Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Respectable Right Reminded of Its Disreputable Past

Manuel Valls caused a bit of a stir yesterday when he reminded Claude Goasguen of his extremist past. Then Gérard Longuet, former defense minister and leader of the extreme-right group Occident in the 60s, took to the TV to defend Goasguen. "It was half a century ago," Longuet said. True enough. So why did Valls bring it up now? Because the "respectable" right, which includes these refugees from the disreputable past, is accusing the government of being in league with the "Black Block" casseurs who made a mess of downtown Nantes in conjunction with a demonstration of écolos who are protesting the proposed airport that has been a pet project of PM Jean-Marc Ayrault.

Followed all that? A peaceful demonstration of écolos against an airport backed by the head of government veers into violence when a groupuscule of hooded thugs goes on a rampage. The "respectable right" blames the violence on the government, on the flimsy pretext that there are representatives of the écolos in the government, even though the protesting écolos were objecting to nothing other than the pet project of the PM. And even though those protesters had nothing to do with, and even tried to stop, the dérapage. So Valls, rightly annoyed by these attacks, dredged up some past history, when the grandes gueules of the Right, who have nothing better to do today than make catcalls in the AN, were themselves casseurs busting the skulls of the ex-Trotskyists who now sit in government. C'est la France, quoi! What would political life be without a tempest in a teapot now and then.