Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bruno Mégret Leaves Politics


Two posts down I spoke of trouble in the ranks of the Nouvelle Droite Populaire, with Bruno Mégret refusing to support the movement other than marginally. Thanks to a tip from a reader I see now that Mégret is pulling out of politics altogether. Here is the first part of a Yahoo article:

The leader of the National Republican Movement (MNR), Bruno Mégret, announced on Tuesday his "withdrawal from political life", a little less than ten years after his spectacular departure from the Front National where he was the nº 2 man. (...)

"I'm going to work abroad for a large company. I am stepping aside from politics after having tried everything to make a true Right emerge in the political landscape," he indicated to AFP, without giving details.

"This will not be a six-month trip," he stated when asked if his "withdrawal" was temporary or definitive.

The former lieutenant of Jean-Marie Le Pen at the Front National, Mégret, efficient and ambitious, had tried to seize power in 1998, before splitting with several party leaders and founding his MNR.

But despite his efforts, the MNR never succeeded in rivaling the FN and slowly faded away. At the last legislative elections, the MNR won only 0.4% of the votes, losing the right to public funding.

During the 2007 presidential election, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Mégret, accompanied by their wives, had sealed their reconciliation before members of the press. But Mégret who hoped to be a part of Le Pen's campaign team ran up against the determined hostility of Marine Le Pen and Louis Aliot, general secretary of the party.

In the end he was kept on the sidelines, and only allowed to appear without speaking at Le Pen's rally in Lyons.

Lately, Mégret had given his support to the efforts of several extreme right-wing groups attempting to unite in a federation that would rival the FN, notably the efforts of former FN member Jean-François Touzé. But several leaders of the MNR, including general secretary Nicolas Bay, disagreed with this initiative, preferring instead a rapprochement with the FN, which has become more conciliatory after its poor showing in the elections.

The rest of the article is a bio of Mégret and his rise to prominence in the world of French politics, reaching his most powerful position in the Front National in the 1990's.

Now a slightly different interpretation of the events emerges. It was not that Mégret wanted power in the Nouvelle Droite Populaire and was denied it, rather he was willing to support the new movement, but his own party members in the MNR were not. Since Mégret wants nothing to do with Le Pen, he had no viable choice but to leave.

Nationalist movements seem to have much more trouble finding common ground and uniting for their cause than left-wing parties. The factions of the Left, like the factions of Islam, may fight one another, but they will, in a crisis, unite against the Right, just as the various Islamic factions will always unite against the infidel. The conservatives can never get their act together. Not sure why this is so.

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