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The future is Marine Le Pen A Macron victory won't hold back the tide of populism

She has broken French politics (JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)

She has broken French politics (JOEL SAGET/AFP via Getty Images)


April 14, 2022   6 mins

Whatever happens in the second round of the French election, Marine Le Pen will be able to claim victory. If the polls are correct, as they were in round one, she will receive around 46% of the vote. But while Le Pen will fail to win the presidency, she will be able to saviour another prize: the knowledge that she has forever broken the mould of French politics.

Step back and look at the evolution of the national populist vote and the story is one of stubbornly persistent growth: 0.75% in the first round in 1974, 15% in 1995, 18% in 2012, over 21% in 2017, and, now, to over 23%. But even that is only a partial picture.

Combine Le Pen’s vote with Eric Zemmour’s and Nicolas Dupont-Aignan’s and the picture is far more dramatic. Together, they polled more than 32% — ten points more than what Le Pen won five years ago and nearly double what she received a decade ago. Remarkably, they received a higher share of the vote than all of France’s Left-wing parties combined.

In the next round, Le Pen is forecast to surpass the 33% she won in 2017 by 13 points — more than double the 17% her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, polled in the final round 20 years ago. Such is Le Pen’s progress that were she to replicate her father’s vote, which stunned the world, then it would be seen as a colossal failure.

Nor is she anywhere near as toxic as he once was. According to one Ifop survey last week, almost half the French, 46%, said they trusted Le Pen to defend democratic values (versus 50% for Macron). Many people simply no longer view her in the way an earlier generation saw her father. She is transitioning from the margins to the mainstream.

None of this was supposed to happen. One very fashionable narrative during the pandemic was that Covid-19 would kill off populism as people flocked back to the old parties, the technocrats, and the experts. Take a report by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, which concluded that support for populism had “collapsed” since the Covid outbreak, due to a “technocratic shift” in global politics. “Electoral support for populist parties,” wrote the lead author, Dr Roberto Foa, “has collapsed around the world in a way we don’t see for more mainstream politicians. There is strong evidence that the pandemic has severely blunted the rise of populism.”

But the elections in France, and elsewhere, point in the opposite direction. Two-thirds of the French just voted for anti-establishment candidates outside of the incumbent president and the two mainstream Gaullist and socialist traditions which have dominated post-war France. Combined, support for the French Gaullists and the socialists collapsed from 54% in the late Eighties to just 6% today. Over the last half century, the French socialists — once the pre-eminent Left-wing party in Europe — have fallen from over 40% to just 1.7%. They are, in short, almost extinct. It is Marine Le Pen, not the Socialists, who can claim with a straight face to be the main working-class party in French politics.

Nor, for that matter, do many other populists appear to be struggling. As Roger Eatwell and I argued in our book, National Populism, they have become a permanent feature on the political landscape. In Germany last year, for instance, the Alternative for Germany’s share of the national vote fell by just 2 points to 10%, leaving it with 83 seats in the Bundestag (something that would have been considered unthinkable only a decade ago). In the Netherlands, while support for Geert Wilders fell slightly, support for Thierry Baudet’s Forum for Democracy increased, putting them both on 16% — an increase on their result four years earlier.

In Norway, the Progress Party has fallen nearly four points to 12% but further south, in Portugal, the new Chega! (Enough!) Movement just entered parliament for the first time with 7% of the vote and their first twelve seats. In the Czech Republic, Andrej Babiš recently lost 2 points but still polled 27% while, last month, in Spain’s Castile and León region, the Vox movement won its best ever result with 17.6%. Then, last month in Hungary, Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz were comfortably re-elected with over 54% of the national vote.

Further afield, too, 2022 looks set to reaffirm the existence of national populism, not push it into retreat. In November, at the US midterms, Trumpian Republicanism looks set to have a strong return. Joe Biden’s approval rating, long a solid predictor of midterm results, is now just 42%. This is lower than the approval rating for every other president at the same point in the cycle, with only one exception: Donald Trump. Today, nearly two-thirds of all voters say America is “on the wrong track” while the first polls for the 2024 presidential election put Trump four-points clear of Biden.

Of course, there are examples of populists falling off the rails, such as Bolsonaro in Brazil, who is routinely trailing the Left in the polls. But when seen as a whole, and especially in Europe, the idea of populism being on the ropes is wishful thinking. If anything, the revolts of 2016 look more like the appetiser than the main course.

The notion that Covid would kill off populism isn’t the only narrative Le Pen has overturned. Contrary to the idea, fashionable among liberal progressives, that populist voters would die out, Le Pen’s vote tells the story of a new populist wave in Europe. In the first round of the presidential election, she polled ahead of Macron among everybody under 60 years old. The only people who flocked to Macron’s liberal centrism, like the ageing commentators who flock to liberal centrism on Twitter, were the over-60s.

Look at the polls for the second round, too, and much of Le Pen’s support comes not from nostalgic pensioners who yearn to return to the Fifties but younger voters, especially young women. Typically aged 18-34 years old, they work in skilled, semi-skilled, or unskilled jobs in the new working class — in sales and services — where they have found themselves on the wrong side of globalisation, automation, immigration, and a new cost of living crisis.

Nor is this the only shift. Ever since the Nineties, the Le Pen dynasty has been most popular among blue-collar male workers. But more recently it has appealed far more to socially secure workers on lower-middle incomes who are squeezed between liberal professionals and the unemployed. They are the voters, in other words, who are especially likely to feel they have something to lose, whether from downward social mobility, rising immigration, neglectful elites, or rampant globalisation, much like the skilled and semi-skilled workers who abandoned the Labour Party for Boris Johnson.

Ask Le Pen’s voters to name their top concerns and they are certainly more likely than the average voter to flag their intense worries over immigration, security, and, further down the list, the need to control Islamist terrorism. But their top concern, by far, has little to do with cultural issues: it is their declining “purchasing power”. They are not only united by the sense they are losing out socially, being pushed further down the social ladder behind the new graduate elite, immigrants and minorities — they cannot even afford to tread water and stay where they are.

Amid spiralling inflation and energy costs, Le Pen is appealing to French people who were born between 1988 and 2004, who have no memory of her father’s toxic campaigns, who have grown up in a world where populism is entirely normal, not an aberration, whose young lives were defined first by the global financial crisis and then by the Covid lockdowns, and who have never known a thriving, secure, growing French economy with low rates of unemployment. Why would they trust the old politics?

Many have spent their adolescence amid high youth unemployment rates of at least 20%, low rates of economic growth and, on top of that, some of the worst Islamist atrocities in Europe. Le Pen has deliberately tried to woo these voters in a way her father never could. Look at her policies and you will find the expected call for a national referendum on “uncontrolled immigration”, a pledge to eradicate Islamist ideology and its networks from French territory, and a promise to toughen up sentences for criminals.

But you will also find calls to slash VAT, raise wages, renationalise motorways, and a range of measures for these young people — monthly training vouchers for apprentices, the removal of all workers under 30 years old from income tax, the removal of corporation tax for entrepreneurs under 30, the building of 100,000 new accommodation units for students, and 0% loans for young families to try and stop them moving abroad.

This effort to connect with a new generation of French voters is clearly working. Already, ten years ago, in 2012, the French political scientist Nonna Mayer observed how Le Pen had successfully closed the male-heavy “gender gap” which characterised not just her father’s vote but support for many other populists across Europe. Unlike her father, a former paratrooper who had shown little genuine interest in “de-demonising” his party and was, at times, anti-Semitic, Marine Le Pen has made serious inroads not only among women but also LGBT communities who often perceive their hard-won rights are under threat from radical Islamism.

It is this generation, she hopes, that will continue to push her forward, irrespective of what happens next Sunday. Le Pen may not capture the Élysée Palace this time — but the question, increasingly, is when, not if.

 

Matthew Goodwin’s new book Values, Voice, Virtue: The New Politics will be published in 2022.


Matthew Goodwin is Professor of Politics at the University of Kent. His new book, Values, Voice and Virtue: The New British Politics, is out on March 30.

GoodwinMJ

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JP Martin
JM
JP Martin
2 years ago

The author notes that MLP has shed her party’s antisemitic image and made inroads with younger women and LGBT communities who may perceive their “hard-won rights are under threat from radical Islamism.” Rather than ‘rights’, I would say ‘security’. That is the link between these groups. And without security, rights are meaningless. MLP has made inroads with young women because women in France are much less safe than they were. Harassment on the streets and in public transport is very common. It only gets worse. I know many women who adopt ‘modest dress’ in public, avoid certain areas, or avoid going out alone at certain times, etc. There is climate of insecurity and incivility in many parts of France. The more wealthy can relocate and live in a bubble but not everyone has this luxury.

George Ward
George Ward
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Interesting. Anecdotal I know, but I visited a friend in Paris 2 weeks ago (she’s a nurse in her early 30s), and she has had her phone stolen or grabbed from her 3 times on the subway since 2020. She and her sister also had multiple stories of harassment on the streets.

Douglas H
Douglas H
2 years ago
Reply to  George Ward

Harassment by whom?

Katy Hibbert
Katy Hibbert
2 years ago
Reply to  Douglas H

RoPers, probably.

Andrew Fisher
AF
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Katy Hibbert

You’ll have to explain that term….. Censorship exists on slang….

Simon Denis
SD
Simon Denis
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

Excellent comment, which brings real experience to bear upon the subjects raised by the article. And the article, illuminating though it is, suffers from three blind spots.
First, it doesn’t acknowledge that the hard right of the early 70s really merited the label and that Mme Le Pen’s movement has softened in a number of important respects – for example, over anti-Semitism.
Second, it fails to mention the reputational damage inflicted on anyone who voiced active support for Le Front National artificially restraining its growth. Third, it dodges the real reason for that growth, which is official conservatism’s failure to be conservative, chiefly where mass migration is concerned. Anyone who objected to it was sacked – a la Enoch Powell.
Finally, it ignores the demographic context, whereby the sheer scale of mass immigration over the last fifty years now mitigates or cancels out the public’s objections. That point seventy-five percent back in 71 was a tiny fraction of a large, native population. The thirty-two percent of today is a large chunk of a mixed population. See it as a proportion of the natives, and it is quite possibly more than half.
In short, the hard left has so successfully changed western Europe, that opposition to its manoeuvres is perhaps too late. Now, even the most reasoned, grounded, moderate conservative objections to the left’s agenda are treated, by our hard left establishment, as thought they are no more than early seventies Jean-Marie.
This is made easier for that establishment by the fact that where the conservatives are now – at best – liberals, the old hard right have become simple conservatives. The problem here, however, is that whilst conservatism will never recreate the world that the left has destroyed, the left – as usual – has bequeathed a state of inchoate division: a divided people presided over by an arrogant elite relying on cohorts of new clients to back up its process of increasing oppression.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Extremely well described. Unfortunately, if like me you want to do something about the almost complete annihilation of the traditional English way of life and folkways, there don’t seem to be any options on the table.

David Wildgoose
David Wildgoose
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Lale

The English Democrats. It originated as a cross-party “political wing” of the Campaign for an English Parliament which was a response to Blair/Brown’s unbalanced Devolution to Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland and which deliberately made the English politically second-class citizens in their own country.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Simon Denis

Your comment is a total counsel of despair. Racial make up as such – why should we care? (Values, perhaps so). Migrants, in fact, largely DO assimilate, maybe not a high enough percentage, and, yes we can do without the Left endlessly bleating about how ‘their’ values should be respected and ‘ours’ not. But they live very similar lives to the indigenous population in most cases. Many immigrants and ethnic minority populations in fact have notably conservative values. And of course the Conservative Party has been remarkably successful in having a number of MPs and Cabinet Ministers from exactly those backgrounds. (By the way I live in a very ethnically diverse area of London, and for the most part, we don’t live in a ‘a state of inchoate division’).

I for one, couldn’t give a damn whether, for example, we have a black Prime Minister, in fact I hope we do. However I suspect that some of our ‘hiding’ Right, under the banner of anti-diversity or whatever, very much would. One thing conservatives should recognise – indeed, that is almost the meaning of conservatism – is that you can’t simply turn the clock back. Or perhaps you can – mass enforced deportation anyone? Trying to go down that road is a guarantee of total political irrelevance. Yes, Victor Orban has a winning formula in Hungary (a lot of public subsidies included!) – but his is a small ethnically homogenous nation without former colonies and with a declining population.

The 1950s were indeed an exceptional peaceful time with low crime rates, but we can’t simply recreate that world as if the intervening decades didn’t happen.

We need a conservatism, as at other times in history, which actually recognises the modern world rather than endlessly railing against it
For example, it should, for goodness sake, actually be able to actively appeal to Muslims who have, surprisingly enough – conservative values!

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Nicky Samengo-Turner
NS
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago
Reply to  JP Martin

No one gives a damn about LBGT

Saul D
SD
Saul D
2 years ago

The electorate hasn’t necessarily moved to populism, but existing parties have either been tarnished, or have moved away from the electorate, leaving voters with nowhere else to go except to alternatives – literally voting comedians into power, instead of politicians.
If traditional parties want to get back on track they have to ditch the chancers and glad-handers, ditch the chums and cabals and pie-in-the-sky theoreticians and return to the mainstream – which is mostly the same for left and right. A good economy, sound money, help for the poor and sick, a public sector that helps but doesn’t interfere, education that elevates abilities, police that protect, cheap abundant energy, an unsullied environment, plenty of value-enhancing jobs, and light-touch administration that allows people to work. A ship that sails through the centre channel, instead of zigzagging into the weeds from one riverbank to the other.

Prashant Kotak
PK
Prashant Kotak
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Exactly – the technocratic governing classes have been moving decisively leftwards culturally and more centralised economically, while the general populace has been drifting slightly rightward culturally and slightly leftwards economically as a long term trend.

Over time an ever widening chasm is appearing, and something will sooner or later give – either the existing polity fragments completely, or one of the existing parties aligns with general popular sentiment, or new political entities emerge and replace the existing ones.

Andrew Lale
Andrew Lale
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

A truly dangerous comment. Once the Trudeauification of the UK gets under way I predict a trip to the re-education camps for you, your eviction from whatever housing you inhabit and a permanent ‘DANGEROUS PERSON’ stamp on your papers.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Saul D

Sounds like a ‘ motherhood and apple pie list’. There are quite a few contradictions in there – including ‘cheap abundant energy’ – maybe coal? – and an ‘unsullied environment’! We have never lived in a paradise, and certainly didn’t in the early 20th century.

AC Harper
AH
AC Harper
2 years ago

It is probably a mistake to think in terms of Left and Right any more – although it is a narrative that political parties try to maintain.
An idea with more explanatory power might be The Elite (wearing red or blue rosettes (depending on locality)) aligned with neoglobalism and the deep state – and the Populists aligned with more local concerns.
Any ‘Populist’ politician not only has to overcome local Elite opponents, they also have to overcome the global background chatter of the global Elites.
Just as Trump was hated by many, Farage was hated by many, Boris Johnson is hated by many, Le Pen is hated by many. They could be categorised as populists – another term of confected abuse used by the Elites who fear for their comfortable positions.
If Le Pen does win the Presidency I predict even more negative briefing and dirty tricks being used against her.

Jem Barnett
Jem Barnett
2 years ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Centralisation vs Decentralisation seems to be a major theme.

The globalists have infiltrated almost all parties and power bases, and they use that to relentlessly centralise power and funnel it upward. Arena by arena, they expand the reach of the bureaucracy > then use their candidates to award this power base more powers and reach > then funnel that power upwards to federal, and then (end game) supra-national level.

The WHO treaty being written right now is a good example. There was pushback on things like vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination, but the power brokers still want those things. So, far from giving up, they’ve just followed their own blueprint which is to take this matter up over our heads, and install these policies from the level of a global treaty that will be “internationally legally binding”. This will mean that the public have no method/mechanism to push back, the democratic structures have been overruled. Which is actually very scary.

The public largely want LESS state in their lives, and especially in England we vote quite consistently for parties promising the smaller state, lower tax, aspirational, individualist option (note that Labour only ever win when they move to the right and speak of aspiration and individualism, a la Blair).

But despite the clear preferences of the public, the ‘elite’ classes just roar ahead with their centralisation project anyway. And since they’ve captured almost all the levers of true power, they’re most of the way to abolishing democratic accountability. With their next phase, digital bioID for every human, centrally controlled policy-making via supra-national bodies and treaties, and centrally controlled digital currencies… they will complete their project, and there will be no way back because there will be no way to resist — no ballot box you can go to in order to vote these things out. Scary people, and I think they must be stopped now. We don’t have much time left.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jem Barnett
Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago
Reply to  Jem Barnett

Hear hear!!

chuckpezeshki
CP
chuckpezeshki
2 years ago
Reply to  Jem Barnett

Excellent. And so obvious. Here’s the piece I wrote on the COVID crisis with the deep dynamic — Elite Risk Minimization. https://empathy.guru/2021/08/22/elite-risk-minimization-and-covid-empathy-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-ix/

Jem Barnett
Jem Barnett
2 years ago
Reply to  chuckpezeshki

Thanks Chuck.
I was interested to read the framing of masking (of the wider population, not the ‘elite’ classes) as a kind of outsourcing/externalising of elites’ personal risk-management. That’s an astute observation.

I appreciate that you’ve ended with some positives. To be honest, the scale of the problem is such that it can be hard to find positives, but we must… and there truly are some, as you note.

Have you come across this video? (which is a collaboration between Academy of Ideas x the illustrator After Skool)
I think it’s a rather good summary of where we are at, that also gives some suggestions for what we can do at the end of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09maaUaRT4M
Liz Walsh
Liz Walsh
2 years ago
Reply to  Jem Barnett

So agree with your post. Senseless beauty and acts of random kindness are all very well, but in these times we need to perform 1000 acts of tiny noncompliances a day, an unremitting drizzle of sand in the machine, the application of the sharp wedge, wit and humor, to dislodge the inertial respect of the governed for their bosses. Hopefully, those globalist elites will follow the path of their predecessors: climbing ever higher up the tree, but one day inevitably sawing off the branch on which they’re sitting.

Jem Barnett
JB
Jem Barnett
2 years ago
Reply to  Liz Walsh

Well put Liz!

Rob Britton
RB
Rob Britton
2 years ago

I can’t quite believe that the French people would reelect that arrogant little twerp Macron. The idea that voters should choose Macron because he is less bad than the alternative is hardly a glowing mandate.

Christopher Barclay
CB
Christopher Barclay
2 years ago

Why should Covid have encouraged voters to turn away from the populists and back to the technocrats and ‘experts’? The latter have consistently lied – about the origins of the virus (probably a lab run by technocrats and ‘experts’), about the dangers of contracting the virus outdoors (while having their own open-air parties) and the efficacy of the vaccines (which do little to protect people from infection or stop them transmitting the virus to others). The government plans to deal with pandemics drawn up by civil servants over the last two decades were shown to be useless. While globalisation moved the manufacturing capacity for medicines and medical supplies to the other side of the world, the technocrats and ‘experts’ appear to have been asleep on duty. In several countries, governments then tried to force everyone and not just the vulnerable to accept vaccines, whose manufacturers still demand immunity from prosecution for side effects from their vaccines. Meanwhile the technocrats and ‘experts’ have failed to include the growing mental health problems and undiagnosed illnesses in their modelling of health systems that are falling apart. And all of this is reported on by journalists in the established media, who have been shown to be devoid of scientific knowledge and investigative skills.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
2 years ago

Of course Britain had a brief flirtation with a populist politician a few years ago. He was capable of drawing great crowds and adulation wherever he went. They even had a chant for him: “oooh, Jeremy Corbyn…”

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
2 years ago
Reply to  Roger Inkpen

Exactly, it does tend to be forgotten that “populism” comes from the “left” and “right”, Hugo Chavez was a populist as was Juan Perón. What populists have in common is dividing their country into “the people” and “the elite”, and then saying that they represent the people against the elite. Ordinary people will often put up with a lot from their elites, including overlooking there great wealth and even their power, but if the elite become too remote from the concerns of the people, and start denegrating their values then populists come to the fore in politics, and the elite should beware.

Alex Tickell
AT
Alex Tickell
2 years ago

Of course we need “elites”; economic elites who drive industry and make our standard of living viable. The accumulation of wealth has in the past been extremely beneficial to the lower orders and most whining is really just stupid envy.
What we do not need is social, academic and political elites which serve no purpose other than to weaken society and create a population of hopeless victims.
This phenomenon can be observed all over the West and Scotland in particular, where obfuscation and stupidity rule the roost.

Franz Von Peppercorn
Franz Von Peppercorn
2 years ago
Reply to  Roger Inkpen

Day what you like about Corbyn, but he believed in stuff.

Hugh Jarse
Hugh Jarse
2 years ago

Indeed, and all the more dangerous for it.

Last edited 2 years ago by Hugh Jarse
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
ER
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

“Take a report by the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, which concluded that support for populism had “collapsed” since the Covid outbreak, due to a “technocratic shift” in global politics. “Electoral support for populist parties,” wrote the lead author, Dr Roberto Foa, “has collapsed around the world in a way we don’t see for more mainstream politicians”
And there you have it in a nutshell. Our ruling elite have been shown for what they are incompetent, dishonest, delusional, self-serving liars and the Bennet Institute is part of that elite.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
2 years ago

Populism aka what the majority of voters wish and desire… now unavailable in nu britn

Stephen Walshe
SW
Stephen Walshe
2 years ago

Everywhere in western Europe (and in North American and Australasia for that matter) parties to the right of centre are on the backfoot, and usually out of office. In the first round of the French presidential election, candidates to the right of Macron won just 37% of the vote, an all-time low, while Macron is poised for another second round landslide. Everywhere, parties to the right of centre have shockingly little support amongst the under 40s, and of course amongst ethnic minorities. Traditional conservative parties did a terrible job in recent decades in defending conservative values and economic principles of course, and did not respect or protect their base. But populist right-wing parties like Vox, AfD and National Rally just cannibalise a declining right of centre vote, and make it easy to keep the Right in perpetual opposition. It is of no account for example whether AfD have 10 or 12 per cent of the vote, if the government comprises the SPD, FDP and Greens, advancing a gruesome and increasingly irreversible “progressive” agenda.

Last edited 2 years ago by Stephen Walshe
J Bryant
J Bryant
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

I want to believe Mathew Goodwin’s analysis but then I read an alternative interpretation of the voting trends, such as yours, that reaches the opposite conclusion and I’m left confused. The only way for me to figure it out would be to become a student of French politics and analyze the raw voting data–obviously that’s not going to happen.
I can only fall back on my personal observations and experience. Throughout the developed world, the hard left appear to be in the ascendant. There are many conservatives (with a small c) out there but their vote is either split or they don’t bother to vote and they don’t hold conservative governments accountable when they’re elected.
I hate to say it but I’m not convinced populism is taking hold and I think that’s a bad thing for global stability. Look at the US where I’m from. Can anyone seriously believe this fractured country will lead the world in anything except odd ideologies for much longer?

Nunya Business
CB
Nunya Business
2 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

In my opinion the only thing keep the USA looking decent is everywhere else that matters is a bigger shitshow.

Frederick B
FD
Frederick B
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

Did you read the article? You seem to have the exact opposite view to that of Professor Goodwin. His article is necessarily much more detailed than your comment, so perhaps you should pen an “equal but opposite” riposte and persuade Unherd to publish it. I’d be interested to read it.

Francis MacGabhann
FM
Francis MacGabhann
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

Oh, nothing is ever irreversible. The question is, what’s it going to take to reverse it? The left — which includes the media — is too stupid to let go of power when appropriate to do so in the same way as the monkey in the coconut trap is too stupid to simply open its fist and escape. They’ve convinced themselves their ideology is so virtuous, and their virtue so necessary, that it would be irresponsible ever to let “the fascists” into office. They must be stopped by any means.

We see it most clearly in the media, where the word “journalist” is a synonym for “liar”. That rot continues all the way in to the marrow of the left. Like most stupid people, the left assume themselves intelligent and consequently reason that the public can’t tell when they’re being lied to. What they never get is that patience and toleration are not the same things as lack of awareness. Sooner or later, they’ll run out, and that’s when the whatsit will hit the fan. And that worries me.

Martin Bollis
MB
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Stephen Walshe

Thanks for that necessary bucket of cold water.

When Blair won his first election I wasn’t too bothered. The Labour manifesto was ideologically conservative.

Now allegedly Conservative governments pursue agendas that would have been outlandishly progressive at the start of the century.

Until a centre right party properly represents a centre right position, extreme politicians without the intellectual foundation, or political machinery, will continue to split the right vote.

Earl King
EK
Earl King
2 years ago

If the younger generation is more entrepreneurial they won’t find a much of a culture for that in France. Le Pen and her ilk are trying to preserve what it means to be French. That is what nationalists do. The massive muslim immigration and the Islamic ghettoes created have caused friction. Of the French made no great effort to integrate the immigrant muslims. As a result this permanent underclass has not interest in preserving the French monopoly on the economy or French culture. The French economy is moribund. Strict employment rules have simply ground it to a halt. I’m sure there is some innovation but safe to say I never hear about a great new French product.
It is not an inspiring environment unless you simply want to sit by a cafe, drink wine or espresso and eat good bread. In which case it is a fabulous environment.

James Chater
James Chater
2 years ago
Reply to  Earl King

Bit like the UK then? Post-imperial nemesis.

James Anthony Seyforth
JS
James Anthony Seyforth
2 years ago

Vis a vis the entire western world after globalism:

“who have grown up in a world where populism is entirely normal, not an aberration, whose young lives were defined first by the global financial crisis and then by the Covid lockdowns, and who have never known a thriving, secure, growing French economy with low rates of unemployment. Why would they trust the old politics?”

I hope everyone over the age of 40 who had any say in the shaping of the 90s, 00s and onward in culture and politics suffers a breakdown when their dis-empowering worldviews are shattered by young people voting in their own interests, and against the continual lies of the borgy organised handcocks.

James Chater
JC
James Chater
2 years ago

A quite dismal, embittered and fraught ‘future’, I would say. A reaction to retrograde nationalism/nativism will surely soon follow.
The reported non-participation of the younger generation should be alarming.