An American observer comments on French politics.
Royal was invited to Dimanche Plus today to comment on Tunisia (probably scheduled a long time before as I don't think she's a specialist in North African matters!) The first sequence though dealt with the FN and she made good, clear points:- As of today, the FN has a candidate and a few good programmatic lines, it's thus highly visible- The FN will feast on all of Nicolas Sarkozy's unkept promises and on all his lies- The FN will gain traction because of the increasing poverty or sliding off the middle class for a large number of French people - feeling destabilized, they may look for scapegoats and for whoever promises safety and stability- The FN has always been anti-European and has always recommended that France return to the old "francs" - and the recent crisis may sound like it proves them right.The diagnostic is clear; what's new is that Royal added "we'll have to hear people's worries and offer real solutions" instead of the dismissal usual among socialist circles. "When there are problems people need answers. If credible, solid, complicated answers aren't provided, then people turn to simplistic answers."Le Pen's speech today: "Socially, I'm on the left; economically, I'm on the right. And above all, I'm from France."
If you want to watch, the reports about Fn and about Tunisia are worth it:http://www.canalplus.fr/c-infos-documentaires/pid3354-dimanche.html?vid=413191
Well, it may have been premature to think that Royal's diagnostic and risk about the FN would be heeded (as noted above, the fact someone on the left would make a clear-headed analysis of the situation is new for the PS).If Royal's diagnostic is clear, her fellow "elephants" don't seem to have heard her (or refuse to believe her): according to the PS leaders, "Marine Le Pen is Sarkozy's creation". Keep ignoring her, she'll go away, I'm sure! Socialist ostrich, meet sand.http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/actualite/politique/20110117.OBS6410/marine-le-pen-vue-du-ps-une-creation-de-sarkozy.html
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