Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No Boon for Marine

Well, maybe Sarkozy and Copé won't call upon the French to vote for the PS rather than the FN, but Dany Boon, who is more popular than either, will. To be sure, Marine Le Pen was ready with one of her patented one-liners, in which she remarked that artists who make their money in France go and hide it elsewhere to avoid French taxes. Dany Boon isn't Johnny Hallyday, but, hey, why inhibit yourself with the truth when you can score points with slanderous inuendo.

Mélenchon Assesses the Cantonales


Front de Gauche : Conf. de presse 1er tour... by lepartidegauche

Libya, cont'd

Claude Guéant should never have been let out of the Élysée:

Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Claude Guéant, s'illustre une nouvelle fois par des propos maladroits. Après ses paroles assumées sur l'immigration, il explique lundi 21 mars au figaro.fr pourquoi Nicolas Sarkozy a eu raison de prendre "la tête de la croisade pour mobiliser le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies et puis la Ligue arabe et l'Union africaine" concernant la Libye. "Heureusement qu'il était là. Parce que le monde entier s'apprêtait à contempler à la télévision des massacres commis par le colonel Kadhafi, heureusement, le président a pris la tête de la croisade pour mobiliser le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies et puis la Ligue arabe et l'Union africaine", a-t-il exactement déclaré hier dans l'émission le Talk du site.
What a disaster he has been in his short tenure as interior minister. Who would have thought we'd be regretting Hortefeux and Alliot-Marie so quickly?

Meanwhile, all is not sweetness and light between David Cameron and Nicolas Sarkozy. Cameron wants the Libyan incursion to become a NATO operation when the US lays back; Sarkozy does not.

Britain wants NATO to take over but France does not, and Italy is threatening to rethink its participation unless NATO takes command.
In London, Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament that the intention is to turn over command for the international force implementing a no-fly zone to NATO. “Let me explain how the coalition will work — it’s operating under U.S. command with the intention that this will transfer to NATO,” Mr. Cameron said. That would allow all NATO allies who wanted to participate to do so. “Clearly the mission would benefit from that and from using NATO’s tried-and-tested machinery in command and control,” he said.
But France objects to turning Libya into a NATO operation, arguing from the start that Arab countries do not want a NATO label on the mission. Foreign Minister Alain Juppé said in Brussels on Monday that “the Arab League does not wish the operation to be entirely placed under NATO responsibility. It isn’t NATO which has taken the initiative up to now.” 
Translation: Sarkozy is enjoying his star turn on the international stage and does not want to be pushed out of the limelight. (Apologies for the formatting: Blogger has messed things up, and I don't have time to plunge into the HTML. You get the picture, I hope.)

"The FN Is Progressing Everywhere"

That is today's depressing headline. Indeed, the FN scored its impressive 15% despite running candidates in only 1,400 of 1,850 cantons. If you count only the cantons in which the party fielded candidates, its score was 19.7%. In the south, a traditional bastion of FN strength, the results are, as always, alarming:

Le Sud méditerranéen, des bastions repris à Sarkozy. Comme toujours, le FN réalise dans le Sud certains de ses meilleurs scores : 27,54 % dans le Var, 26,86 % dans les Bouches-du-Rhône, 25,85 % dans les Alpes-Maritimes, 25,84 % dans le Vaucluse, 24,51 % dans le Gard et 20,76 % dans les Pyrénées-Orientales. Dans les Alpes-Maritimes, le FN est en tête dans 5 des 26 cantons renouvelables. Il reste en course pour le second tour dans 14 cantons.
But things are no better up north:

Le Nord-Pas-de-Calais, "épicentre de la vague bleue marine". "C'est une région où Marine Le Pen s'est investie personnellement depuis longtemps. Elle est aujourd'hui l'épicentre de la vague bleu marine", estime Jérôme Fourquet. Le FN atteint 23,09 % dans le Nord et se maintiendra dans 17 cantons. Il obtient 22,86 % dans le Pas-de-Calais, et est présent dans 20 cantons au second tour. Sa présence est particulièrement forte dans le fief historique de la fille de Jean-Marie Le Pen, autour de Hénin-Beaumont, de Lens, mais aussi de Valenciennes, souligne l'analyste : "Là, le FN est souvent la seule alternative à la gauche." 
And on and on goes the awful litany. Just incredible.

Here is Pierre Haski's take.