Monday, January 28, 2013

The UMP and the Pieds-Noirs

Bernard Girard calls our attention to an appearance by Michèle Tabarot, the UMP's no. 2, on Laurent Ruquier's television program. Tabarot resisted attempts by journalists to have her repudiate the violent methods employed by her father and his friends in Algeria, where the elder Tabarot was a senior OAS official in Oran during the most violent phase of the war.

According to Bernard, the interview lifts the veil on the Buisson-Sarkozy-Copé strategy for the UMP, which was and remains to rely on associations of pieds noirs in southeastern France, a strategy already employed with great success by the FN. Of course one would want to see this hypothesis explored in greater depth. To pin such a sweeping indictment to a variety-show interview is to suspend it by a slender thread of evidence, as Bernard recognizes:
Est-ce que cela peut marcher? Les nostalgiques de l'Algérie française sont aujourd'hui très âgés et leurs enfants, bien intégrés, ont pour l'essentiel, retrouvé les réflexes politiques de leurs grands-parents qui étaient plus au centre et à gauche qu'à droite.
Ceci dit, on aurait aimé savoir pourquoi cette anti-gaulliste de conviction a rejoint la famille libérale plutôt que le FN.
And why did Buisson move from the FN to the UMP? Can this really be the future of the French Right, and, if so, how does it relate to neoliberalism in economics? Or was neoliberalism the transient political culture of decades past, now in the process of being replaced by deeper instincts of nationalism, authoritarianism, militarism, and xenophobia?

1 comment:

bernard said...

I believe bernard girard to be absolutely right as I have myself been arguing for a very long time that the geographgy of the FN and that of the Pieds Noirs were way too close for this to be coincidental. In actual fact, even long before the rise of the FN, the characteristics elements were there to be seen plainly in this region, including the way migrant agricultural workers were being treated. A/The fundamental fact to remember about modern French politics is that the war in Algeria has not been digested yet. Do not discount the millions, yes millions of drafted young French adults who had to participate in this abominable war and for some, its exactions and crimes, the collective memory and, for too many, the resentment and fundamental ill will it has produced against those who fought a just war for their liberation. This resentment passes from generation to generation unfortunately, as the political geography of France amply demonstrates. Reconciliation is much harder than continuing hostility and unjust lost wars are the hardest to process into history. Décidemment, la guerre d'Algérie ne passe pas".