
    No, Sky News… the Syrian army is pushing out gunmen( terrorists ) out its own sovereign territory as recognised by international agreement and the United Nations from the Syrian city of Aleppo where the terrorists are using Syrian citizens as human shields and causing them death and injury. Aid backed by the UK is pouring in assisting the terrorists . The famous White Helmets in receipt of the charity aid have been photographed many times firing guns.
    There were no sizeable amounts of gunmen or a “civil” war until the USA provided guns to Islamic terrorists based there.
    Not Russian propaganda. All information provided over time in unguarded moments of the TVcoverage of the BBC and Sky News. Reason, because many of the journalists do not care, nor have information of who the hell is fighting who.

    Posted November 30, 2016 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    He hasn’t even taken office yet.
    His tweet: now:-

    Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 33 seconds ago
    I will be going to Indiana on Thursday to make a major announcement concerning Carrier A.C. staying in Indianapolis. Great deal for workers!

    His tweet 6 days ago:–
    Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump Nov 24
    I am working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S. (Indiana). MAKING PROGRESS – Will know soon!

  53. S. Ian
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    In 2004 the leader of the FN visited the UK to attend a rally and endorse the British political party closest to its philosophy and political style: the BNP.

    MLP may be trying to change the tone but the tune is still the same. The FN remains a political movement steeped in the French ultra-conservative tradition of Action Française, Charles Maurras, and pro-Vichy elements with all the residual anti-semitism, xenophobia and disdain for democratic values.

    But, hey, Mr Redwood reads a piece on the FN’s website attacking the EU for reasons he can relate to and shares this with us, without any consideration the above. An astonishing omission, suggesting a shameful willingness to embrace Europe’s most reactionary elements as allies in a myopic struggle against the EU.

  54. Dioclese
    Posted November 30, 2016 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Personally, I hope she gets elected.

  55. Iain Gill
    Posted December 1, 2016 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    I actually think more analysis of Trump is needed, much of what he says applies to the UK too, his views on ways to promote and fight for the local workforce in patriotic ways would be good to see represented in our own politicians

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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