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Saturday 21 April 2012

Daily Mail – Back To The 30s

[Updates, two so far, at end of post]
We all know the headline: “Hurrah For The Blackshirts” trumpeted the Daily Mail as it endorsed Oswald Mosley’s fascists in the 1930s. And ever since then, the gold standard of why-oh-why hackery has been striving to shrug off the taint of association with the movements that reached their peak with the Third Reich and all the less than pleasant activities that flowed therefrom.
But, with an election imminent in France – polling is tomorrow – somehow the Mail has shrugged off its reticence and once again embraced the far right, as Richard Waghorne (“a researcher in political philosophy and political commentator”) has told that “Despite her flaws, the only responsible vote in France next Sunday is one for Marine le Pen”. Really?
That would be the daughter and political heir to Jean-Marie le Pen and current leader of the Front National (the French equivalent of the NF, BNP and EDL rolled into one), standing on a manifesto of nationalist isolationism. And he’s serious: “Marine Le Pen remains, among an imperfect choice in urgent times, the only candidate capable of saving France’s control over her finances, borders, and identity”.

Did someone suggest that the French might be about to lost their identity? Pull the other one. That’s almost like saying that a Yorkshireman might lost his identity if he moves to an adjacent minor county (it ain’t happened, folks). And, typing this post from somewhere in northern France this evening, I can confirm that the rest of Waghorne’s piece is equally vapid.
France will not exit Schengen, it won’t exit the Euro, and it hasn’t lost control over its finances. Waghorne’s wibble about the country being subject to “decree from Brussels” is pure and untrammelled bullshit. The idea that the kind of mindset embodied by ranting Europhobics has entered the French mainstream has a credibility level not unadjacent to zero.
So when this rambling idiot tells readers “She is the only candidate available to conservative voters advancing the case for an exit from the Euro, the one measure which if executed carefully might yet save France from being swamped by foreign debts amassed elsewhere in a European project largely of its own making”, you know nobody in France is listening.
This is not a pundit with any credibility. Richard Waghorne is a right-wing fruitcake who should be ignored and avoided. Too barking even for the Mail? The possibility exists.
[UPDATE1 22 April 1940 hours: first prediction of the results of the opening round of voting in the Presidential Election are that Francois Hollande topped the poll with 28% of the vote, with Nicolas Sarkozy a close second with 26%. Marine le Pen scored 20% - more than her Dad did in 2002 when he came second - but the latter result saw the Left hopelessly fragmented in a field that numbered sixteen candidates. Today there were just five.
This shows that not only is Sarko not finished yet, contrary to the string of political obituaries already written, but also that even with a more voter friendly candidate and less of the howling rhetoric of the elder le Pen, the idea that the FN was ever going to field a serious Presidential contender was not serious. How the run-off goes depends on where those voters who supported the three losing candidates go next.
Right now, that second round is too close to call. But anyone betting on the Daily Mail's choice will now be counting their losses]
[UPDATE2 25 April 1850 hours: Marine le Pen actually scored just 17.9% of the popular vote, some way short of the 20% projected earlier. This is a whisper more than 1% better than her Father, whose 2002 high water mark was 16.86%. But this time round, the abstention rate was only 20.5% against 28.4% in 2002, which could well account for all of that difference. No word yet from Richard Waghorne - perhaps Paul Dacre and Simon Heffer have had second thoughts about his contributions]

1 comment:

keith said...

He may well be a fantasist as well

check out

and then read the second comment.

I notice that his more recent biog

makes no such claim as his earlier one.

Still, the Mail group don't mind.

The enraged petite bourgeois at the Mail, Heffer is sympathetic, might think Le Pen is a latter day Poujadist, which would fit the Mail's politics. Although the man himself distanced himself from Le Pen's extremism. He even backed biofuels.