A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

France

I'm gutted by Sarko's win in France, and disgusted by the idea that there are Labour Party members who are celebrating the defeat of the candidate of our sister party.

11 Comments:

Blogger blowing bubbles - everyday social democracy said...

For the last five years, the government has ruled like a club class technocracy turning the French society into a low cost democracy. What we need is to champion the vision of the French Republic - “liberté, égalité, fraternité” - and vote out in the parliamentary elections the reactionary vision pervaded the narrative of a populist right, flanked by the extreme right.

More than the policies they proposed, what they all offered are competing visions of how we will be able to live in society. While Ségolène Royal’s vision starts from what we share with others in terms of how we live our daily lives, Sarkozy started from what sets us apart from each other – those who can work and those who can’t, those who are genetically predisposed and those who aren’t, the so-called “fat cats” and the so-called “scum”.

The more the right try to divide, the more fear and insecurity will be the overarching feature of the social landscape. We will campaign to prevent a clash of identities and a tipping point from a consensus of mutual respect to an instinct of fear, embodied by the succession of riots.

We need to embody the values of our citizens, reflect their aspirations and respond to their needs. What better way to do that than to involve them in the design of a better society. We need to continue providing the citizens to provide an injection of fresh and creative thinking into the burning issues that the French society faces. We now need to draw together all social democrats to discuss these issues in a constructive and collaborative way – epitomised by the debate with the centrists.

Sarkozy managed to build a strong coalition from the republican right to the extreme right based on clear and coherent values.

Segolene Royal transformed the Socialist Party, achieving the highest ever first round score and gaining the support from the centrists in the second round.

The right and extreme right are unfortunately more popular than the left and the centre. It will be up to us to demonstrate that European social democracy can build a better society than populist neoconservativism, in France...and England!

http://everydaysocialdemocracy.blogspot.com

9:47 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Blogger Owen said...

"I'm gutted by Sarko's win in France, and disgusted by the idea that there are Labour Party members who are celebrating the defeat of the candidate of our sister party."

Name and shame them Luke!

9:51 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Anonymous obvious said...

owen, you're not serious surely?!

Tony and Gordon for starters...

10:03 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Anonymous jdc said...

Those people annoy me of course, but the two motivators are strong -the President's powers are quite limited, and Sarko is

a) More likely to be tolerant of a US-led foreign policy.
b) (and I think this is underestimated as a factor for people like McShame) opposed to referendums on EU issues.

11:04 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Refugee from the PES said...

Well, I pretty much share Luke's view, but having seen the PS up close in the European Parliament I think that party has a lot of lessons to learn about the modern world.

Segolene Royal was a welcome move towards the centre for the PS, but the politics of anti-globalisation is a dead end for the left and tonight's result proved that in spades.

Having said that, the social dislocation that Sarko is about the inflict on France will be a warning to anyone thinking that maybe the Tories are worth a punt again.

11:14 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Anonymous in defence of the ps said...

"Segolene Royal was a welcome move towards the centre for the PS, but the politics of anti-globalisation is a dead end for the left and tonight's result proved that in spades."

Oh come off it. The results show how polarised France is - it's split nearly 50-50. If it wasn't for a few hundred thousand far-right voters, Sarkozy would have lost and we would have been talking about France's rejection of Thatcherite barbarity. This is hardly an overwhelming landslide for neo-liberalism, is it?

11:31 pm, May 06, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The PS is a prime example of what happens to parties of the left when they have no meaningful connection with the working class.

Discuss.

12:31 am, May 07, 2007

 
Anonymous Tim F said...

I agree with what jdc says about Euro referendums; I think some people are so obsessed with the Euro project they're willing to pretend to themselves there's no difference between Sarkozy and Royal.

And would it be too harsh to suggest Brown can identify with someone who's promising to sack half the civil service to pay for cuts in corporation tax?

Re the stuff about Royal moving to the centre - look at the substance of her policies. They're more worker-friendly than Jospin's programme last time round. She also promised a massive council-house building programme. Just because she can appeal to centrist voters and takes a hardline stance on ASB doesn't mean she's moved the PS to the right.

And rftp - Sarkozy promotes the old-style politics of anti-globalisation-narrow-protectionism just as much as Royal.

1:11 am, May 07, 2007

 
Blogger el Tom said...

"the politics of anti-globalisation is a dead end for the left and tonight's result proved that in spades."

Aye, indeed. The focus should be on building a globalising counter-narrative. As capital globalises, Labour should accept that it will; and globalise itself to protect the interests of those it represents.

Which brings us back to the PES...

2:48 am, May 07, 2007

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...and the PCF is a prime example of what happens to those parties that refuse to recognise that the "class politics" of the Fordist era are a dead duck.

Discuss.

10:17 am, May 07, 2007

 
Blogger Hughes Views said...

The French legislative elections will take place in June. Only after them will we know how much freedom of movement and hence power President Sarkozy will really have...

11:24 am, May 07, 2007

 

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