Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Macron’s headlong plunge into mayhem


A WEEK may be a long cliché in politics, but French President Emmanuel Macron must still be wondering how things could have gone so wrong in the last seven days.

It all got off to such a promising start last Monday, with the seventh edition of his big business stunt ‘Choose France’ (not a translation, that’s what the globish motormouth calls it). He was excitedly able to announce 16billion euros of badly needed direct foreign investment into the asthmatic French economy. ‘When you turn on the TV, you might think everything’s going wrong in France,’ he grinned gap-toothedly at assembled suits last Monday after Microsoft announced 4billion euros of investment into French Artificial Intelligence.

Twenty-four hours later if you turned on the TV you’d be watching CCTV footage of four hooded men executing two French prison officers in the back of a transport van while ‘liberating’ a drug dealer. A day later, you could add scenes of insurrection in the Pacific French overseas territory of New Caledonia. The next day saw a New Caledonian police officer dying of his wounds after being shot by a rioter before a state of emergency was officially declared by Macron. You might indeed be tempted to believe ‘everything’s going wrong in France.

Only a few weeks ago, two Marseille magistrates stated to an inquiry commission that they were concerned ‘we are losing the war on drug dealers’. This would appear to understate the matter quite well, given the number of social media posts from residents showing shoot-outs between rival gangs with nary a blue uniform in sight. Officials have long been fearing a ‘mexicanisation’ of the city. The response of the Justice Minister, the combative Eric Dupond-Moretti, at the time? ‘I don’t like defeatist talk’.

Fast forward to less than two months later, with Dupond-Moretti facing a press pack, talking of how he had just returned from speaking to the grieving pregnant wife of one of the assassinated prison officers who’d been ‘put down like a dog’. He looked pretty defeated.

Of course, none of this is the fault of anyone in power. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has suggested he sees Azerbaijani political interference in the pillaging and burning of shops by young black men in New Caledonia. Macron has not pointed any specific fingers yet, but he may decide to draw a link, as he did in January, between the looting and ‘kids without access to culture and sport who were bored‘, his best explanation of how cities around France found themselves on fire last year (my explanation is here).

Whatever Macron or his government do, you can be sure that they won’t take the blame. Having poured money into the strategically important New Caledonia to prop up its economy, the brand new libraries, school buildings and hospitals so lovingly gifted to help them have not been spared by the teenage arsonists. The authorities haven’t shirked on supplying police either: there were 1,800 before the rioting got going in earnest last week – that’s one officer per 150 people living on the island. Yet white residents have been forced to set up their own barricade-checkpoints and organise radio communications between communities to try to head off marauding armed yobs intent on burning the homes and businesses of ‘white motherf*ckers’.

We can properly talk of ‘state failure’ in this case. But what the authorities have not understood (or perhaps, sinisterly, some have) is that with a mixture of official apologies for colonialism, accompanied by a special status for the ‘indigenous’ population, and a willingness to spend the money extorted from the French taxpayer to ‘appease’ the poorer, darker-skinned inhabitants of the island, it is they who are primarily to blame for the creation of a racial grievance culture. Coupled with the nihilism of local teenagers, this has led to the recent violent attempts at expropriation of the better off, and specifically white, population.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, the drug dealer sprung from captivity by a curiously well-informed and well-organised militarily-armed crew, has managed to evade several hundred mobilised officers and recapture to date. Regardless of the suspicious nature of this ‘jailbreak’, from an ordinary citizen’s point of view this looks like gross incompetence or negligence on the part of the state. Remember, they found it easy to set up roadblocks during covid to check if people were home in time for the curfew and fine them appropriately. Of course, when you’re dealing with important stuff like a deadly respiratory virus . . .

Not surprisingly, a French national poll for Le Figaro newspaper last week claimed that 72 per cent of respondents were not confident that Macron (or indeed any member of his government) could deal with crime effectively. However, nor do they believe that Marine Le Pen’s National Rally could do much better (66 per cent remain unconvinced it could). The state itself is thus increasingly seen as unable to protect the people who are paying for it, nolens volens, to do so. The result is an increasing number of local action groups or individuals getting ready, or taking action, to defend their families and property themselves.

There’s currently a fair bit of talk about civil war in the US. Philosopher and Frexiteer Michel Onfray has described France as already long being in a ‘quiet civil war’. Whether it’s Macron, or anyone else in charge, it seems as if the civil war in France is slowly getting noisier and nastier.

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Richard Ings
Richard Ings
Richard Ings is an actor, musician, part-time revolutionary and one-time parliamentary candidate for the Brexit Party. He can be found on Twitter @richardcings or He writes at

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