Fillon Has a Problem and the Louvre Attack

An attack at the Louvre this morning, François Fillon (candidate for the presidency from the the right wing party « les Républicains », Sarkozy’s party) accused (thanks to the revelations of the Canard Enchainé)of providing his wife and two of his kids fictive employment to the tune of almost a million euros.

False flag ? Fake news ?

Who knows these days ? The Louvre attack may have been the reaction of someone at the end of his rope. Who, other than some destabilized person, would confront heavily armed military forces with a knife, or a « machete » as some of the media here reported, as a demonstration of discontent with France’s foreign policy ? Or whatever other reason ? And there are quite a few.

Update : In one of our neighborhood cafés this morning, the morning edition of le Parisien provided some details about the assailant. Egyptian, 29 years old, working in UAE as a sales representative for an environmental development company (whatever that means), from a good family whose favorite movie is « Home Alone », a fan of Munich Bayern soccer team. But. A few hours before his attack, he begins tweeting stuff like this : « Pas de négociation possible, pas de compromis, pas de pommade à passer, et certainement pas de retour possible. Il n’y a pas de paix dans la guerre. » (No negotiation possible, no compromise, no cream to apply, and certainly no return possible. There’s no peace in war. – my translation). The reference to « pommade » could be a reference to products which keep hair in place and is probably not literal, rather a figurative way of saying something along the lines of « There’s no way to put lipstick on this pig ». In an accompanying article, his father, a retired police general, claims complete surprise and a friend, somehow located, thinks his account may have been pirated.

Fillon’s problems remind me of Jérôme Cahuzac’s problems of having Swiss bank accounts which he claimed he never had. The common refrain, « Tous Pourris ! » (They’re all corrupt!) comes to mind as well.

As it should. They’re all rotten. To the core. To even be able to speak of a « political class » is to recognize that there is a class, a caste of untouchables. Whether it’s the Socialistes or their so-called right wing political adversaries of whatever new political label, they have managed to control, as in the US, the political discourse to such an extent that any discerning or truly dissident voice is cancelled. Marine le Pen is trotted out from time to time to excite the equivalent of Trump voters, to distract from the dysfunctionality of the status quo.

As in the US, with the continuity of the Clinton, Bush, Obama policies, French politics since Sarkozy (one could go back as far as Giscard, with the possible exception of the relatively peaceful Chirac who preferred simple traditional French food and drink to complicated wars) have been nothing but disastrous. I’ll leave Sarko, the US’s favorite war monger, for the time being. Hapless François « deer in the headlights » Hollande, like Obama, promised change, and renegged on pretty much every campaign promise. His approval rating floats around 4% these days and he has wisely renounced making a run for a second term, which would have been more embarrassing than his current flailing mandate.

So the French are presented with a right wing alleged fraudster, Fillon, and a pseudo-socialist, Benoît Hamon who hints at offering a universal income and a few things tinted green, another political class lifer. What to make of all this ?

I don’t know. The upcoming elections in France may indicate another direction for Europe, as they might follow the logic of the Brexit. Maybe not going so far as electing la Marine (though given the recent Fillon scandals, anything is possible), but inciting a backlash to things as they are. And given the options, that might very well be the result.

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