Friday, August 07, 2009

Comments on PDV's "Betrayal"

Note: there is a lot of editorializing on my part in this post. Feel free to skim it or skip it. For a man who couldn't garner ten votes in an election, PDV has certainly loosened a lot of tongues at the Salon Beige website.

As predicted, the comments at Le Salon Beige, to name just one site, are flooding in with regard to the "treason" of Philippe de Villiers. And while most LSB readers have only disdain for him and for what they see as the inevitable action of a man who was never anything but a hidden agent of Nicolas Sarkozy, there are a few who see things differently. But first, here is the letter from one Eudes Granges, general secretary of JPF (Youth for France - the youth movement within Villiers' MPF), in which he announces he will drop the MPF like a hot potato, or words to that effect:

I do not need more than fifteen lines to announce that after five years of active engagement in the Mouvement Pour la France, I have decided to leave this party that no longer defends the ideals that led me to join it a few years ago (...) The new strategy of disguised cohabitation that we are familiar with should fill with disgust anyone having a minimum of integrity. Pragmatism must not become transformed into treason! (...) I might add that the confusion of the most active party workers and longtime local party leaders is now tangible. It is accompanied by a feeling of treason. Many will be leaving. The MPF is changing. I am not changing. A certain political and moral coherence tells me it is time to leave.

Note: "Cohabitation" is a word well-known in French politics referring to a situation in which the president of the country and the prime minister are of different parties. He is accusing PDV of entering into a type of cohabitation with Sarkozy instead of the mere consultative function claimed by Villiers.

Among the dozens of comments to this post and others at Le Salon Beige, here is one that is not vituperative or gloating:

- Here we are again, facing the dilemma:

1 - Should one remain standing straight, boots on, and bark as the caravan passes by? That is the position of the Front National that has been blown apart and gone from 17% to 6% of the votes. It is also the case for the MPF that has gone from 12-14 % to 4% in the EU elections and 2% in the presidential election of 2007

2 - Or should one join a powerful party through which we might be able to have some of our candidates elected, become known, have some clout, in an attempt to get back on our feet, and of course in the event of success, to recover our total independence. This is what PDV has chosen.

Of course it's risky and maybe the MPF is about to disappear, something I do not for one minute believe. But it costs nothing to try. You have to take risks since the first solution didn't work. We shall see! And once inside the voting booth, if no MPF candidate is in an electable position on a common ballot (meaning a coalition ballot of UMP and other parties affiliated with UMP), nothing can prevent you from voting for some other party. So, in the meantime, the anti-Villiers faction will indulge itself to its heart content in attacks against him. But it is up to us to remain lucid, to play the game and to vote "correctly" only when we have something to gain by it. To jump ship serves no purpose, except when the ship is taking in water. And we hope that won't happen. (...)

As examples of another type of reaction, these two comments are also from a Salon Beige post:

- Villiers has thrown off his mask. The right-wing "floater" of the UMP party, as he himself calls it, now joins in with the "majority" party...

Who would dare deny that it is the call of lucre? "Sovereigntists" inside the party that supports Euro-globalism? that aligns itself with the most perfidious Atlanticism? that advocates affirmative acion? gay marriage? The suppression of French families via financial suffocation? Yes, Villiers has betrayed his country, his values, his partisans. Yes, only the Front National remains erect, as it has for 30 years, sole credible defender of the nation and of eternal France. At least everything is clear now.

The notion that the Front National is the only party of integrity is common among Le Pen's partisans. But sometimes there is a reminder of the price to be paid for joining Le Pen. Here is another reader:

- (...) all against PDV. It makes one wonder why so many left the FN. Maybe they had had enough of seeing their great chief lick the boots of the Ayatollahs and Hezbollah. Enough of hearing him promise all our valorous young North Africans in Aubervilliers that he would make them into "good Frenchmen". Enough of being ordered by the chief to send kisses to Dieudonné M'Bala M'Bala, Alain Soral and company whose only claim to fame has been to piss on everything that was French and Catholic... And there's more...

The arguments go on in this manner. Most gloat, some claim the FN is the only party of France, and a few recognize that the defects of PDV are no worse than those of the largely discredited Jean-Marie Le Pen. There has also been mention of a coalition between the other right-wing splinter groups, an alphabet soup including the PDF, NDP, and the MNR, a coalition that has yet to materialize.

Besides the two links above here is the latest post from LSB. The comments are a testimony to the confusion and anger that reign within this Catholic community of Le Salon Beige readers. As they expose their various points of view others reprimand the site itself for creating chaos instead of unity. Some say that the site is doing harm to the image of Catholics who, apparently, (I wasn't aware of this), are not supposed to argue but to place the tenets of the Church above all else. This would render any political discussion with them impossible unless it were based solely on Church doctrine. It also would be assuming that Le Salon Beige is a type of church organization and not the very varied and valuable source of information that it is. Millions read this site, so it must be doing something right. Often when people visit a website they begin to assume they ARE the website and become indignant when they find it is not tailored specifically for them. It was surprising, however, to find this degree of moral indignation over an event that isn't all that earth-shattering.

The post itself deals with a response from one Thibaud Vincendeau, president of Villiers' JPF (Youth for France). He angrily denounces the other letter from Eudes Grange (see above) who had angrily walked out of the party. According to Vincendeau:

(...) Anyone who doesn't understand that Philippe de Villiers is doing all he can to defeat the Left in the local and regional elections (...) can resign (...) I have observed the political use made of this resignation by a clique of bloggers who don't hide their sympathy for the the stepping stone of the Left, i.e., the Front National, and its antipathy for the MPF.

Note: To call the FN a "stepping-stone" of the Left implies that the FN is a means for left-wingers to advance up the ladder of success, so to speak. However, Vincendeau may have meant something else since it is a rather cryptic comment. I will say this: The Front National is not "traditional". It is a republican, social and jacobin entity more and more inclined towards the acceptance of Islam and the defeat of Israel and all "Zionists", more and more inclined towards the view that Muslim States can and should possess nuclear technology, more and more inclined to behave in as duplicitous a manner as that of the UMP, where one thing is said and another is meant; finally more and more inclined to become furtively, possibly unwittingly, an accomplice in the Eurabia project, not an adversary. In addition, as far as Catholicism is concerned, except for token acknowledgments of the Christian roots of Europe, there has not been a strong identity on the part of the FN with Christianity. Le Pen himself has said he feels partly pagan (I do not have a link to prove this; I only remember reading it somewhere). Of course, despite all the defections, there may still be some good people in the FN, and the communiqués are still good, for what that's worth. Not much at this point.

Philippe de Villiers is always accused of being a traitor in order to get votes, but that is exactly what Le Pen did when he curried favor of the Muslims. It is also most likely that the FN will continue to seek the Muslim vote, as Muslims constitute an important segment of the population. Whether or not they actually will vote for the FN is not known, since Muslims would be more likely to vote Socialist or Communist. This may be the way in which the FN helps the Left: by alienating the "trads", the "sovereigntists", and the "patriots" in their various degrees of patriotism, the FN weakens itself and provides the Left with more chances for success. As Nicolas Sarkozy siphons off leaders of the Left, this process simply shifts to more success for the UMP. And since the UMP and the PS are often regarded as the UMPS, it is, in the end, the more powerful Front National, not the weak MPF, that has been guilty of betraying the ideals and values of "traditional Catholic France" and of providing the soil on which this behemoth called UMPS can flourish.

Back to Monsieur Vincendeau:

Neither Philippe de Villiers, nor the MPF, nor our convictions are entering the UMP party. It is out of the question for us to "march in the groove". (...) Why exploit politically an election that is local (...)"

The administrator of Le Salon Beige in turn responds to the rather weak arguments of Vincendeau (whom nobody had heard of until now), defending his blog against accusations of partiality. He points out that it is an obvious truth that the MPF has now left the ranks of opposition, to join in with the majority, and that this leaves the field open to the FN:

This does not mean that the MPF voters will necessarily vote FN, but that this decision will clarify the positions of each member in terms of opposition/majority.

He closes with a terse reminder that even local elections are political and that regional councils grant subsidies to causes antithetical to the doctrines of the pro-life voting public.

This means that if PDV places the names of some of his candidates on the same ballot (or "list) with individuals advocating euthanasia or abortion or gay marriage, he will ipso facto be contributing to the culture of death. The conduct and orientation of Philippe de Villiers will be watched closely by all. If he crosses certain boundaries, we will have unquestionable proof of his betrayal. If he manages to stay within those boundaries, he may not be at all effective in his stated purpose of spreading "sovereignist" values.

French readers may want to read the "lively" discussion at this and other LSB posts.

They may also be interested in the acerbic comments of writer Philippe Randa, who also speaks of Villiers returning to the "fold" like the return of the Prodigal Son. Many seem to hold against him the fact that he was once part of the Establishment, but what did it avail him to break away?

He lacks "charisma", they say, but charisma in a politician can be a dangerous quality. Evil men often have a mesmerizing effect on people; "good" men are often overlooked, or called "dull", "colorless", and other disparaging words. Still, it is true that a politician has to "come across" as a force to be reckoned with. If this "force" is lacking then either the man has no personality at all OR the man really is presenting himself in a false light, and to cover this up, he assumes an attitude of passivity and even stupidity.

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