Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Extreme Right

A new book on the extreme right in postwar France is reviewed here.

Popular Front

The NPA and Parti de Gauche may join forces for the regionals. Talks are under way. The question then would be what line this popular front would take toward alliance with the PS in the second round.

Could this alliance force the PS to clarify its thinking? Are there more votes to be gained in the center (as I believe) than on the left? In any case, the European elections seem to have galvanized the left of the left. The left front turned out to be little more than the rump of the Communist Party with a trickle of new votes from Mélenchon and friends. And the NPA didn't break out of the LCR ghetto. My guess is that combining forces won't win them many votes over their combined total and may even lose a few (what will the hard-core Trots in the NPA make of an alliance with the PCF?). This is electoralist politics of the sort that Mélenchon et cie. left the Socialists in order to leave behind them. Its only virtue is to strengthen the hand of the extreme left in negotiations with the PS. And who in the extreme left really thinks that's a goal worth winning?

The NO Interview

The president apparently asked Le Nouvel Obs to interview him. Denis Olivennes, the director, and Michel Labro, the editor, accepted the request but did not consult with the magazine's staff. There was a fuss. The result is excerpted here (I don't have the print magazine). All I can say is, I understand why the NO journalists were miffed to have been bypassed. This is supposed to be Sarko's assessment of his first two years as president? These are his confessions of error? The questions are softballs, the errors are venial (Today I wouldn't have lost it with Joffrin, I respect the fellow, I had to grow into the job, etc.) Well, maybe they saved the good stuff for print.