Brexit and the Frogs
If evidence were needed that suggestion in an earlier post that Emanuel Macron was an establishment plant, I consider his recent Brexit statements to be revealing. Macron is sticking firmly to the Merkel line (indeed one might make crude and inappropriate jokes about how this isn’t a surprise because he clearly likes older women) of “Nein Nein Nein”. He also trots out the EU presidency position of requiring the UK to pay to leave and to continue to make payments to the EU budget after leaving:
Mr Macron, a former economy minister, suggested that there could be some market access provided Britain made “strong contributions” to the EU budget to share the administrative burden of the system. He did not address the issue of what the EU will offer for access to the valuable British market.
I’m pretty sure that “You and whose Army?” is pretty much the UK response to that.
The one French politician who is in favor of Brexit is of course Marine Le Pen who claims to also be quite keen on a Frexit as well. Given that the French public is also not particularly keen of further European integration – they like being French, not unreasonably – the Le Pen position on Europe seems pretty likely to gain her support from people who are otherwise skeptical of her policies and rhetoric. In fact the more that the rest of the presidential hopefuls chum up to Brussels and Berlin the more likely it is that we welcome Mme Président to the Elysée in May.
I’m not sure that Prime Minister May is terribly happy with this but, assuming the EU and its major member states continue to be bolshy, it is clearly in Britain’s strong interest that Le Pen win the election. I can’t imagine May or any member of HMG actually going out and stating their support for Le Pen, there are way too many people on both sides of the Channel who would spin this in a negative manner, but some jibes at Macron (and Fillon if he opens his mouth about Brexit) seem highly likely. The EU is of course doing as much as it can to sink Le Pen, hence the repeated raid on her party HQ recently. I’m pretty sure this is backfiring because FN supporters see this as bullying and a sign that she’s right.
Aside: Le Pen, unlike the Dhimmikratic government of Sweden, refused to don a head scarf when meeting a Muslim leader and hence ended up not meeting him. I suspect this was an intentional stunt but it is sure to enhance her popularity in France IMHO.
One good thing for Fillon is that the Macron bubble seems to have peaked early and is not collapsing. From the Torygraph link above:
Whether the enfant terrible of French politics will ever make it to the second round of the presidential elections in May is far from clear. The latest BFM-Elabe poll shows him slipping suddenly to third place with just 17pc support, lagging ex-premier François Fillon and far behind the Front National’s Marine Le Pen.
I think Macron’s recent Algeria comments helped his fall. Bluntly until he last week or so he seemed to be sticking to bland outsiderness. When it was noted that this included a lack of statements that would appeal to sneering classes, he then had to open his mouth and make the appropriate obeisances to lefty orthodoxy. In doing so he demonstrated to the non sneering classes that he’s no different from the rest and hence the bloom came off the rose. I rather doubt that his recent endorsement by Francois Bayrou will help as Bayrou is a solid member of the establishment. In other words the French public has detected that he’s a phony, which he is, and hence not the change they are looking for.
The non FN candidates, the media and the establishment in general, have a problem. Despite their desire to ignore the threat of Islamic extremism and pretend that it isn’t there, it keeps on popping up and it is absolutely topic #1 for voters. I anticipate Fillon will now be able to concentrate on things other than his “Penelopegate” scandal which means he’ll be able to go back to making policy statements. It will be interesting to see whether he sticks with the “fast Brexit” concept of late last year. I expect his policy ideas will sound similar to the FN when it comes to immigration and terrorism which means that, as I first wrote, it’ll be Fillon vs Le Pen in the second round.
The Shadow of the Olive Tree