by Ramin Mazaheri
The French Socialist Party has the first round of their political primary on January 22nd, and as a longtime news correspondent in Paris I thought it incumbent on me to make a fun prediction.
The fun, if you couldn’t tell, has already started: the incumbent, Francois Hollande, is not even running for re-election.
Let’s bask in what a historically huge loser Hollande is: I cannot recall any incumbent Western president who has not even tried to win re-election. In the US LBJ did 1 win one election before throwing in the civil rights do-rag.
Hollande will go down as a huge traitor to his people: He campaigned on ending-austerity but instituted 5 grinding years of it. Idiot commentators who will talk about how “presidential” he looked during 2 terror attacks, but they don’t realize that such image-related concerns to the millions of people wondering how they will buy food when they have no job.
So, Francois is not there – and everyone is glad about that.
Who does that leave us with? I’m going to start positive – there is always the option of total nuclear annihilation before having to endure the soft parade of fake leftism that will be the Socialist Party primary.
However, failing that, I’m still going to stay positive and predict that Benoit Hamon “comes out of nowhere” to win it. The same surprise has happened with the conservative Republicain Party and Francois Fillon, after all.
I’ll put it simply: In years of covering the Socialist Party and talking to Benoit Hamon I have always thought that he is a rare Socialist Party politician who might actually have a soul. That is an uncommon occurrence, and it is a sincere compliment.
Yeah Hamon’s not a true leftist, because he’s in the Socialist Party, but I am glad to see that he has recently shot up in polls to 3rd place. Hamon is on the correct side of many issues, and he’s always been on the far-left of the Socialists.
He has the courage to promote ideas like guaranteed monthly revenue (welfare) of 750 euros per month. I know people who don’t make that here and that would make such a huge difference in their lives. What’s more, it what would be a huge improvement in the standard of living for the enormous number of people from 18-30 who suffer from tremendous unemployment.
I’ll be honest with you, trusty reader, I just checked the headlines on Hamon and he’s actually leading the polls following last night’s primary debate! This paragraph is letting you behind the curtain of how journalism works, LOL!
Good for Hamon! Maybe French leftists aren’t a bunch of poseurs like I think!
Truly, Hamon has always appeared to me like an authentic person, and I cannot say that at all about his main rival, longtime minister Manuel Valls.
It’s funny to write that Hamon and Valls are rivals – Hamon has been a junior cabinet minister while Valls has been the Interior Minister, longtime Prime Minister, and was the most popular politician for some time. English-language journalists have been writing that Hamon has “come from nowhere”, but junior minister is no small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, and Hamon has always impressed.
Manuel Valls is the type of soulless, ruthless, professional politician that the West specializes in. As the mayor of a heavily-Muslim Parisian suburb he would march with a pro-Palestine t-shirt, and then once he got into the upper echelon he openly espoused his everlasting ties to Israel. Voila.
Valls should lose because he’s been Hollande’s right-hand thug to enforce austerity. “Thug” is the right word – Valls is the one responsible for thousands of arrests of anti-government protesters; countless instances of police brutality; house arrests, warrantless arrests, arrests of (gasp!) non-Muslim environmental protesters.
Valls carried out the order for the State of Emergency, and he also incarnates the Blairist/Obama “3rd Way” philosophy which is just ruthless imperialist capitalism with a gay-friendly face. Valls should lose just like Clinton, Cameron and Renzi lost, if the “white trash revolution” (WTR) continues to be a significant historical trend in the West (and you can throw me in with the trash). It would be fitting if France lost doubly – Hollande and Valls – because whenever the whole world loses France seems to lose twice as badly, LOL.
Hamon should win because the center and right wing of the Socialist Party has totally discredited themselves and must be purged. Such a purge is justice, and it’s necessary for democracy. Otherwise you get 2 mainstream parties which are the exact same, and who wants to live like the Americans or English?
Of course, the WTR will only lose for a short time, just until people realize that the right – just like the center – cannot and should not govern, only the left can. So the WTR is a victory in the long run (vote Le Pen against Fillon in the 2nd round, French readers).
Valls is now running behind Arnaud Montebourg too? Man, I have been in Cuba for the last month (take a moment to salute some real leftists), but this has to be a recent development!
Montebourg is not bad, but he’s simply not viewed as “the one” – he’s also too tainted by being a Socialist Party bigwig for so long. Unlike Hamon, he’s not new – Monty has been around a long time and he may have already lost his soul. One is not sure that Montebourg is a genuine leftist or not. Montebourg may even be one of those poor guys who is so very sincere that he comes off as insincere.
After all, he was Hollande’s Minister of the Economy and resigned after it became clear Hollande would stick with austerity all the way.
The Socialists picking Montebourg would be a good development – he is from the left-flank of the party, but he’s not as left as Hamon.
France wants – France needs – new blood. This is half the reason Marine Le Pen is doing so well: the establishment is totally discredited to the point where people are saying “let’s give the far-right a chance”.
And just as the establishment works to overtake any threat of real democracy – like the Arab Spring – so the establishment has propped up their own “Obama”, someone who is all image, no substance, and no real change.
I was talking recently with a typical “oh-so-proper-and-nice English journalist who really is just aghast at all the bad things in the world but let’s not change horses in mid-stream” about the French left and he brought up Emmanuel Macron.
I did a double take because I thought he misheard the word “left”.
Macron is a former Rothschild banker – it would take a religious conversion for him to be a leftist. People convert all the time, abut he clearly has not yet.
But get used to Macron’s smug face because he will be around for the main reason that the English-speaking press loves him. The reasons are obvious – he’s a banker, and then there’s also that he worked in a bank. The strictly pro-capitalist English-speakers see him as one of their own even though he has a girl’s name.
The French, however, see Macron as they are increasingly viewing Hamon – as someone new. And being such a person is no easy feat in French politics because there is absolutely no new blood here.
In the UK, if you lose then you’re out. In the US it’s similar, but only now is the Hillary machine finally smashed. But in France it’s the same people over and over, who all went to the same school, who go to the same parties, who live in the same bubble and who have never really worked a day in their lives because working on a political campaign doesn’t count.
Dominque Strauss-Kahn defied all precedent by actually being brought down by a sex scandal, but he was the exception that proves the rule. Sarkozy came back despite a half-dozen corruption cases; Alain Juppe, who was the Republicain Party front-runner until the last 3 weeks, was exiled to Canada for 3 years after being convicted of corruption.
Macron intelligently broke with the Socialist Party because he knew two things: he is no socialist, and the Socialist Party’s about-face on austerity has doomed them for at least 1 election cycle, preferably 3 or 4 to clear out the old generation, assuming there can ever be any real justice among mainstream politicians.
Macron – why am I still writing about him, ugh! – started his own party called “En Marche”, which is exactly what dog-sled drivers in Quebec yell at their dogs before whipping them again – you may recognize the Anglicization of this as “mush”. If I can make a crude psychological rendering without losing your journalistic respect, please: Macron gets whipped by his wife – his former high school French teacher who is 24 years older than him – and then he whips us, is that what’s going on here? I vote ‘no’, Emmanuel.
Decades of Macron is yet another reason to hate Hollande: He’s the one who plucked a 37-year old banker from obscurity to replace the honorably departed Arnaud Montebourg. What did I tell you about how France’s politicians being the same permanently-stained socks tumbling around in a dryer? You think I make stuff up for fun? I write journalism, not fiction – look at that clichéd metaphor for proof why.
Macron will also stay around because he most accurately represents the average leftist among his (my) age group which is such a letdown not just personally but globally: Pro-European Union, pro-Eurozone, anti-xenophobia – it’s the “fake leftist trifecta” which is oh-so-popular at French parties but which is nothing but snobbish, effete, hyper-individualistic and culturally chauvinistic fake leftism.
If you think sincere, international leftism is popular in France…well, firstly there’s just so many French grandfathers who I don’t know how many Algerians and Indochinans they killed but I know they killed enough still around, but to be au courant I’ll point out that Hollande’s purely imperialist (and totally destabilizing) wars in Mali and the CAR had overwhelming approval rates here.
That’s the candidate recap. So what’s the best outcome?
That same solid, reliable mainstream English journalist posited that the Socialist Party would break up.
The Socialist Party will never break up, because Socialism will never die.
It is alive and well in places in non-imperialist countries unlike France and it’s actually popular among a small, dedicated minority within France.
The Socialists should break up, certainly, or at least rename themselves. They are totally discredited by refusing to fight austerity, and French voters should seriously pause if hypothetically given a choice between handing power to the actual real people who staff the current Socialist Party or an imaginary Torture Children Party. “Hey, the TCP at least will stop listening to Brussels on economic austerity. Just keep an eye on your kid, that’s all.”
Ultimately, sober citizen that you are and God bless ya for it; you have just read an entire column about a Socialist Party which has no chance at all to make it to the 2nd round of France’s presidential election this spring. Much like the Democratic Party in the US, you can totally write off the Socialist Party in France until checking back in during their mid-term elections.
But remember, Hollande came into power controlling both houses of Parliament and nearly all the provinces, and yet he still refused to implement any true leftist programs. The same can be said for the man leaving office on this very day in the United States, Barry Obama.
Both leave with their parties in total disarray and their countries in far worse condition because they willfully ignored the needs of their own peasants – like me – and we do not forget and we do learn.
Hamon in a surprise. Just to add a bit – just a bit – of genuine leftism into the repugnant right-wing mix that is the French presidential election of 2017.
Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.