French politics

Melenchon’s hateful and fanatic drifting?

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Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Parti de Gauche co-president ans Front de gauche leader, during the PG Congress in Bordeaux (22nd to 24th of March)

On the last week-end, the Parti de Gauche (PG, Left Party, one of the Front de gauche movement component), led by Martine Billard and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, held its third congress in Bordeaux (South-east of France).

A congress in which the main leaders did not hesitate to deliverer a very radical and even some violent speech vis-à-vis the PM Jean-Marc Ayrault’s policy. Jean-Luc Mélenchon even tackled Pierre Moscovici, current minister of Economy and Finance with very polemic words, provoking the indignation of Parti Socialiste (PS, Socialist Party) and his first secretary, Harlem Desir.

Indeed, the current radical left MEP said Moscovici did not think French but international finance. His statements were strongly criticized insofar as Melenchon seemed to refer the current minister’s Jewish origins. Although Melenchon’s statements were misunderstood and miswritten by the AFP agency (in fact, Melenchon would have said: “Moscovici does not speak in French but the international finance’s language”), they give a clear indication of the new PG’s state of mind.

With a harsher political line, the Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s movement seems to have chosen its side, that is to say the opposition to the French Socialist Party and the strategy led by François Hollande and Jean-Marc Ayrault for pure ideological reasons with the following objective: forcing the Parti communiste français (PCF, French Communist Party) to choose between the Parti de gauche the French Socialist Party.

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In the perspective of the 2014 local elections, the PG is looking for maintaining pressure on its main partner in the Front de gauche movement, even if it means to paint it into corner. Nonetheless, it is not sure the Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s diatribe against the French socialists and some members of the government were well appreciated within the PCF executive direction insofar as contrary to the PG, communists look for a more moderated position, at least a more realistic one vis-à-vis the Ayrault cabinet and the PS which is still, an evitable partner on the left, in spite of all. But, the Front de gauche leader’s polemic statements become problematic for the French communists insofar as Jean-Luc Mélenchon is more and more out of control and seems to score his own goal, with the major risk to create a deep division with the Front de gauche as far as the leading strategy within and vis-à-vis the ruling majority is concerned.

Forcing communists to make a choice and expressing a deeper and deeper aversion (in other words, his hate) vis-à-vis a French Socialist he considers as more and more social-democrat, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is taking a more or less insane risk and seems to go in a fanatic drifting in which, he is convicted by the necessity to hit strong and hard on the governing Left, even if it means to be borderline. It should not be surprising because this is the Melenchon’s style and temperament, but his attitude is worrying and worrying and more and more an issue especially when some PG’s activists and executives (as François Delapierre, insulting the Eurogroup ministers including Mosovici, in meeting in Brussels during the negotiations with Cyrpus for a new bailout plan, as bastards) become more and more sectarian and vindictive vis-à-vis the French Socialist Party.

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To sum up, Melenchon hopes to grab people deceived by the François Hollande’s policy but also take his (political as personal) revenge on a French Socialist Party he has more hated than respected and on a French Communist Party he wants to dominate even if it means to threat the Front de gauche movement’s unity. It is mainly for this reason, Marc Dolez, PG’s cofounder, quitted the Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party on the last December, tackling the strategy of his leader. A very risky and probably unsuccessful strategy which might even enjoy the extremes, Marine Le Pen’s Front national, in particularly.

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