Manuel Valls, France’s new prime minister, is often compared to Tony Blair. He even describes himself, without apparent irony, as “Blairiste”. Surprisingly, this hasn’t done him much… Read more “A new Bambi or a new Speedy at the Matignon?”
Unlike some on the left, I wasn’t a great fan of Hugo Chávez, but the bile directed at El Commandante from the right is revealing. True, he said… Read more “Getting away with it?”
François Mitterrand, French president between 1981 and 1995, died 16 years ago. Well, so they said. But turn on French radio or TV, look around a bookshop,… Read more “The strange afterlife of François Mitterrand”
This is a stand first.
Far from the May Day rallies, François Hollande visits Nevers to invoke the ghosts of the French left.
Jean-Luc Mélanchon will not be President of the Republic next month. In fact, he won’t make it past Sunday’s first round of the election. The final opinion polls show the Front de gauche candidate finishing fourth, just behind the far-right leader Marine Le Pen. But it is Mélenchon who has come closest to setting this otherwise dreary campaign alight, with his revivalist campaign rallies and his incendiary attacks on international finance. He has cast a long shadow which could extend well beyond the now-likely installation of François Hollande as president on 15 May.
Okay, so he’s almost there. Since he emerged as the Socialist presidential candidate last October, every single opinion poll has pointed to a clear win for François… Read more “One foot in the Élysée”
François Bayrou, the veteran centrist candidate for the French presidency, is at last shaking off his label as the ‘third man’ of French politics. But not in… Read more “The man in the middle”
I have to admit that I’d never heard of Michel Serres until a couple of weeks ago, when I read this interview in Le Monde Magazine (6 November). Serres is a… Read more “The wisdom of Michel Serres”