France's far-right grabs first ever Senate seats


The far-right National Front won its first ever seats in France’s upper house of parliament on Sunday, as President Francois Hollande’s Socialist party lost its Senate majority.
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The left still controls the lower house, which is the dominant legislative body in France, but Sunday’s ballot underlined the unpopularity of the president and the continued rise of the anti-immigration, anti-euro National Front.

The party, led by Marine Le Pen, took two seats in the august Senate, following on from its surprise victory in European parliamentary elections in May and its strong showing in municipal elections in March.


You mean allowing No-go zones in your country will cost you votes? Who knew? :slight_smile:


They may be far-right on some issues like immigration but it takes some study, they still may be liberal on some other issues, such as say “big government”, “nanny state”, I don’t know if they are but it sounds like it might be a bit of a complex understanding.


So what is “far-right”? I get the sense that a moderate Republican would be considered far right in a European context.
To me “far-right” borders on neo-Nazi, not campaigning on immigration and being anti-EU or whatever.


I expect the immigration crisis in the EU to spawn many more FNP, and Golden Dawns.


Might I suggest that there’s not much point in trying to fit the European far right into an American context and vice-versa - there are different historical and social meanings to a lot of the terms used for a start.

The FN are the heirs to Vichy (the French collaborationist Government during the Second World War) and further back to activist theoreticians like Charles Maurras and the reactionaries in the Drefus affair. For movie fans, think in terms of the naughty people who hire the assassin in the Day of The Jackal. :wink:


I agree that the European far right is quite different from those people who are considered far right in America. One major difference is the Americans always profess to being either Christian or Jewish, whereas in Europe it’s all about neo-Nazism/neo-fascism and quite often paganism as well. Americans who self-identify as pagan are generally mellow hippie types, which is markedly different from their European counterparts who tend to be really into fascism.


Historically, the links would be to reactionary Catholicism in countries like France, Spain and Italy. The Nordic paganism thing was a subset of Nazi ideology fashionable in organizations like the SS but hardly embraced by most members of the NSDAP - it has a kind of shock value amongst the ‘street fighter’ right but I doubt that most voters for parties like the FN think about it at all.


It’s difficult for an American to gauge what the atmosphere is currently like in France. Would you happen to know what the mood is presently like there? I can’t tell whether the marches and demonstrations I’ve seen footage of are really as crazy and huge as they appear to be.


I don’t really follow French events greatly - I tend to focus on the UK and Italy (where I was born and where we holiday quite a lot) - but there doesn’t seem to be that much going on.

This may be me displaying the usual British attitude that it’s just ‘the French are being typically French’, of course, but French politics seems given to these sorts of swings in public mood and posturing politicians.


Just a question, Why is the right is always designated as far-right? I rarely see the left as far-left. These type of hyper-bolts and titles only kill debate.


You and your "fancy talk, of “context” and “history”. . . . . PAH!!

I prefer to jam every world wide political issue into the lens of American politics- thank you!


Anybody who faintly understands what American politics is all about should be held in great, great awe. :smiley:


I think we need to be careful whenever the media assigns the term “far-right” to any party.

There’s no question that as the immigration situation in Europe keeps going as it is that more and more people will be breaking right, but many media outlets clearly have a left-wing agenda.


The Edward Bernays paradigm of controlling mass mentality by use of consumerism, convincing people that buying products will make them happy, is failing due to the economic changes bourne by globalization, very visible corporate domination of campaign funding and unassimilated immigration taking most job creation, at least here in the USA.

Here in the US since 2000 only 127,000 jobs created have been taken by American born labor, while nearly 6 million jobs have been taken by immigrants.

Couple this with the reduction in consumer spending since the 2008 financial crisis and its resulting diminishment of available credit to most Americans and Bernays Consumerism here is in collapse and I suspect this is true in Europe also, which also combines with the EU shenanigans. WE seem to be in a post-Bernays cynicism that finds no comfort in a consumerist life style they can no longer afford or feel too insecure to indulge in.

In place of consumerism is a rising nativism that is more competitive with confused and disillusioned citizenry as the immigration problems act to polarize people to the xenophobic end of the spectrum. The return of a virulent terrorism that threatens soft borders adds to a watered-down xenophobia.

At this rate, I am in fear that a more hateful and unapologetic xenophobia will return to acceptability among people who already feel alienated from the Western dream of a middle class life style. Perhaps some kind of neo White Nationalism that has a more passive and sophisticated world view can subvert the more virulent forms of xenophobia, but I doubt the main stream Bernays Consumerism media can tolerate anything short of open borders and cultural suicide.

The rise of le Penn, the Tea Party and UKIP seem to be indicators of the break down in the Bernays approach to controlling the masses, and I think some of this is good. The rise of le Penn is not among the better developments in a post-Bernays world.

But what to do is the classic question. I fear we are just going to have to stumble through all this and hope for the best as we have no leadership class capable of critical analysis left after decades of irrational politically correct dogma filtering all the independent thinkers from our highest levels of any school of thought or industry.


There is no Tea Party in Europe, and the attempts to link it to xenophobia and racism are far off the mark.
As for Europe, it is really up to the people to chose an immigration policy that is right for them. There is no God-given right for anybody to immigrate to European countries, and if the current government is no reflecting the will of the people on immigration, that is what elections are all about.
As long as France’s far-right is not going about their business with clubs and boots and paramilitary, this is not the far-right in terms of what people usually associate with the far right in European politics.


My point was that the Edward Bernays paradigm that has dominated the USA since the 1930’s and FDR’s ascendency and in Western Europe since 1945 is starting to crumble. He masses cannot buy happiness for themselves via being consumers and buying all the advertised things since the economies of the USA, Japan, and Europe are not able to sustain such buying among the working class.

The success of the Tea Party in the US, UKIP in the UK and le Penn in France are the first examples of what is coming and the movement will grow as workers in these countries are either unemployed, feel insecure about their employment, find employment in jobs that barely pay the bills and/or have no confidence on the national or regional economy as a whole.

IMO the far-right in Europe is anti-Semitic and genuinely fascist, but today you find that more on the far left than the far right.


I agree. I would use caution in too freely using the term fascist for the far right - you see the same thing happen to Ukip. It’s a smear tactic. But that’s not to say that you don’t closely, closely monitor the far right in this regard at the same time.


For the record when I say fascist I mean the ideology that is radically nationalist, anti-semitic, pro-corporate crony networking, has low regard for individual liberty, and supports the implementation of Police State policies.

That is not UKIP or the Tea Party, but it is pretty danged close to le Penn as I understand it.


My sense is that there are a lot of Europeans who are not even close to being fascist, and may not even be particularly right wing or conservative, but who are not being given a voice in any of the mainstream political streams. These streams have become politically correct to the point of allowing 1400 white girls to be sexually abused rather than step on any toes and actually holding the minority perpetrators to accountability.

The only movement that expresses public outrage over these kind of events may well be far right wing in the traditional sense, but it is the complete indifference of the mainstream to ordinary peoples concerns that is providing fodder to the most extreme position.
It is simply not a right wing concern to not like the idea of lower class females being raped. This is ordinary people who are incensed by this, and the mainstream is not part of the solution, but part of the cover-up.

Make no doubt about it. People bring all kinds of insinuations and innuendos about being fascist, racist, islamophobic, xenophobic, bigoted and otherwise loathsome just because you take note that “white trash” fourteen year old girls in Rotherdam were denied justice.

That story has already been swept under the rug as a result.

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