France’s divided centre-right must delight Marine Le Pen

The Front National leader is heading into an election where immigration is the main issue – and the majority of voters are hostile to it

12 September 2015

9:00 AM

12 September 2015

9:00 AM

A year has passed since Nicolas Sarkozy announced his return to frontline politics, and the political landscape in France is still recovering from the shock. His rivals for the leadership of the French right have watched while their cordially disliked ex-leader consistently outmanoeuvred them. They had made the mistake of believing in the sincerity of Sarko’s farewell speech in May 2012 when, following his defeat in the presidential election by François Hollande, he said: ‘From now on I will seek to serve my country in other spheres.’

Delighted by his departure, his colleagues seized the opportunity to reform the UMP, a coalition of the Gaullist and the anti-Gaullist right devised to ensure that Jean-Marie Le Pen, then leader of the Front National, never came to power. Two ex-prime ministers, Alain Juppé and François Fillon, rewrote the party’s constitution and instituted an American-style primary election to be held in November 2016, six months before the end of President Hollande’s term. It was hoped that this would be a means of reconnecting the leadership with its grass roots and would end the chronic cronyism and corruption of the past. It was agreed that there should be an election for a new UMP president, who would organise the primary but could not be a candidate in it.

All these good intentions came to nothing with the return of Sarkozy, trailing his involvement in a total of six criminal investigations, and ignoring the fact that 66 per cent of the electorate hoped that he would not make a comeback. During his five years in office he had conspicuously failed to implement his election programme — the limitation of trade-union power and the modernisation of the national economy. Despite all this, Sarko was ready for more. First he managed to get himself elected as UMP president, which enabled him to cancel the regulation that the party president could not stand as a candidate in the national elections. Then he renamed the party; it is now called ‘Les Républicains’, a slick move which has let him adopt a notably proprietorial air at party rallies.

The first test for the new party will be the regional elections due in December, when the question of immigration is likely to dominate the campaign. The only political group in France with a consistent line on the subject is of course the Front National. This week its president, Marine Le Pen, daughter of Jean-Marie, reacted angrily to the news that Brussels was suggesting an allocation of 24,000 mainly Syrian refugees for France. In a speech in Marseilles, one of her party’s strongholds, she described immigrants as ‘a burden’ who were ‘stimulating the growth of Islamic fundamentalism’ in France. She accused Angela Merkel of being largely responsible for the current crisis, alleging that the German chancellor’s welcoming reaction was deliberately inciting more immigrants to travel to Europe. ‘No doubt she hopes to cure Germany’s stagnant population growth by continuing to use massive immigration as a source of slave labour,’ added Le Pen.

Asked about the photograph of the drowned body of a three-year-old Kurdish boy, a Front National spokesman remained unmoved. He said that it was an attempt to make the French feel guilty and added that he could not see ‘how the imposition of quotas would have prevented this drowning’. In December, Marine Le Pen’s candidates will campaign to repeal the Schengen agreement on border controls within the EU, cancel the traditional right to citizenship of all those born on French soil, cancel free health cover for illegal immigrants, and limit the right to political asylum by confining it to ‘victims of political persecution’ and excluding ‘victims of war’.

Marine Le Pen’s views, however brutally expressed, cannot be brushed aside as extreme. The majority of French opinion is hostile to the mass admission of refugees, and she is currently the favourite to win the first round of the 2017 presidential elections. Having at last expelled her 87-year-old father from the party on the grounds of his anti-Semitism, she has successfully formed several electoral pacts with Républicain candidates in the region of Provence and Côte d’Azur, and she has been building bridges with right-wing Catholic voters. The Bishop of Toulon has approved this initiative, describing Marine Le Pen’s Front National as ‘just another political party’.

The question of how to deal with the Front National has been a long-standing source of division among the Républicains. The argument is between those who believe that the best way of diminishing Front National votes is to cherry-pick its policies, and those who prefer to boycott the extreme right and attract votes from the centre. The leaders of the Républicains are careful to avoid Marine Le Pen’s coarse language, but in some cases their policies on immigration are not that different. One prominent Républicain, the former minister of agriculture Bruno Le Maire, has suggested that all foreigners whose papers are stamped with an ‘S’ (meaning ‘under surveillance for terrorist associations’) should be expelled — a step that would entail the instant removal of more than 5,000 people.

Sarkozy, who has always favoured chasing the hard-right vote, also wants to take France out of the current Schengen agreement. In addition he has demanded the ‘militarisation of Europe’s external frontiers’, and has urged the immediate and permanent closure of all mosques used by fundamentalist preachers. ‘Immigrants have to adapt to France, and not vice-versa’ is his version of the multicultural society. He has further rejected the idea of European immigration quotas and agrees that they are making the problem worse by attracting more immigrants.

Meanwhile the veteran Gaullist mayor of Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, who intends to attract centre-right voters, has excluded any electoral pact with the Front National, insisting that he would rather that Socialist party candidates were elected where that is the only alternative. For Mr Juppé, the Front National will be the ‘principal opponent’ of his party in 2017, and everything must be done to prevent Marine Le Pen from ‘assuming national political responsibilities’. None the less, on the question of immigration he too takes a firm line. He rejects the idea of European quotas and he has said that ‘Europe cannot shelter all the suffering in the world. We have to strengthen our border controls’.

Although he is handicapped by a rather cold and formal personality, Juppé remains the most dangerous opponent of the hyperactive Sarkozy. When he is asked if he is not rather old to be elected as president in 2017 (he will be 71, 20 years older than Sarko), he points out that he is only two years older than Hillary Clinton, and 19 years younger than the president of Tunisia.

The mayor of Bordeaux is openly suspicious about whether Sarkozy intends to conduct a fair primary election, and has said that if he suspects that the president of the Républicains has rigged the result, he will not hesitate to run as an independent. Which, if it happens, would further split the right-wing vote — and delight Marine Le Pen.

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  • King Zog

    Actually Sarkozy was born in January 1955, which at 62 will, by my calculation, make him 9 rather than 20 years younger than Juppe in 2017.

  • Thorsted

    There is a political vacuum building up rapidly all over Europe. In last election last year the anti-immigration party in Sweden -SD got 12.3% of the vote. Today the polls says 26.4%. A poll in “Le Monde” in 2013. 74% of the french said that Islam was incompatible with the values of the republic, 57% anti-white racism was a problem and 62% that the felt like a foreigner in their own country. There is a lost of cognitive dissonance among many center-left voters that might become a political reality in the near future all over Europe. Then a 40.years old way of perceiving the world will be history. Le Pen might become the next president of France.

    • ardenjm

      “Le Pen might become the next president of France.”
      Except she won’t. Ever. She might well win or come second in the first round of voting but the FN will never garner enough support to outdo the combined vote of the Left and the remaining Right in the second round of the presidential elections. Juppé’s position is the predominant one on the Right.

      Moreover, as the Islamic population of France grows (the fig leaf of 5 million (!) was blithely removed some time ago by no less a person than the Rector of the Paris Mosque when he spoke of 7 million – and this is just the OFFICIAL figure) we can expect the fulfillment of Michel Houllebecq’s vision in his novel Submission: The Socialists, the Extreme Left, the Muslims and the soft Right will all act in concert together to keep out the Front National and indeed, would rather see a Muslim President than a Front National President.

      This is the Endgame. Europe’s future – as its 44 million Muslims (official figures, remember) double roughly every generation – will be the same as every region that has an important Muslim population with its INEVITABLE, hard-wired and Koranically-mandated militant minority: strife and bloodshed. I have yet to read of an area or a period on history where Islamism did not come along with Islam. It flares up from time to time – like the outbreak of some ideological virus – but it is never extinguished, nor can it be. It incubates in absolute safety, in the inviolable Koranic principle that the Koran was faxed down directly from Allah and has undergone neither change nor development. The Islamist scourge is part of Islamic DNA. Most of the time it remains a genotype (most Muslims don’t become Islamists), but every so often it finds phenotypical expression. That’s what we’re living through today: the internet allows the virus to spread and infect minds at astonishing speed and it has to be said that Islamist craziness is certainly proving particularly rampant at the moment.

      • jeffersonian

        ‘This is the Endgame.’

        I’m afraid you may be right.

        • Bertie

          He is right.

          It’s an invasion.
          At some point however the indigenous host will see the danger and react – but it will be too late by then.

          Cultural suicide on a mass scale. Why is the Liberal left / spineless political class conspiring to this end is the big question.

          • May Weather

            Both Charles Martel and Jan Sobieski fought against the odds and won.

          • We will win again.

          • Sue Smith

            Because of the influence of the “Human Rights industry”. You see, everyone has a ‘right’ and this crosses all societies, cultures and barriers – no matter how execrable the individual or doubtful the ‘right’. You can thank the barking mad lefties and their Marxist mentors for this. And, of course, these self-appointed ‘elites’ – mostly from academe – have long wanted to turn society into their form of utopia, with them at the top of course. Mmmm; where have I heard THAT before?

            I submit that even in Sweden they’ll ironically be enduring “stockholm syndrome” very soon!!

      • greggf

        “…in the inviolable Koranic principle that the Koran was faxed down directly from Allah and has undergone neither change nor development.”

        Except that the ink’s cartridge on earth has run dry!

        Michel Houllebecq’s “vision” is the sequel for the current reign of François Hollande.
        Even the left – the unions, agri-businesses, the greens, the liberals etc. – all despair at the wretched pantomime show shown nightly from the Elysée palace. His only friend is Angela…….

        No Marine Le Pen may not become President this time, however the FN may be a dominant regional force from which she, or her niece, can launch the next challenge.

        As has been seen before Fascism, and Islam is Fascism in its current guise, can only thrive in the sort of feeble democracy current (cf; Japan, South Korea, Singapore) .

      • May Weather

        The Europeans are like a pressure cooker, one day that pressure cooker will blow. The current silence is masking a deep resentment.

      • mrs1234

        Today the Sunday Times magazine carried a report on the persecution,horrific torture and execution of gay men and women in Syria. It noted that in Hamas controlled Gaza homosexuality is illegal and that this is the case in over 50 muslim countries. Yet, our Left wing defend this faith. Not only does the strict interpretation of Sharia demand the execution of homosexuals, but also those who commit the ‘crime’ of pre-marital sex. And still in Europe politicians line up to defend the Religion of Peace. We also know that Christians and other minorities are routinely persecuted. These atrocities go on in the presence of local communities. In video recordings of executions we see baying mobs of men – we even see children amongst the. Again, from our media and politicians there is silence. In European countries with large Muslim communities such as the UK and France, there is a growing clamour for Sharia and the notion is being entertained.
        Two days ago Corbyn was elected to lead the Labour Party. He has previously declared Hamas to be his friends and ISIS should be negotiated with. Young people – many of whom take the freedom of sexual expression and opinion in this country for granted – are hailing him their hero and spokesperson. A new kind of politics.
        I truly despair.

    • E.I.Cronin

      Merkel has just handed the Republic to her on a gold plate. This is insane – the only protection Jews in France now have is with the daughter of Jean Le Pen. Marine is the only bulwark in Western Europe against Islam. The Socialists are lamenting the plight of the Jews and simultaneously flooding France with the supremely Anti-Semitic Faith. Remember in January how Valls cried out that France would not be France without it’s Jews and then chanted the RoP mantra as if the two processes were wholly unconnected?

      If SFIN reads this I would love to hear a report from France.

  • Gilbert White

    Twas a great idea the EU. The left spoil and denigrate every noble ideal. Wish Merkel was still in DDR!

  • Johnny Dangerous

    The rise of the far right is exactly the intended outcome of all of this. Only such an uprising will finally allow the EU to bring in the police state it requires. All our freedoms and last remnants of sovereignty will be lost in the name of homeland security – the Lisbon treaty contains numerous clauses to facilitate such a police state during any perceived threat of an uprising. Next step, world government – and all in the name of “EVER closer union”.

  • William

    Firstly, it is wrong to state that the UMP was designed to
    ensure that Le Pen never came to power as the project to create the UMP was
    itself begun in 2000. The party was formed to put an end to division on the
    Right, which had led to defeat in a series of elections, and particularly the 1997
    parliamentary elections. The surprise presence of Le Pen in the second round of
    the presidential elections was largely irrelevant.

    Secondly, even had Sarkozy not dissolved the UMP, he would
    still have been able to stand in the 2016 Primaries. The party statutes only provided
    that the president would have to resign his post several months before the
    primary elections. They would not have prevented him from being a candidate.

    • Damon

      Having trawled through the earlier comments about “organised Jews”, the “New World Order” and the “conspiracy to create a police state through the Lisbon treaty”, it’s nice to read a sane post by somebody who seems to know his facts – and isn’t obviously barking mad. Thanks.

  • WTF

    Madame Le Penns views are totally in sync with citizens of all major western countries be it the USA, UK, France and even Germany.

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    • E.I.Cronin

      Marine agreed to an interview with one of our multicultist broadcasters SBS. She was in good form. She articulated NF’s conservative, patriotic world view persuasively. Towards the end the p.c reporter couldn’t restrain himself any longer and made a snide attempt at race baiting – she parried his thrust and skewered him neatly.

      Old Jean was an evil, hateful man whom I would never vote for in a million years. But she has cleaned out the skins, denialists and anti-semites and turned a lunatic fringe party into a serious political force.

      • WTF

        It sure is a pleasure seeing lib**tard journos getting skewered by right thinking people after decades of their lies and hypocrisy.

        • May Weather

          Politicians like Le Pen, Trump and Orban are driving the Lefties mad. These politicians are made of strong stuff they don’t buckle and succumb to Leftie silencing techniques.

          • E.I.Cronin

            Kinda thrilling isn’t it?! 🙂 As I said to WTF above, these people are inspiration to start shouting and shaming back – plus we have evidence, not ideology.

          • WTF

            Yep, we have the evidence and every lib**tard I lock horns with on these posts are totally vacant when it comes to providing true facts. They conflate, ignore and obfuscate lies faster than a Kings Cross hooker can get her draws down but they never supply evidence to back up their position.

          • WTF

            The real shame is Farage and UKIP did a pretty good job as well but our political system disadvantages new kids on the block and his lack of deep pockets constrains how far he can get.

            Its interesting that Trump in America used his very deep pockets to rattle their cages at first by telling sponsors and lobbyists to f*** off, but the momentum he now has with the media is such that he doesn’t need to fund his exposure as they all give him loads of free air time now. The two front runners of the Republican candidates at 21% & 18% (Trump & Carson) and even Carly Fiorina coming in 3rd are all non career politicians and way ahead in the pack and that tells us a lot.

            Orban was a welcome surprise and I hope Cameron follows his lead on trying to stop this Islamification of Europe via the back door as we know exactly where Le Penn stands on that already.

          • Richard N

            Cameron is just a pathetic puppet of Merkel.

            When – if ever – will people realize this?

          • Dan O’Connor

            David CamerMerkel

        • E.I.Cronin

          Btw, thank you for some heavy artillery we can use in the cultural wars. I hope you don’t mind but I am paraphrasing your excellent comment that luvvies’s deluded, self-serving views are now costing people their safety and culture.

          We have been silently browbeaten for too long. It’s time to go on the offensive and every week luvvies provide us with more evidence to publicly reject their destructive social engineering policies.

          Time to shout back.

          • WTF

            My pleasure as its time all right minded people stood up and told it as it is and crushed those lib**tards that have had an easy ride for too long.

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  • John Steadman

    Evidence of Marine le Pen’s – as opposed to her dad’s -‘”brutally expressed views” would be informative.

    • Dan O’Connor

      Her Dad stated that the ” Holocaust ” was a detail ( =part of ) WW2 and not the reverse. His meaning was that WW2 was not a detail of the ” Holocaust ” ( as organised Jews have tried to institutionalise it into the Western collective psyche ), because a lot more non-Jews were victims than Jews.
      Quite a reasonable assumption I would say, and historically factual
      But , we do live in a time where the truth is no defence.

    • greencoat

      Quite – and some examples of her alleged ‘coarse language’.

    • greggf

      A link may help:
      Les détestables obsessions de Marine Le Pen
      En savoir plus sur http://www.lemonde.fr/politique/article/2015/09/07/les-detestables-obsessions-de-marine-le-pen.

      There is a translation available.

      • John Steadman

        I am unable to download this stuff (thanks anyway), but I read bits of French politics in Le Monde almost everyday, and I fancy I read this article in particular; but I’m in no position to challenge your inference about her language, other than to point out what I’m sure you will acknowledge, that Le Monde despises the FN and Madame le Pen, referring to the organisation, invariably, as ‘le parti de la droite extrême.”

        • greggf

          Well John, Le Monde refer to the FN as “le parti d’extrême droite”……

          • John Steadman

            OK – the adjectives are always a bit of a problem for me.

        • @John Steadman

          A definitely more conservative viewpoint would come from El Figaro. Give them clicks. You’ll be pleased with what you’ll find.

          • John Steadman

            Many thanks.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Sarkozy can be found on youtube giving an address to the native French , in which he demands that the native French has to start mix race shagging with Africans and Arabs , and he threatens that if they don’t then the force of the state will make it uncomfortable for them that refuse to do so , and it will use various sanctions and discrimination to encourage the native French to do so .
    A few weeks later he was giving a speech to a delegation of Saudi leaders in which he confirmed that he had no intention of attempting to undermine Islamic / Muslim culture in France. So this is what they call ” right wing ” ” conservatism ” is it ?
    Not Cult Marxism by any chance ?
    The guy is a double-speak New World Order creep of the first order.

    • Gilbert White

      If it involves Mick’s and Eric’s caste offs I am up for it Dan!

    • greggf

      Yes, but as the author has already pointed out “during his five years in office he had conspicuously failed to implement his election programme — the limitation of trade-union power and the modernisation of the national economy”.

      So why expect any change in his habits?

    • Richard N

      Can you give the youtube link?

      • Dan O’Connor

        Type in ;

        Sarkozy; Challenge of the 21st Century; Racial Interbreeding
        ( Francais , intro anglais ) youtube

  • edlancey

    Sarkozy is a liar. Full stop. He is seeking presidential immunity for taking election funding from Gaddafi (arguably why he was so keen to invade Libya) and from fleecing money off that old rich biddy.

    Juppe is a genuine crook.

    What’s more, if Sarkozy does get elected he will do nothing, Absolutely nothing.

    • CtizenSane

      If the french elect Sarkozy they deserve what they get.

  • Sue Smith

    Of course, most of France is totally opposed to immigrants going there. The country has 7 million already unemployed. Even a primary school student can see that the situation is totally unsustainable and there just is no more room for extra people. Not just now with horrific economic downturns and the Eurozone already on the brink.

    You should take people, selected as and when needed, when times are good – not the reverse.

    • Indeed. This influx is madness. There are parts of the EU still struggling with near 50% youth unemployment, 8 years after the banksters crippled us with the Global Financial Crisis. Without the future of this generation secured in gainful employment how do the elites expect current pension arrangements to be funded? Surely the EU governments first duty of care is to their own people which means getting the unemployed youth into jobs, careers and a hopeful future, before employing millions of economic migrants?

      • Sue Smith

        Conservatives have answers but, unfortunately, the behaviour of the banksters you describe has invalidated any credibility which belonged with the right at all. Instead we have a lefty mindset which EMOTES rather than THINKS and, of course, the history of European Marxism is littered with this kind of behaviour. The EMOTING, of course, was actually hatred. Nothing has changed, I’m afraid.

        I’ve been on the planet over 60 years – long enough to call it!!

  • May Weather

    This is inevitable.

  • Guilttripjunkie

    If I was a French Jew, or a French gay person I would vote for Madame Le Pen.

  • tykegirl

    Yesterday Germany did their version of Children in Need for the refugees. I swear to God they have collectively lost their marbles. Nevertheless, I would say this is largely confined to the usual suspects, most ordinary Germans are watching the unfolding catastrophe in horror. It is as good as impossibe to get any objective reporting here at the moment. A few days ago the Slovakian politician, Richard Sulik, was subject to an appalling display of rudeness by Sigmar Gabriel (the German vice-Chancellor) on a talk show which was designed to act solely as a bugle-call for all “right-thinking” people to express their utter condemnation of any disagreement with the current policy in Germany. But questioning it people are, in whispers at the moment, but this will change and will end up in a roar.

  • John P Hughes

    Most British politicians and the ‘thinking classes’ would be delighted if Francois Fillon were to win the Presidency on a general conservative ticket in 2017. He has a British (Welsh) wife and looks like the Frenchman’s idea of an English gentleman. (Some have described him as resembling John Le Mesurier in Dad’s Army.) He represents Le Mans so has neither a Parisian or a Sud de France mentality.
    M. Fillon managed to serve as Prime Minister for the full five years of Nikolas Sarkozy’s Presidential term, and ran an effective government. Few French PM’s last a full Presidential term. Being Matignon-experienced, he could do the Elysée job.
    Unfortunately he is probably both too nice and too straight (and maybe too Anglophile) to win the candidacy, even though the ‘Telegraph’s’ partly-English-educated Anne-Marie Moutet (as one might expect) enthuses over him and an interview with him was described as AEM ‘meeting the next President of France’. If he was the UMP candidate in 2017 he would win fairly easily over Hollande and Marine Le Pen.

  • marccormier

    Alain Juppé (Aug 15, 1945) is only 10 years older than Sarkozy (Jan 28, 1955), not 20 as per your article.

  • Richard N

    I hope very much that Marine Le Pen wins the French Presidency. Her economic policies are crazy – imagining that France can avoid reforms by boosting state control of the economy still further – but she’s about the only politician in the EU who is opposing the Islamification of Europe, or the EU itself.

    The EU gang and their master, Germany, know that that would likely spell the end of the euro, and would deal the German / EU dictatorship over Europe a really heavy blow.

    Germany and the EU – and the French political Establishment – will do everything they possibly can to stop her. I wouldn’t rule out some manufactured scandal, or something even more extreme to remove her from the scene, if they think she’ll have a chance of becoming President.

  • Richard N

    The only – very slight – chance that Europe has now to stop the Islamisation of Europe will be a sudden and massive rise of nationalist parties across Europe – whether you like nationalism or not.

    The one hope now is that Merkel, in seeking to flood all Europe with muslims to finish off the job of race replacement, and the destruction of national identity in all EU countries, has clearly bitten off much more than she can chew with the numbers that have poured into Germany.

    She will of course now, via her EU sidekicks, order all EU countries to take vastly more numbers of muslims than she has forced down their throats so far – and the resulting upsurge of fury that will be generated by this across Europe may well propel nationalist parties into power, and the end of Germany’s EU empire.

    We’ll be seeing lots and lots of riots within Germany very soon now, as the German people wake up and realize what Merkel has done to them.

    I suspect that with her flooding of Europe with muslims, she will accidentally cause the end of both her career – and of the EU.

    • Richard

      This scenario is possible, but I tend to the idea that Europeans have no stomach for anything at all. This is the roll over and die generation.

      • Kasperlos

        Oh they have stomaches alright – for bier, bratwurst, bumping, fussball, BMW and now for burkinis, burquas and baksheesh. Not in jest is a coming epic shift in Europe’s political, cultural spheres. Post WWII era ended after the Cold War ended. We are now seeing the end of the Post Cold War era. What the new era will be called could be labled Post Western Tradition. 2,000 years undone in but a few without a fight in self defence on the home front. Instead all were partying on like it was 2099.

  • Dan O’Connor

    Check out ;

    Sarkozy; Challenge of the 21st Century; Racial Interbeeding
    ( Francais , intro anglais ) youtube

  • Dan O’Connor

    Merkel and Van Rompuy received the Kalergi award .
    Who was Kalerghi ? What does Kalergi have to do with third world
    mass immigration ?

    http://www.westernspring.co.uk/the-coudenhove-kalerghi-plan-the-genocide-of-the peoples-of-europe/

  • Sue Smith

    Oh, but who’d have thought this would be peoples’ responses to immigration? (Just about anyone with half a brain!)

  • Kasperlos

    Germany’s about face to ‘temporarily’ suspend Schengen at the Austrian border will do nothing to stop or slow the flow of illegal border jumpers from the fourth world. The hundreds of thousands who have made it in are already processing papers to get their extended families in. This entire catastrophe will bring about a political change the likes Europe hasn’t seen for 70 years. Europe has less to fear about any Russian problem than the problems that are going to come. A collapse of the EU resulting from the insane letting in of unknown Saracens is very possible within a year. We are living in truly epic times.

  • Rockingham

    Mainland Europe and the UK, cannot allow the Islamic zealots to dictate terms and conditions upon it, give them an inch and they demand a mile, the whole of the EU have their own laws they expect their citizens to abide and live by, if Muslims are not prepared to do the same, then they can and should go to their homelands, if we continue to be weak and all accommodating, then the inevitable will destroy us.

  • Ajourney

    Patrick Marnham writes that Juppé “will be 71, 20 years older than Sarko” in 2017. Remarkable considering that Juppé is currently 70, and Sarkozy 60….. Isn’t it about time that the Spectator started using a France analyst who is actually based in France and knows something about the country?