(Ramblings on a Monday morning)
Unless you live under a rock and are completely isolated from all forms of news you should be aware of a very important election coming up.
No, not that one, the other one.
The French one silly.
France is holding its Presidential elections and just finished the first round, eleven candidates went in, two came out. The results confirmed many of the polls and estimates over the last few months and you would think would be deeply worrying for the establishment of both France and elsewhere. Because every single establishment candidate, every career politicians, every candidate from the mainstream parties was rejected by the voters.
Ex Prime Minister, Republican and very much an establishment candidate Fillon managed 19%. Socialist Melenchon, also a career politician also managed 19% of the vote. The others barely registered on the chart.
The two leaders, Macron on 23% and Le Pen on 21% will go into the second round in a few weeks time, both are running on anti establishment platforms, both offering something new and different to a country that is suffering under traditional politics.
Ladies first so Marine Le Pen:
Considered Far Right, political party is Front National.
A Lawyer, EX MEP, EX Councillor, long term politician but very anti the establishment. Very much a nationalist agenda, cutting Immigration massively, jobs for French citizens first, housing for French citizens first, returning control to the nation, restoring the French Franc, referendum on membership in the EU, more police, more prison places, tougher on crime.
A fairly familiar set of policies, most of which are now part of the Tory agenda after they basically absorbed the entire UKIP agenda.
Centrist, economic policy generally liberal, otherwise slightly to the left of centre, party is Le Marche which is entirely new, he created it last year.
A civil servant and investment banker, an adviser to president Hollande, economy minister for two years and now presidential candidate and head of his own party. Running on an agenda of remaking the failed political system, create more jobs, cut business taxes, encourage social mobility, cut public spending, reduce the size of the public sector, establish a single Eurozone government and federalise the EU, hire more police, stronger law and order.
Both candidates claiming to be anti establishment, both offering change and reformation, both claiming to oppose the existing political system. Both offering an agenda that is different, both offering to overthrow the establishment, the corruption, the inefficiency, both offering themselves as the new hope for the future.
Now. Where have we heard this before?
If you answered everywhere, well done, you win a cookie but you'll have to buy it yourself.
This was what we heard in 2015 here in the UK, from UKIP and from the Tories. This is what we heard in the states from Trump. This is what we are hearing in France, this is what we are hearing in the UK now as people try to persuade us to vote for them.
Trump was the outsider, the business man, the anti establishment figure who was going to drain the swamp and Clinton was very much the establishment figure representing the old, self serving system. May tells us to vote for her because every vote for her makes her stronger, gives her the power to crush the rebel alliance once and...
Ahem, right. Vote Tory to return control to the UK, to cut immigration, more jobs for British people. Trump was Jobs for Americans. Le Pen is jobs for the French, Macron is more jobs for everyone.
All offering something new, all offering change for the better. So vote for them. But none of them actually are different, none of them are actually anti establishment, instead they just represent different areas or the establishment.
May claims to be taking back control while charging for a hard Brexit and wants this election to establish her authority, get her MPs off the hook for fraud charges, give her an actual elected job rather than a coronation, give her an unquestionable justification for the hardest of hard Brexits while at the same time turning the UK into a Tax exile for the worlds corporations who can come here to see Victorian levels of poverty in the shadow of those towering tax avoiding corporate headquarters.
Trump was the outsider who bought in an entire government of insiders, bankers, establishment figures and multi millionaires to represent 'the people'. More police, stronger law and order except where those laws get in the way of corporate profit. Jobs for Americans, buy American, USA, USA, USA.
Le Pen wants Frexit, she wants her own currency again, she wants out from the Old established French political system, she wants drastically reduced immigration so all those jobs go to French people instead. Taking back control, sovereignty, you could translate what she wants into English and put a Tory sticker on it.
Macron wants the opposite of Le Pen, he wants a European super state, a federal government. The reduction of existing French laws and state control but replacing them with federal laws and federal control. The "Etat Federal Europeen". In many ways Macron is the most establishment candidate of them all, but like the others, it's a different establishment.
Now the two candidates Le Pen and Macron go into round two, many of the failed candidates are calling on their voters to support the centrist candidate Macron, others are calling for an anti Le Pen vote, an anti nationalist vote. Which is what makes this likely to be a considerable win for Macron. The candidate who has come from the outside, the business man, the one who claims to want to reduce the French state and civil service, the anti Le Pen candidate, the anti Clinton candidate.
And yet a candidate who grew up as a part of the French political class, a man who attended the great French political school that is infamous for forming the political views and attitudes of generations of elitist French politicians. The candidate who will get rid of many traditional French politicians, and replace them with European politicians. In short, the Trump candidate.
So why is this important, don't we have to worry about the UK general election, Theresa "Police State" May driving us into a crushing Brexit, the breakup of the UK, economic ruin for 95% of the population and all that. Well yes we do. But what is happening in France will make our own situation worse.
A Win for Macron (likely) will be a win for the European Federal State, something which will make the case for Brexit stronger still and which will harden even more the negotiations between the EU and the UK, after all if large, rich and populous France votes for a STRONGER EU that's going to have an effect on how the rest of the EU looks at those horrible British types with their arrogant go it alone attitude.
Or if Le Pen wins (unlikely but not impossible) then France will be looking at a Leave referendum, one made more likely by Britain's vote and the death spiral of the EU. With both Britain and France leaving Germany will be deep in the cow droppings, unless both leavers can be forced to continue paying into the EU then Germany will break away as well, there is no way the Germany people will fund the EU alone and the German politicians know it. A Le Pen victory, or even a close defeat will significantly change the German political scene as well.
Plus if both France and Britain are leaving they will strengthen and embolden each other.
The Americans electing Trump, the EU referendum in the UK, the current French elections, the other upcoming Euro elections. These are all a very clear indication that the population are royally pissed off about the world they find themselves in. Any candidate that runs as anti establishment gets massive support, the more extreme the better. Hate and fear have replaced reasoned debate, everyone is being taught to hate the immigrants, every front page, every sound bit is nationalism, us first, everyone else second. A rejection of the elite, a vote against the system that makes the rich and powerful ever richer and more powerful while making everyone else poorer.
And yet it isn't.
The actual anti establishment candidates are reviled, the media voices of their billionaire owners play the voters like puppets, every candidate who is supported and promoted in our news represents the establishment in one way or another, or the media wouldn't support them.
Both candidates in the French election represent an aspect of the establishment, just not the obvious one, Trump, May, they are part of the establishment. All of them speak not for the people as a whole, but for small groups of people who benefit them. None of them are actual outsiders, all of them have grown up as part of the system, lived within the political and ruling class, had their attitudes and thoughts shaped and formed by the same schools and colleges that produce all the rest of the political and ruling elite.
The French election is important for two reasons.
Firstly because no matter who wins now, Brexit is going to be as hard as May can make it, either she will be encouraged by French support or opposed by a French drive to federalism. The prospect of a soft Brexit, of genuine negotiations that don't leave most of the UK population is, excuse my language but, FUCKED.
Secondly the more this happens the more obvious it is, the blatant manipulation of the population by the establishment that has grown over the decades into a self supporting parasite that exists to enrich the few and impoverish the many. Nothing changes, the fine words and promises are hollow, people come to realise that every candidate is false, that the entire system is the enemy.
We are walking into the future, the end result of decades of an elite, political ruling class, the new nobility ruling over the serfs and peasants. The wealth gap is at levels not seen since Medieval times when kings and princes had chests full of gold and peasants bartered because they had never seen a gold coin in their lives, now we have politicians and corporations with wealth beyond our imagination.
Across Europe we fought wars to make our kings and lords richer, then we fought wars to overthrow those kings and lords, now we fight wars to make our politicians and corporations richer. Then...
We are following the same path, history repeating itself in so many ways. Our leaders distract us with external enemies:
THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING !
While trying to hide that we suffer simply to fill the pockets of our lords and princes, our politicians and corporations.
This has happened before across history, it will probably happen again because we never learn. War, war never changes, nor does greed or lust for power. But each time we have reached this point it has ended in violence. The rich lords, the powerful princes bring out their armies to protect their positions. The politicians bring out their laws, the corporations bring out their private security.
It ends in violence, it always has ended in violence.
We are there, we are at the point where it starts, the fighting is happening but it's just a vocal minority so far, the bulk of the population are quiet, tolerant, suffering in silence. Just like before, every time before. And it ends in violence. First riots, then new leaders offering change, then the rebellion against the system.
The French election is just the latest example, history repeating itself. No matter which candidate gets in, it will be worse for Britain and in time worse for France. False candidates, smoke and mirrors, honeyed words offering change and brining none. This is the system, this is the establishment, a boot stamping on our faces and a voice telling us it doesn't hurt.
In history this always ends in violence.
If we actually looked at history we would see this, but our leaders never do, because the cycle is always repeated. Lords and corporations overcome by their lust for wealth, Politicians and princes overcome by their lust for power. Both using Laws and armies to keep the peasants crushed in the mud. Until those same peasants rebel, until the lords and princes are murdered or thrown down. Are we so enlightened in the 21st century that it will be different, will our democracy bring us a new system when it is designed to maintain the power of our rulers?
It always ends in violence.