He is a shocker, that 'A E-P' in The Telegraph, by which I mean that he's always shocking the pants off me with his columns. After reading his column today I needed a black coffee and a large Calvados! Only a few days ago I wrote a post, in which I admitted to being in a state of total ambivalence over the forthcoming French election, that whilst I wanted Mde. Le Pen to win and then tip over the European juggernaut, I was worried that in doing so she would tip over La France as well, and that I did not want. Today, 'A E-P' paints an even more horrifing picture.
According to 'The Gloomster', all the middling candidates are showing signs of weakness in the polls but, even worse, the extreme Left-wing candidate, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a man who makes 'Jezza' look fairly sensible, is showing signs of growing support. The situation is summed up thus:
"Absolute catastrophe. Mélenchon is the Venezuela scenario, Le Pen is the Argentine scenario," warns Pierre Gattaz, head of the French employers' federation MEDEF.
It is a classic example of the truth that politics does not stretch in a straight line from Right to Left but is a circle on which the extreme Right and Left hold hands on one point of the circumference. In this particular instance, according to 'A E-P':
Both candidates are anti-German, anti-American, anti-globalist, anti-NATO, and pro-Putin. Both want to rip up the EU Treaties. Both want some sort of parallel currency or sovereign monetary control.
Both are viscerally hostile to financial markets and to liberal labour reform. Both want a bigger French state financed by borrowing, and damn the deficit. The ideologies merge. 'Les extrêmes se touchent', as the French say.
Of course, so far there are only indications in the polls, and we all know how much reliance can be placed on them but even so, it's enough to make one gulp. Perhaps I'll have another Calvados!
ADDITIONAL: A very interesting piece at The Coffee House this morning by Jonathan Miller who, despite his anglophile name, is an elected municipal councillor in France. In effect, he reckons anything is possible in this election. Worth reading.