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Apr-25-2012 14:49printcomments

On Marine Le Pen and Populism

Le Pen’s victory is clearly an alarm call. As the financial turmoil starts to bite, it becomes clear that we are dealing with a ticking bomb.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen

(LONDON) - Marine Le Pen and The French’s Front National are the big winners in the French elections yesterday. France’s Front National scored the best ever presidential campaign first-round result (18% of the votes).

As elsewhere in Europe, the French far right is dealing with matters other political parties prefer to avoid or shove under the carpet. Yesterday results proves that many French are primarily concerned with issues to do with immigration and ‘identity loss’. While the so called ‘far Right’ engages with these matters, the Left and the Centre parties perform an escapist attitude – they prefer to vet the discussion via different means such as political correctness and even legislation. The media, would also shy away from the subject and would prefer to gate-keep any attempt to deal with the ‘unpopular’ topic.

Le Pen’s victory is clearly an alarm call. As the financial turmoil starts to bite, it becomes clear that we are dealing with a ticking bomb. The way to defuse the situation is to launch a free and open discussion on maters to do with ‘belonging’, ‘identity’ and ‘culture’. The Left has been confused about it all for decades. European Left is riddled with contradiction, it would, for instance, support national movement around the world but never at home. The Left would adorably support Palestinian nationalism in Gaza and the West Bank but it would oppose similar English or French patriotism at home. How do we explain or justify such an unprincipled political attitude?

The Guardian refereed to Le Pen today as a ‘populist appeal’. It obviously missed the point once again. Le Pen is popular because she touches some (unpopular) issues no one else, (including the Guardian) dares to touch. It is in fact the Guardian and other media outlets that present a populist approach maintaining some delusional notions of correctness that appear to be detached from the reality in which we are living in.

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Gilad Atzmon was born in Israel in 1963 and had his musical training at the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem (Composition and Jazz). As a multi-instrumentalist he plays Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Baritone Saxes, Clarinet and Flutes. His album Exile was the BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. He has been described by John Lewis on the Guardian as the “hardest-gigging man in British jazz".

Gilad Atzmon's essays are widely published. His novels 'Guide to the perplexed' and 'My One And Only Love' have been translated into 24 languages.

As a member of the Blockheads, Gilad has also recorded and performed with Ian Dury, Robbie Williams, Sinead O'Connor and Paul McCartney. Gilad has also recorded with Robert Wyatt, the Water Boys and many others. Learn more about Gilad by visiting his Website





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Ralph E. Stone April 26, 2012 7:34 am (Pacific time)

The media has called Marine Le Pen's surprising strength as “far-right” and “extremist." Le Pen promoted anti-immigration and law-and-order themes, and questioned France’s involvement in the European Union. Yet when Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney promoted the “self-deportation” of millions of undocumented immigrants, and said that Arizona’s immigration measure should be a national “model,” none of these media outlets described Romney in such negative terms. Le Pen’s economic policies are far to the left of Romney and the Republican Party, and she supports abortion rights and criticizes corporate power. Yet the U.S. media refuses to acknowledge that Romney and the Republican Party are “far-right” and “extreme” by both international standards and prior U.S. history.

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