More Dissent Among Nationalists
One on-going topic of interest at GalliaWatch is the fate of the French nationalist Right, as opposed to the establishment Right represented by Nicolas Sarkozy.
The nationalists have been splintering off from Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National for years, forming smaller groups, or just staying out of any political affiliation.
Within the party itself discontent has been running especially high now that Marine Le Pen has been named by her father (whom some are calling "il Duce") as his successor. The latest open act of mutiny against the FN comes from European Deputy Carl Lang, who has announced he will introduce his own slate, in opposition to that of Marine Le Pen, in the upcoming European Parliamentary elections scheduled for June 2009. Le Salon Beige reports, using Google's AFP article as its source:
"I will head the slate in the 2009 European elections for my district of Nord-Ouest," declared Lang, an historic leader of the FN and incumbent Euro-deputy for the region.
Lang added that he did not envisage resigning from the FN, explaining that it has been his home for 30 years.
"I am not on a campaign against Marine Le Pen. Rather it is she who is campaigning against me," he went on.
Marine Le Pen, vice-president of the party, expressed her "stupefaction" after his announcement, insisting that she had offered Lang the second place on her slate, i.e. a position that could have resulted in a victory for him.
Note: The slate or "list", as they call it, is a list of names of candidates from the same party for a particular office. The person heading the list is considered the most likely winner, but someone else could always usurp the first name. The person who is second is often considered as having a shot at victory.
Marine Le Pen went on:
"Carl is demonstrating through this profoundly disappointing action that loyalty to our national fight, that he has championed for years, including during the time of Mégret's scission, was nothing more than a posture which he abandoned as soon as his own petty personal interests were involved," she wrote in a communiqué, judging that "this attitude will certainly be severely sanctioned by the Front National's voters."
Last week, eleven of the FN's regional councillors had called for a rally of "nationalists and sovereigntists" around Carl Lang.
For his part, Carl Lang ruled out a second-place position affirming that he "had no confidence" in Marine Le Pen "ever since she has been the de facto leader of the Front National."
Citing "purges", Carl Lang accused the daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen "of systematically eliminating all those who do not pledge their allegiance to her person." He said he was sorry that Jean-Marie Le Pen "gave in to the electoral whims of his daughter."
The comments at Le Salon Beige, which readers of French may find of interest, concentrate on the apparent impossibility of forming a durable and viable national Right.
Jean-Marie Le Pen was not long in responding to Carl Lang. After denouncing Lang's move as being orchestrated by a coalition of plotters including Philippe de Villiers, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, and other friends of Lang, Le Pen proclaimed:
In these circumstances, I will ask the executive bureau to suspend the participants in this internal destabilization. They will no longer be able to benefit from their membership in the FN, nor will they be allowed to use our logo or our archives. I have asked our lawyers to make certain these instructions are respected. And I have asked the General Secretary to consider replacements for these individuals.
Recently I reported on the formation of the NDP (New Popular Right) headed by Robert Spieler, and its first splinter party: the NDR (New Republican Right) headed by Jean-François Touzé. In addition, there is Philippe de Villiers' MPF (Movement for France), Bruno Mégret's MNR (National Republican Movement), Nicolas Dupont-Aignan's group he calls Debout la République (Up With the Republic - roughly translated). There are others, but why go into them? It is an alphabet soup of M's, R's and D's with the names all sounding alike - except the Front National. The FN is the best known and so far most successful attempt to be an opposition party. But for the proprietary hold Le Pen has over the FN, it would probably still be a united (however unwillingly) force for nationalism.
While Le Pen's personality, and his daughter's whims, are the immediate reason for the splintering, there are some basic ideological issues as well. But they boil down to ONE thing: you are either among the pro's or among the the anti's, i.e., pro-America and its pro-Israel corollary vs anti-America and its anti-Israel corollary. As of now, the NDP is among the very vocal anti's, the NDR and MPF are among the pro's. The others seem to be closer to the pro's, with reservations.
This rift does not seem to be bridgeable.
The NDP and a neo-pagan group called Terre et Peuple, both very "anti", have just rallied to Carl Lang.
And as Barack Obama proclaims his support for Israel, despite Ahmadinejad's message of congratulations to him, despite rejoicing in the Arab street, and brings back to power many members of the Clinton White House, the "anti's" have even more reason for being "anti".
Note: Posts on this general topic often include repetition of material from many other posts. I know it is tedious for some readers to read the same things over and over, but there are always a few new to the site. Re-stating the facts also helps keep some degree of order in the presentation.
The photo shows Carl Lang in 2007, shortly before the French presidential election, when there was an ill-fated attempt to unite the patriotic movements. Jean-Marie Le Pen saw to it that no real unification was possible by shunning everyone except his daughter and her friends. Bruno Mégret is also in the photo.