Emmanuel Macron: Ordinary People Get It

Preface by Pam Barker | Director of the TLB Europe Reloaded Project

As analysts like James Petras and Diana Johnstone have observed, Le Pen is no fascist; on the contrary, she campaigned on a left-leaning, pro-citizen, anti-globalist platform. Whatever her notorious father was, it is simply an evidence-free claim to say she is far-right.

Yet such was the strength of that belief which apparently thrust Macron into the presidency more than anything actually positive about Macron himself. The following articles indicate that his share of the vote, when abstentions and spoiled ballots were taken into account, was rather low, surprisingly so.  Further, that only 16% of his own voters actually claimed to support the ambitious reform agenda he campaigned on (think: what the Rothschilds and Brussels want), and that he must seek significant support from existing elected representatives of other, established parties if he is to muster democratic support for his program. Happily, it may thus be difficult for him to inflict his neoliberal, austerity agenda on France.

The third article published below is a wonderful recommendation for the intelligence of ordinary people, those who well understand that Macron’s types are simply not on their side nor will ever be.  Something that escapes the Paris bobo (bourgeois) types who parrot simplistic, media-hyped judgements. Naturally I cannot support retired UK Foreign Office diplomat, Jonathan Clarke quoted below, who believes ‘the French are the calm rational actors under stress and the Anglo-Saxons, facing similar stresses, are the whack jobs’. Utter nonsense. Brexit was the understandable reaction of people experiencing extreme economic hardship under the longstanding neoliberal policies of both the EU and David Cameron’s ruthless conservatives. Another indication of the gaping chasm that exists between people of different socio-economic classes.  

But these days we aren’t allowed to talk about social and economic class after years of elite economic repression. The concepts by which we should harshly judge this cruel agenda have been conveniently removed from our discourse. That just leaves gender and ethnic identity concepts, thus giving rise to ready-made charges of ‘fascism’ and ‘racism’. Ordinary people aren’t fooled, however.

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Macron Overcomes Weak Support to Win French Election by Not Being Le Pen

SPUTNIK NEWS

Victorious French presidential candidate Emmanuel won Sunday’s national election because he was not nationalist Marine Le Pen and was only able to mobilize weak support in his own name rather than a workable coalition, analysts told Sputnik.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Macron was elected president in a runoff election by gaining 66.1 percent of the vote to Le Pen’s 33.9 percent, according to France’s Interior Ministry figures.

“Macron triumphed over Le Pen by nearly two to one. But if you count null and abstentions, he took only 43 percent of the vote, an amazingly poor showing considering the candidate he was up against,” foreign affairs analyst and political commentator Dan Lazare said on Monday.

The result meant that Macron would be a politically weak president facing widespread voter skepticism as soon as he took office, Lazare warned.

“Macron will be operating from a very weak base: Liberalism and its close partner, the French Socialist Party, are depleted, and a growing portion of the population is completely fed up. The French political class should be worried, very worried,” he said.

The outcome of the election was also very bad news for the United Kingdom (UK) and its prime minister, Theresa May, Lazare pointed out.

“I can’t help thinking about what it all means for Theresa May. British foreign policy since 1700 has been based on preventing a single power from dominating the Continent. Yet with Macron’s win, it faces precisely that,” Lazare said.Now the UK and May will face a confident European Commission in Brussels strongly backed by Macron when it seeks to impose punitive terms on the UK for leaving the EU, Lazare predicted.

Retired UK Foreign Office diplomat Jonathan Clarke told Sputnik that French voters had proven more cool-headed and rational than UK voters had been in last year’s EU referendum.

“It turns out that the French are the calm rational actors under stress and the Anglo-Saxons, facing similar stresses, are the whack jobs,” Clarke claimed.

Clarke noted that a large percentage of voters for Macron simply backed him to keep Le Pen out, not because they admired his own qualities.

“It is said that 40 percent of Macron’s voters were anti-FN [National Front],” he remarked.

The legislative elections are scheduled to take place on June 11 and June 18. The candidates have to officially announce their intention to run on May 15-19.

Results of the French Presidential Election
© SPUTNIK/
Results of the French Presidential Election

French Election: Macron’s Campaign Promises ‘Would Be Difficult to Realize’

SPUTNIK NEWS

Newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is likely to face major obstacles as he tries to push through his ambitious reform agenda, Professor of European Politics at the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon Alistair Cole told Radio Sputnik.

“Macron’s objectives would be difficult to realize. I think he has to move quickly from his perspective. He said that he will use the quick procedure to introduce labor reform,” the analyst noted. “If he gets bogged down, if he doesn’t have a powerful majority, it’s going to be very difficult of course to have the basic capacity to push through these reforms.”

Macron has promised to boost France’s slow economic growth, battle high unemployment and promote competitiveness by reforming the labor market and simplifying the tax and pension systems.

Delivering on campaign pledges will be a challenge for Macron, who heads the recently created centrist En Marche! party. The former civil servant and investment banker secured 66.1 percent of the vote (20.7 million) in the second round of the presidential election held on May 7. However, only 16 percent of those who voted for him said that they support his program, according to an opinion poll conducted by Ipsos. Macron will also face opposition from other parties.

“Many on the left of French politics, particularly those people who voted for [Jean-Luc] Mélenchon, have said straight away that although they were pleased that Marine Le Pen was not elected they would robustly oppose attempts to cut the number of public servants and to bring down the debt in those proportions,” Professor Cole said.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the founder of the La France insoumise (FI), received more than 19 percent of the vote in the first round, coming fourth after Macron, right wing Marine Le Pen and conservative François Fillon.

 Nearly 11 million (33.9 percent) of those who took part in the second round voted for Marine Le Pen, making it the highest share that the National Front (FN) presidential hopeful has ever received. Le Pen’s father, who founded the FN in 1977, received 17.79 percent in the second round of the 2002 French presidential election.Marine Le Pen “actually doubled the number of votes by comparison to her father 15 years ago. I think in terms of the result itself she will be a little bit disappointed. The polls were putting her on 40 percent until the televised debate last Wednesday. In terms of the future, she clearly made a strong stake in her speech to head in a way the opposition. But I think this might be wishful thinking,” he said.

France is heading toward the parliamentary elections scheduled to be held in mid-June, with 577 seats of the National Assembly up for grabs.

French People in Regions Skeptical About ‘President of Rich’ Macron

SPUTNIK NEWS

Although overwhelming majority of French voters prompted victory to Emmanuel Macron, an independent candidate and former economy minister, average people in the country’s regions are rather skeptical about fulfillment of his political program.

HAYANGE (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Macron won French presidency with 66.1 percent of the votes in the second round of the presidential election. His right-wing rival Marine Le Pen lost with 33.9 percent of the votes.

 A Sputnik correspondent went to the department of Moselle in the eastern France, overshadowed by a possible closure of the steel factory giving jobs to the lion share of local population to discover the opinions of the locals about the newly elected president.

CANDIDATE FROM THE RICH

Average French people living in the country’s provinces, such as Moselle department, believe that the newly elected president is unfamiliar with their relevant problems being “the president of the rich.” The region of Moselle in the eastern France is suffering from a high unemployment rate with those who were lucky enough getting a post in a neighboring Luxembourg. They have to drive almost 40 kilometers (24,8 miles) one way every day and get up at 5a.m. to avoid the traffic.

“Macron is the president of the rich, and not of the poor. He won’t dare to do what he promised anyway. He promised he will make France rise, but the factory is closing, they are moving it to Poland, it’s already done,” Antoine Olivier, an employee of the ArcelorMittal steel factory, told the Sputnik correspondent.

 Macron, who was born to a family of doctors, graduated from the elite Lycee Henri-IV secondary school in Paris and obtained master’s degrees in philosophy and public affairs. Before being engaged in his own political movement and running for presidency, he made a distinguished career, serving as the inspector of finances in the French Ministry of Economy, a managing partner at Rothschild & Cie Banque, a deputy secretary-general of the Elysee Palace, as well as the country’s minister of the economy, industry and digital affairs.Another employee of ArcelorMittal, Jaques Meyer, says that Macron’s career disagrees with his stance of being a simple French citizen and doubts whether the young president, a former investment banker who worked for Rothschild, may understand the needs of average compatriots.

“Several years ago nobody even heard of him. And then he appears hand by hand with Hollande, and then disappears a year ago to create his own party. He worked before for Rothschild bank, and he keeps telling us that he has a poor family. But we don’t believe in that,” Meyer said.

Meyer added that he would not be surprised “if some time we discover he has an offshore account, like [Jerome] Cahuzac.”

Cahuzac is French ex-Junior Minister for the Budget at the Ministry of Economy under Francois Hollande and a member of the National Assembly who resigned after tax fraud allegations, admitting he had an offshore bank account on Seychelles.

LE PEN SUPPORTERS ACCUSED OF RACISM, EXPECT POVERTY INCREASE

In the first round of voting in Moselle the right-wing candidate Le Pen, who stressed during her election campaign the idea of returning “national sovereignty” to France, got the majority of the votes. Sophie, a mother of two, desperate to find a long-term job contract, said that she has been facing harsh criticism for supporting Le Pen, being unfairly accused of fascism and racism.

“When we were distributing leaflets of the National Front, people called us fascist and racist. But I’m not racist, I’m against inequality. That’s racism. There are two justice systems, two systems of medical care. Today if you have one health benefit program you get one kind of treatment, if you have another – you receive a completely different one, “ Sophie said.

Meyer stressed that he supported Le Pen, because he was against globalization, and expected further rise of poverty in the French regions.

“I always voted for Le Pen, I’m not scared to say it. I’m against globalization and capitalization, when big players crush the rest of the world. There will be more suffering and poverty in the French regions. The gap between rich in poor is too big already,” Meyer said.

In order to fulfill his promises Emmanuel Macron now has to get a parliamentary majority in the legislative election in June, where he will face a strong opposition of the existing political blocks, unhappy with his political program.

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Pam Barker is the Director of the TLB Europe Reloaded Project, based in France. She has an extensive background in the educational systems of several countries at the college and university level as an instructor and administrator.

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