Sunday, March 27, 2011

Grass-Roots FN Voices

Yesterday I said that it would be interesting to know what FN voters are saying to themselves about the party's remarkable resurrection under Marine Le Pen. Le Monde obliges to a certain extent. We find a little of everything, from the frankly racist:

"Tous ces bougnoules, ils ne font rien. Ils ont tous les droits, vous savez, ceux qui sont un peu "panachés". Ils roulent en BMW qu'on peut même pas se payer. Il faudrait tous les mettre dans un bateau avec un trou dedans. Tous ces "ben-boulas", ça me bouffe." Elle votera FN au second tour.


To the socially abandoned:


"Depuis la fermeture des houillères, il y a un problème d'emplois et de logements,note M. Schuler. On était pris en charge du berceau au tombeau. Ce ciment a disparu. Il y a un sentiment d'abandon. Il y a aussi une réaction de rejet face au comportement de certaines populations, pas forcément immigrées d'ailleurs. Les autochtones sont déçus, ils ont perdu leur emploi." Et le candidat UMP, condamné en 2007 pour concussion, d'évoquer des "incivilités", des "populations qui ne veulent pas faire comme tout le monde".


To the competitively displaced:


Ici, beaucoup de gens - élus compris - évoquent "les Turcs" qui investissent et"rachètent les bars""Avec les houillères, des étrangers sont arrivés. Il y en a peut-être 30 % qui sont partis. Les autres sont restés. Surtout les Turcs. Ils ont beaucoup d'argent, on les laisse faire ce qu'ils veulent", affirme un artisan d'une quarantaine d'années, qui ne veut pas donner son nom.


To the careerist seeking advantage:


M. Gourlot, 51 ans, agent de maîtrise SNCF et syndiqué CFTC, lui, n'utilise pas ce genre de rhétorique. Il fait campagne en tractant dans les centres-villes et en faisant du "boîtage" dans les lotissements. M. Gourlot se présente comme "le candidat de Marine Le Pen""C'est mieux que de dire Front national", avoue-t-il. S'il essuie quelques refus, d'autres personnes sont très intéressées par son discours. Comme ces quatre amis rencontrés à Carling.


To the CGT trade unionist who retains a bit of the old marxisant social analysis coupled with racist talk from a coworker:


Tous disent qu'ils ont voté et qu'ils voteront pour le FN. L'un d'entre eux affirme être cégétiste, travaillant sur la plate-forme chimique voisine. "Je vote FN pour le social, la défense de la Sécurité sociale. Pas sur les immigrés. La gauche a peut-être pas assez fait ses preuves sur ça. Il faut savoir goûter à autre chose." Un avis que ne partage pas son ami. "La gauche ? ! Et pourquoi on est dans la merde ? Ils ont ouvert les portes, ils sont venus par wagons (les étrangers). Avec tout ce qui traîne derrière, ces jeunes qui ne font rien." Il affirme qu'il vote FN pour "la France aux Français".


To resentment of both immigrants who have risen to positions of responsibility and those who are perceived to be less hard-working than their elders:


Le patron, d'origine algérienne, ne cache pas sa préférence pour le candidat UMP. Comme l'ensemble des gens présents d'ailleurs. Beaucoup sont des fils d'immigrés venus travailler dans les mines. Mais, à demi-mot, ils expliquent le score du FN. Pour Bogdan, 56 ans, "les vieux immigrés se tenaient à carreau. La troisième génération ne travaille pas. Les gens ici sont républicains. Il n'y a aucune adhésion aux idées du FN. Ce n'est qu'un ras-le-bol. Au second tour, ils voteront UMP." "Le seul bulletin que l'on peut mettre contre l'UMPS, comme ils disent, c'est le FN, ajoute un de ses amis. C'est vrai, c'est la même chose l'UMP et le PS. Je pourrais voter FN pour ça."
In any case, it seems clear that "immigration," in one guise or another, is a major theme. Interestingly, Theda Skocpol, in her analysis of the Tea Party that I discussed here yesterday, noted that immigration is an important theme for Tea Partiers as well, but it is not always overtly xenophobic or racist; rather, the complaint is that the immigrants are newcomers who obtain government benefits that "rightly belong" only to those who have "worked all their lives to deserve them." The idea, somewhat confused, to be sure, seems to be that belonging to the longer-implanted group transfers some cumulative merit to the individual, so that if you and your ancestors worked in, paid taxes to, and (perhaps) fought for the nation, be it France or the US, then you are somehow "more deserving" of social benefits such as unemployment insurance, retirement income, medical care, etc. than more recently arrived citizens, even if they too work, pay taxes, fight, etc. And of course if the arrival is illegal, that only compounds the offense in the eyes of the aggrieved.

11 comments:

Kirk said...

Damn, I must be doing something wrong. I'm an immigrant, and I don't have a BMW. I don't get any welfare either. Rats.

Anonymous said...

@Kirk: When they say "immigrants", they mean "those who used to be colonized by us". You're not an "immigrant" by their definition.
They don't even mean a specific color although religion factors in. But Romani are White and (often devoutly) Christian and are hated for begging, flypitting, and squalid migrant camps; strictly speaking, North Africans are White but aren't perceived thus because they're Muslim.
In an article I read, some African-French would consider voting for the FN because they believe the problem is non-French speaking immigrants (ie. Turks v.Algerians, Somali v. Senegalese...) I was speechless for a while....
People hear whatever they want in Marine Le Pen's speeches which also explains why they like her so much. :)
Nevertheless, here's a comprehensive "tour de France" within Dijon, in English.
http://www.mediapart.fr/en/journal/france/250311/middle-france-losing-hope-mainstream-politics

Kirk said...

@Anonymous: I was, of course, being sarcastic. This said, you probably can't tell my skin color from my comments here... :-)

Yes, it's interesting that even underclass groups - French-speaking Africans - are trying to find an "other" to blame things on. There's alwasy an "other" to every group.

Anonymous said...

@Kirk, I didn't assume your skin color but I assumed you were from the US (or the UK???) :p

I too heard the "voter Marine c'est pas comme voter FN, c'est pas la honte" mentioned in the article!

Anonymous said...

Blame it on the rain, blame it on Daylights Savings (is it 5? 6? 7pm right now?? If you don't have an automatic clock it's confusing..) but even FEWER people came in to vote. And no trend that I can see so far - here and there, reports that those angry people who'd claimed they'd voted for the Marine Wave didn't show, but it's not enough to be in any way conclusive or anything. Sorry.
Myos

Anonymous said...

None of my usual sources are responding. Trying not to over interpret, but it may mean something's happening.
Rue89 has excellent "live" coverage.
http://www.rue89.com/2011/03/27/suivez-les-resultats-du-premier-tour-des-cantonales-sur-rue89-197171
The FN could get 10 counties, even up to 14 but that's not really considered likely.
Myos

ps: The Rue89 7:26 tweet that details possible FN counties

Les cantons qui pourraient basculer : Brignoles et La Seyne (Var), Nice 5 et Nice 3 (Alpes-Maritimes), Marseille La Capelette et Marseille la Pomme (Bouches-du-Rhône), Bouilly (Aube).

Egalement, Perpignan 9 (Pyrénées-orientales) où se présente le compagnon et boîte à idées de Marine Le Pen, Louis Aliot. Enfin, Montigny-en-Gohëlle (Pas-de-Calais) où Steeve Briois, le secrétaire général du parti, est candidat.

Le FN peut également faire des scores élevés dans les cantons de St-Dizier-ouest (Haute-Marne), Noyon (Oise), Pont-St-Esprit (Gard), Béziers-4 (Hérault) ou Roubaix-est (Nord).

Anonymous said...

Let us hope this is a purely regional trend, not a national trend: here, in the rural counties with a FN candidate, the (very sightly) higher turnout means... a higher percentage for the FN. Even in the left-leaning counties - I don't live in the Southeast or in the North where the FN is expected to win, but I'm hoping it's not a national trend.
Myos

Anonymous said...

Domenach is already tweeting that UMP's going to have to discuss whether they keep Sarkzy or throw their lot with Juppé for 2012....

Sam Spade said...

Your characterization of the Tea Party as anti immigrant is wrong and misleading.
In the U. S. the Tea Party and most conservatives always make a distinction between legal and illegal immigrants. The issue is illegal immigration, not the people who come here via the legal established immigration process.

Arthur Goldhammer said...

Sam, The characterization of Obama as a socialist on the Free Republic site where you normally hang out is, by my lights, wrong and misleading. So I guess we're even.

Anonymous said...

Sam mustn't be from AZ and mustn't have watched the news for a while. :p

As for Obama being a socialist, it's about as true as saying Glen Beck is a fascist. Grandstanding, exaggeration that is detrimental to actual discussion.

Weird that the Tea Partiers wouldn't want to be associated with Marine Le Pen's Party. I'd think they'd embrace it actually, with its new, whitewashed, anti-elite, populist message.

The discussion Marine's FN v. Tea Party is really very interesting.