What posture to adopt in the face of the far right? A strange vagueness reigns at the top of the State, since Emmanuel Macron sharply reframed in the Council of Ministers his Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, daughter of survivor of the Holocaust, who had considered, Sunday, May 28, that the National Rally ( RN) was “Pétain’s heir”. THE « clarifications » he wanted to bring, Wednesday, from Slovakia, did not dissipate the unease. “We can no longer defeat the far right in our democracy simply with historical and moral arguments”reiterated the President of the Republic, although he usually claims to “look history in the face”. “Stick the Pétain label on Marine Le Pen’s forehead is a major mistake”pushes an Elysian adviser.
“We must discredit” the RN by raising its inconsistencies rather than using “moral positions”lectured Mr. Macron on Tuesday at the Elysée Palace, suggesting that these two strategies against the far right would be contradictory. “You will not be able to make millions of French people who voted for the far right believe that they are fascists”he asserted.
In the macronist camp, the presidential thunderbolt remains misunderstood. At Matignon, it is rumored that Elisabeth Borne has expressed no moral judgment. Contrary to Emmanuel Macron, Bruno Le Maire defends, on Wednesday, that“we can recall perfectly, as the Prime Minister did, the history of the RN while fighting the RN on its proposals and on its ideas”. Eric Dupond-Moretti explains, to him, Monde that“we obviously have to oppose the FN [Front national, l’ancien nom du RN] on his incompetence, his permanent reversals, his final condemnation by the courts in the case of the campaign kits. But also on its history, because the FN is the fruit of its history, a party founded by Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pierre Bousquet, former Waffen-SS”.
Borne’s “infamous” remarks
At the National Rally, we rub our hands at this word spoken at the highest peak of the state. The tone was set by M.me Le Pen, who judged, on Sunday, the words of Mme Borne “infamous” et “unworthy”she who believes she has dispelled the clouds of the past by changing the name of the party in 2018 and excluding her father, three years earlier, after yet another anti-Semitic outburst.
Party cadres are trained in the response to the collaborationist past of the founders of the National Front. It comes in two forms, deployed since Sunday: the highlighting of former resistance fighters who walked under the frontist banner and the reminder of the Vichy friendships of elected officials from other parties. “Some creators of the FN were certainly collaborators, in the middle of others who were resistant”affirms Louis Aliot, craftsman of the demonization of the National Front in the 2010s. The vice-president of the RN describes these founders as “much less involved in collaboration” as the future socialist president François Mitterrand or the future minister of the Gaullist party Maurice Papon – whose role in the deportation of the Jews was revealed after his political career.
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