Monday, January 28, 2013

Kapil on Mali

Arun Kapil professes lack of expertise on Mali, but I found his long and informative post on the situation in Mali (with many links to external sources) quite useful.

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?