483 thoughts on “Blog Housekeeping Point

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  • craig Post author

    Thankfully M. Melenchon has a great deal more sense than many commenters here:

    Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s election team has urged his supporters not to cast a single vote for the far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen in the final runoff in two weeks’ time. The hard-left firebrand, however, stopped short of joining the “anti-Le Pen bloc” and supporting a vote for the independent centrist [sic] Emmanuel Macron.
    “Not a single vote should go to the FN [Front National],” Mélenchon’s spokesman Alexis Corbière told journalists on Wednesday. “Not one.” He said the France Unbowed movement led by Mélenchon was consulting its 440,000 members on whether they supported abstaining, casting a blank vote, or voting for Macron in the second round runoff vote on 7 May…

    • Chris Rogers

      Craig,

      I think you’ll find many commentators have been waiting to see which way Melenchon moved, however, whether they follow Melenchon’s advice is a moot point based on what happened to Bennie Sanders legion of supporters, many of whom either did not vote, voted Third Party when they could, or opted for what was considered the Lesser of Two Evils, namely Trump. The French election, from an academic perspective is most interesting because of the high turnout, significantly higher than the UK or the USA and the fact it really is a binary choice like our EU Referendum – so, if over 80% vote in the Second Round, this will give a very good idea as to how polarised French society has become. Again, you seem to be suggesting Poster are posting comments in support of Le Pen, or at least endorsing her economic policies. Still, I suppose thought is suppressed so why worry as I’m not French.

      • Chris Rogers

        That should of course read ‘Bernie Sanders,’ bloody autocorrect is a right pest!

      • glenn_uk

        Anyone who thought Trump the lessor of two evils has to be pretty goddamned ignorant, which is the kindest interpretation. The other choices are they’re completely stupid, or they appreciate a fascist when they see one.

        • Chris Rogers

          Glenn,

          To date Trump has failed to get anywhere near killing as many people as Ms. Clinton, or her husband, who managed to kill 500K kids in Iraq – Ms Clinton’s death toll is probably heading north of that. They are both fucking killers, as is Trump, but of course he could not begin his killing spree until his operation was set up. Hillary’s was set up years ago – what do you think all the back handers were for: fucking window dressing. Further, and technically speaking, unlike France, the USA is already a fascistic state owned and brought by Corporations – get some bloody facts right and stop your God damn awful moral crusade as it does not wash with me I’m afraid.

          • glenn_uk

            Chris – Trump has been in office 100 days, and has already shown himself to be quite at ease with bombing and droning civilians. You think it reasonable to compare that one-for-one with the well-oiled killing machine of the US, for (Bill Clinton + Obama = 16 years) and lay that all on Hillary Clinton?

            Sorry, Chris, you seem pretty incoherent here. Anyone who thinks Trump or Le Pen, or Wilders, or Farage to be a “man of the people” is seriously poorly informed. A corporate centrist is preferable any day of the week to an actual fascist, as detestable as corporate centrists are.

          • giyane

            Glenn_UK
            “bombing and droning civilians”
            You seem to be suffering from George Bush and David Cameron syndrome.
            Our guys , Al Qaida, Daesh and Taliban, are civilian rebel freedomfighters who are always polite to civilians and shout Allahu Akbar into the BBC microphone when they blow them up.
            Trump has spent his first 100 days in office working out that for great plans to succeed, first of all you have to consume huge amounts of your own porridge, sorry, vomit.
            That’s why he’s been targeting any of his slaves who think Kissinger’s “covert operations ” are for their own benefit.

          • glenn_uk

            giyane: No disrespect mate, but I have zero clue as to what you’re talking about.

          • Chris Rogers

            Actually Glenn,

            Giyane is most correct, I too like ‘rose tinted’ glasses, regrettably we live in the real world with real verifiable facts and a multiplicity of opinion. Of course, anyone with a peanut for a brain was aware how appalling the Clinton war clan is, I mean it was Clinton who went berserk with a highly interventionist foreign policy, one Liar Blair embraces, thus bringing great shame on our nation and facilitating millions of deaths across MENA – Trump by comparison had zero form, had made big anti-war noises, but was quickly subsumed by the Borg – Ms Clinton was the Borg. I’ll give him this, he’s good at willie waving, good at Twitter and good at golf. Now, these may be a good things, but alas the thought of Pence ain’t attractive. With regards both Le Pen and Wilders, now allegedly I’m part of the choir – fucking prove it mate, I’m easy to find on social media and don’t fuck about, but be my guest I find something where I’ve urged anyone to vote for either. I assure you, you won’t find it.

            Now, I’m an old guard left-winger, banned from the Labour Party for being on the Left – I have a wonderful note from McNicol to prove said point and will within the next 10 days be out campaigning in Wales for a Labour government, one of the Left I hasten to add – its all arranged via social media, despite being some 6K miles away from the present action. At least when I meet my maker I’ll be able to say I did my best to fight the rise of the Right and the infection known as neoliberalism that’s corrupted most of our body politic and governing institutions – I actually have a track record of these facts at Bloomberg, Reuters, the Bank of England, and the US Federal Reserve System and a few newspapers, among them City AM.

            Now, either you are out campaigning and fighting against all the shit that is happening, or you are just a shill on social media who writes a great deal but adds no physical action to their discourse – essentially, great at the talk, talk, but very little walk, walk. What is it Glenn and do you wish to join me actively campaigning on the doorstep against the things that perturb you during the month of May?

          • Alcyone

            Glenn my friend you need to observe rather than condemn. Forget everything you know and start from zero, if you want to see the Clinton-Trump reality. So far Trump has just made a couple of noises and put on a fireworks show and a peacock dance or two. Hillary was bloodthirsty in comparison.

      • Iain Stewart

        Chris Rogers

        “The French election, from an academic perspective is most interesting” but for those of us living and working in France the interest is more than merely intellectual. The question of whether her “fascism” stands up to university criteria makes me wonder whether redefining LePen as a far or extreme or moderate “right wing populist” is helpful, since a number of commenters have detected the spurious and opportunistic left wing component in the evolution of her announced policies. There is a perceptible drift towards simply calling her “populist” which I find worrying and dangerous.
        As for Jean-Luc Mélenchon, his continued silence is creating anxiety too, particularly when contrasted with his outspoken support of Chirac in similar circumstances 15 years ago despite their even greater political differences.

        • Chris Rogers

          Iain,

          The sad fact as far as Mme Le Pen is concerned is that you are attacking the messenger for very good reason, without actually paying heed at least to the economic message, which by coincidence or purpose, was a platform similar to Melenchon’s, and as I’m a firm believer that social change comes from economic influences it’s a ‘positive’ that both extremes concur on these issues – if only those ‘alleged’ moderates, namely Rightists would see the light we’d not be having this dialogue. However, another 5 years of neoliberal reforms, many of them advocated by the EU and etched in stone in the Lisbon Treaty, may ignite the change that is necessary if France is to pull itself out of the downwards economic spiral its been in for the past decade.

          As for accusation of ‘deflection’ by the Left with regards commentating on Mme Le Pen, I do find it strange that the UK’s own PM, Ms May, on social issues, namely immigration, is not a million miles away from Le Pen, indeed, her immigration stance in Cameron’s first administration was appalling, so to this observer at least, many seem to be dropping the ball by focusing on those they deem a ‘threat’, whilst the real threats are actually running the show – events in the UK being a classic example of these ‘bait & switch’ techniques. Moral of the tale, if you desire a decent society avoid anyone termed a ‘centrist’ or moderate and vote Left, and for those not willing to legitimise either choices, stay at home – as stated, under no circumstances would this observer vote Macron, he’ won’t vote May, and he certainly would not have voted for a Clinton – such are the ‘real’ limited choices we now have. At least the French take to the streets, whilst my lot, the Brits, just go shopping!

  • michael norton

    I would say if “centerist” E. Macron is ignobled, then the inexorable rise of NATO is guarenteed, Nuclear War in Europe another step closer.
    Very, very frightening.

    • michael norton

      You may even see FRANCE being invited to join FIVES EYES,

      with Macron in Power.

      Ask J. Assange what he thinks, Craig.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Lynton Crosby plan is evident. Attack the man. The vile Tories are obviously getting worried.

    ‘General election 2017: Labour leader a ‘mugwump’, says Johnson

    Boris Johnson has used his first intervention in the election campaign to mount the Conservatives’ most personal attack yet on Jeremy Corbyn.

    Writing in The Sun, the foreign secretary accused the Labour leader of being a threat to the UK and described him as a “mutton-headed old mugwump”.

    He accused Mr Corbyn of being reluctant to use lethal force, opposing nuclear weapons and campaigning against Nato.

    Labour said Mr Johnson was “delusional” and Brexit will hurt the UK’s standing.

    The Labour leader has insisted he supports Britain’s armed forces.’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39727489

    The soaraway Sun report Johnson verbatim and Sky News thinks it is hilarious needless to say. People will see through it.

    Theresa meanwhile was entertaining Juncker and co for dinner at No 10.

    • Sharp Ears

      The BBC have Johnson on live now to expound on North Korea. He blustered and waffled. He was accused of ‘meandering’ himself when he avoided answering the question ‘Would the UK take part in US military action against North Korea?’.

      The BBC presenter Charlie Stait showed some backbone. I could not believe what I was hearing. He told Johnson that his remarks about Corbyn were personal and irrelevant when it was policies that should be under discussion.

    • Sharp Ears

      This is a tweet from the deeply unpleasant son of Glenda Jackson, Dan Hodges.
      https://twitter.com/DPJHodges/status/857481030026047489

      His mother was the Labour MP for Hampstead & Kilburn, previously Hampstead and Highgate, for 23 years.

      ‘She first became a Member of Parliament (MP) in 1992, as Member for Hampstead and Highgate. Early in the government of Tony Blair she served as a Junior Transport minister from 1997 to 1999, later becoming critical of Blair. After constituency boundary changes, from 2010 until her retirement from politics in 2015, she represented Hampstead and Kilburn.’

      She voted against the Iraq war. https://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10308/glenda_jackson/hampstead_and_kilburn/votes

  • Alcyone

    Craig:
    “Thankfully M. Melenchon has a great deal more sense than many commenters here”
    _________
    Freedom and calm and civilised dialogue have their own immeasurable sense. It is the wrong question to answer whether it is a great or little deal more or less.

    Else you are doomed to the cycle of action-reaction. Responding from reality, the “what (actually) is” is a different thing in itself.

    Anyway, it is good that one was able to catalyse such a vibrant dialogue. And special respect to many people, regulars and others who bothered to record their shock at your diktat.

    Finally, I hope it has become clear that race, nationality, religion, culture and authoritarianism are all different things. The most evil spots on the globe are those that combine nationality, religion and authoritarianism.

  • Thorson Bloodaxe

    Suppose that the French electorate decide to vote in this banned person, will all discussion of French matters be banned? I have to say that I am strongly in favour of this latest ban.

  • Liz

    Yes, she is a racist bigot dolled up with 21st century PR. Part of her “sanitisation” involves her coming up with other policies apart from simply kicking out immigrants, and as the second round of the election develops, her statements remind me more and more of the Brexit lying propoganda. As a British born French resident it saddens me deeply to see that she is recycling lies such as the amount France pays into the EU, telling factory workers that their future will be secured if France leaves Europe etc . To think the country of my birth is now ruled and directed with people with ideologies so close to hers depresses me deeply.

    • K Crosby

      Le Pen is an overt version of all the rest so perhaps we could ask our dear readers for information on the numbers of migrants in France being persecuted by the state, particularly by deportations.

    • Chris Rogers

      Liz,

      I’m afraid to say the points you have raised against Mme Le Pen can be applied to the Tory Party and our present incumbent PM, Ms. May, that people are not also referring to Ms May as a ‘fascist’ I find confusing, given the Tories have adopted most of UKIPs immigration stance and as pointed out on this Blog, the BNPs 2005 Manifesto, so in my book, and being cautious, I’m happy to affix the terminology ‘Neo-Fascist’ to both Rightwing groups each side of the English Channel.

      • Iain Stewart

        Glad to hear LePen passed her fascism exam since yesterday (when she was a mere populist)! 🙂

  • lysias

    Yesterday’s New York Times had an article about how Melenchon has refused to endorse either surviving candidate and how many Melenchon voters now intend either not to vote at all or to vote for Le Pen.

    If I were Le Pen, recognizing how, as things stand, she stands to lose the runoff, I would realize the need to do something radical to shake the race up. I would try to achieve an electoral alliance with Melenchon by making significant concessions. That could involve promising important posts, like prime minister, and toning down the anti-Muslim stuff. Opposing liberalism and austerity and working for the working class and against the banksters, they share. It could be the basis of an alliance.

    If Le Pen abandons the anti- Muslim stuff, is she still a racist and a fascist?

    • Chris Rogers

      Lysias,

      The latest English unbiased narrative on Melenchon voters dilemma is covered in Politico, it highlights that Melenchon refuses to endorse Macron and that he’s consulting with his Electorate – latest Polling figures are included in my link, but 48% of Melenchon voters polled will cross to Macron – its the stay at home contingent that is important here, with basically 1-in-3 Melenchon voters refusing to endorse either candidate, so they are staying home, so in many ways, France seems to be mirroring events in last Novembers US election: http://www.politico.eu/article/melenchon-asks-supporters-if-they-will-back-macron/

      • lysias

        But an electoral alliance between Melenchon and Le Pen accompanied by concessions by Le Pen could drastically change those percentages.

  • kashmiri

    That’s killing the discussion. Evem killing an opportunity to state the points against Le Pen. Welcome to Craigistan.

      • Sharp Ears

        For your consideration Norton and some thought.

        ‘The incident took place in Helmand Province during Operation Herrick 14, part of the British effort in the War in Afghanistan. Blackman, of 42 Commando, Royal Marines, was part of a Marine patrol that came across an Afghan fighter in a field wounded by Apache Helicopter gunfire. Blackman ordered the Afghan to be moved out of sight of the British Persistent Ground Surveillance System a camera on a balloon above British Forward Operating Base Shazad, Helmand, covering the area Blackman’s patrol had been sent to.[9] Video evidence played at the Marines’ subsequent trial shows some of the patrol dragging the man across the field and then kicking him. Blackman ordered Marine B and C to stop administering first aid to the insurgent and eventually shot the man in the chest with a 9 mm pistol, saying: “Shuffle off this mortal coil, you cunt. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.” He then added: “I just broke the Geneva Convention.”.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Helmand_Province_incident

        Your remark is deeply unpleasant.

          • michael norton

            Blackman was convicted in 2013 of murdering a Taliban prisoner while on tour in Helmand province in Afghanistan and jailed for life. The conviction was quashed when the court martial appeal court ruled he had been suffering from
            a MENTAL disorder at the time of the shooting in 2011.

            I expect his MENTAL disorder was caused by the choices our government had offered him in Afghanistan.
            Kill the enemy, just do not get caught on camera or u will be on your own.

            The Guardian

  • Shakesvshav

    Did you know that the person regarded as the father of what is called Holocaust denial was French? Paul Rassinier was a left-wing resistance fighter imprisoned at Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora, a far cry from the unspeakable Irving and Le Pen.

  • Joseph MELLON

    Quite right Crag. As a Scot living if France for the last 11 years, Le Pen is a lightly camouflaged ‘indiscutable’. Thankfully the left, the centre and the right are now mobilising against her for the the second round, as it did against Le Pen père. Any result over 20% of Le Pen is bad for the republic and republican values. Ok those values are often more honoured in the breach than in respect, but Le Pen would destroy them.

  • Mari

    Dear Craig Murray,

    Thank you for saying this. Le Pen is a fascist, but a lot of medias in English have been doing massive propaganda about her, saying things like ‘she is the only answer’, ‘she is an anti-establishment’ and ‘she is for people’ etc

    But her FN party and family connection to Vichy regime / Waffen SS / OAS etc has been well documented and I do not think that there is any argument about her being ‘far right’ and ‘fascist’.

    There are photos like this….

    https://blogs.mediapart.fr/matthieu-lepine/blog/140413/les-liaisons-privilegiees-entre-le-front-national-et-lextreme-droite-la-plus-radicale-en-cinq-i?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=Sharing&xtor=CS3-66

    Also, it is important to close look at her voting activity at European Parliament. What she is ‘for’ and ‘against’ are complete opposite of her manifesto. She favours relocation of factories or ‘secret of business’ that protects multinationals and banks. She and her party are basically very much ‘for’ corporations. (Therefore, her blah blah like ‘I am for people’ I am against globalisation’ etc are lies.)

    https://www.bastamag.net/Au-Parlement-europeen-les-votes-meprisants-du-FN-et-de-Marine-Le-Pen-a-l-egard

    Actually, major medias liking her and writing weirdly positive things about her mean that she is funded very well, and it looks almost absurd that so many people believe in the propaganda about her.

    I do not think that she is less pro-corporate than Macron at all.

    • Mari

      Soothmoother,

      French system is different from that of America. Whoever is elected, he/she does neither become the president automatically the next day, nor appoint anyone to the cabinet post.

      There is a next step, another 2 round election in June for National Assembly (equivalent of Congress in USA). The president need to nominate the prime minister from the party who gained majority of the seats. And the prime minister will form his government.
      Therefore, it is not uncommon that the president and the prime minister become the opposition in France. And in that case, the political power of the president becomes rather limited.

      You wrote;
      My question is: Why is the Left stopping there? For the first time in decades the Left has some power and political influence, and they are not using it!

      They refuse to work with Le Pen for obvious reasons. Le Pen if far right and a fascist with deep connection to Nazi collaborationists. It is simply out of question to have any link with her.

      • Soothmoother

        Sometimes it comes down to the lesser of two evils. Macron is likely to follow the Russia baking destroy all countries foreign policy of the West. Le Pen will concentrate on destroying France.

  • Mari

    Le Pen is saying that if she is elected Dominique Dupont-Aignan is the prime minister. This is just her talking, as he declared that he would vote for her. It entirely depends on how the Legislative election (2 round election for National Assembly in June) goes.

    By the way, after Dupong-Aignan declared that he would support Le Pen, his party is in shambles.

    ****************************************
    http://www.lemonde.fr/election-presidentielle-2017/article/2017/05/01/apres-le-soutien-de-dupont-aignan-a-le-pen-defections-en-serie-au-sein-de-debout-la-france_5120521_4854003.html?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_campaign=Echobox&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook#link_time=1493642321

    After the support of Le Pen declared by Dupont-Aignan, series of defections in the ‘Debout la France’ party

    Several officers of the sovereignist party announced their resignation, seeing in the decision of their leader “a moral fault” and “a political error”.

    Three days after Nicolas Dupont-Aignan joined Marine Le Pen – who announced the next day that she would become her prime minister if she was elected – the resignations multiplied within Debout France (DLF). Vice-president of the sovereignist party, Dominique Jamet was among the first to announce his withdrawal.

  • Mari

    By the way, maybe this is not known that much (for anglophone people); Jean Luc Melenchon had a plan to threaten and change EU, but he was not serious about leaving the Union in a way England did.

    And curiously (as expected), Marine Le Pen is now almost flip-flopping about EU and Euro. LOL
    Because just like the LEAVE campaign, she absolutely has NO workable plans.

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