After the alarming success of the Front National in European Parliament elections, it now appears to be casting itself adrift from its founding father
Many people are concerned in France and beyond about the huge gains made by the very right-wing party in the European elections, particularly with the other main parties in France in a state of turmoil. One thing is always guaranteed with the Front National, however: they’re never boring.
On Tuesday last, the FN decided to cease broadcasting the weekly video blog of its founder and Président d’Honneur Jean-Marie Le Pen. The FN lawyer Wallerand de Saint-Just said in a statement that Mr Le Pen had said something incriminating in one of the videos broadcast last Friday.
The explosive response from Le Pen didn’t take long. The founder of the largest extreme right-wing party in France (now headed by his daughter Marine Le Pen) proclaimed in a telephone interview that “My daughter has stabbed me in the back. If I’m pissing them off, they only have to kill me. I’m not going to kill myself.” The outburst was tweeted shortly afterwards by the interviewing journalist David Doucet, who is also co-author of a book on the FN.
Le Pen also spoke to magazine Le Point, elaborating on the drama: “There’s no sign of courtesy in this affair. In terms of the fall-out to me personally, I’m very hurt,” he conceded. While still categorically refusing to resign (“I’m the only person in the FN to nominated for life”), he indicated that he has had no more contact with his daughter Marine Le Pen since: “I have no more communication with her,” he said, without going into any details as to who is refusing to talk to whom.
With regard to the end of the video blog broadcast on the FN website, the lawyer for the party mentioned “legal reasons”. He explains that in the past, party president Marine Le Pen had been “targeted by claims as the one responsible for editorial content on the site” following extreme-right rants on-screen by her father. Now, says the legal representative, the party wishes to put a definitive end to the recurrence of such incidents.
For several years, Jean-Marie Le Pen has been using this weekly outlet as a soap-box to express his personal thoughts on current affairs. Every week, the video blog takes the form of a more-or-less prepared interview full of jokes, ironic comments and provocations.
Meanwhile, veteran film director and regular purveyor of crazy, 83-year-old Jean-Luc Godard said in an interview with Le Monde that President Hollande should “nominate Marine Le Pen Prime Minister… so that we can pretend that things are moving, even if they aren’t.”