The Socialist

The Socialist 19 April 2017

Tories out!

The Socialist issue 945

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government


900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us


Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty


What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?


Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of socialistworld.net


CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017


Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox


TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!

 
 
 
 
 

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French presidential election

Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

The huge crowd at Melenchon's rally in Toulouse photo Terry Adams

The huge crowd at Melenchon's rally in Toulouse photo Terry Adams   (Click to enlarge)

Terry Adams, Tarn, France

European capitalism is in crisis. It is failing to deliver the basic requirements for the working class on jobs, pay, pensions, housing, health and education. In this situation choices emerge on the right and left. Such is the case in France today.

The presidential election first round ballot takes place on 23 April. There are eleven candidates which in practice narrows down to four, two of whom will go through to a second ballot on 7 May.

The four are Marine Le Pen (Front Nationale - far-right) François Fillon (Républicains - conservative right), Emmanuel Macron (En Marche! - neoliberal) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon (La France Insoumise - 'France Unbowed' - left).

Le Pen is almost certain to go through to the next round. Fillon has faltered, engulfed by a sea of financial scandals. Macron, who until a few weeks ago looked like a shoe-in, has been exposed as programmatically weak and he too has stalled. This leaves Mélenchon who, with a week to go, has developed momentum.

Enthusiasm for Mélenchon and his anti-austerity programme was evident at his rally in Toulouse, Prairie des Filtres, on 16 April. The 70,000-strong crowd included a large number of young people. There are parallels here with the Sanders and Corbyn campaigns.

Rally

Mélenchon's hour-long speech was punctuated throughout with cries from the crowd of "résistance" and, addressed to the liberal elite political class, "dégagez" (make way!)

Any mention of Le Pen, Fillon or Macron was greeted with a loud chorus of boos.

The rally concluded with a huge rendition of the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, accompanied by much waving of the tricolour.

This seemed to be a conscious act of reclamation of the symbols of the French Republic from Le Pen ("La reine de l'extrème droite" - queen of the far right) who has sought to appropriate these symbols as her own.

Mélenchon's social programme is a solid set of radical reforms. But there is a weakness in his overall programme and that is the economy. Proposed measures like 100% tax on annual earnings of over €400,000 will, if implemented, go some way towards financing his reforms, eg increased minimum wage and a retirement age of 60 with pension of €1,000 a month.

But bringing down the scandalously high unemployment levels, especially among the youth, will require the planned use of resources, which in turn poses issues of control and ownership of capital.

Moves in this direction, even his limited bank nationalisation programme, will bring Mélenchon into direct conflict with French business interests. Is he really prepared to take the French capitalist class head on?

It's anybody's guess which of the four principal candidates will go through to the second ballot. But Mélenchon is in with a good chance - the momentum is with him.


In this issue


What we think

Defeat the millionaires' Tory government


Socialist Party news and analysis

900 carers quit a day - nationalise social care now

Fight the Sun's bigoted lies

Benefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

Joint struggle can stop tuition fee interest hike

Them & Us


Jobstown Not Guilty

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty


Save our NHS

What kind of movement is needed to save our NHS?


International socialist news and analysis

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

French presidential election: Mélenchon campaign gains momentum

Relaunch of socialistworld.net


Workplace news and analysis

CWU conference: fight Royal Mail pension attack

Workers sailing to victory on Woolwich ferry

PCS ballot papers out: vote Democracy Alliance

Weapons workers continue pension strike

Mood for a fightback at education conferences

Picturehouse cinema strike spreads

National Shop Stewards Network conference 2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mass movements, not 'fringe cultures', can win feminist change

Buses and buggies: a driver speaks

The Socialist inbox


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

TUSC backs RMT Save Our Guards campaign, while local Labour Party blocks debate

Energetic start to TUSC local election campaigning

Doncaster mayoral election: Socialist Steve campaign diary

TUSC council candidate vows never to go to the 'dark side'!


 

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