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 harm. In recent months, Valls has emerged from relative obscurity to become by far the most popular member… Read More
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 some vile things – being the sort of politician who got carried away with his own rhetoric and… Read More
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, or scan the feature pages of a French paper, and old Tonton is still with us. Perhaps it… Read More
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 Hollande over Nicholas Sarkozy in the second and final round of the election. Sarkozy’s recent revival in the… Read More
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 the way he would want. Currently languishing in fifth place in the polls, behind both hard-left Front de… Read More
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 philosopher, which is a profession in France and a term of abuse in Britain. He is also a… Read More