[Marxism] Segolene Royal: Is This the Next President of France? (WSJ)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 10 07:12:19 MST 2007

Another unlikely "leftist" that Walter Lippmann 
has dug up, like a cat presenting its master with 
a dead mouse as a gift. Did he notice that the 
WSJ article stated the following?

>The 53-year-old mother of four has praised China for the efficiency
>of its justice system and criticized the most sacred of French cows,
>the 35-hour workweek.

There is *no* justice system in China. There is an injustice system.

During Chen Guancheng's retrial, his lawyers 
complain key witnesses were kidnapped. Harsh 
sentences and beating inflicted on the sons of 
Rebiya Kadeer, defender of Uyghur minority 
rights. An anti-AIDS activist is arrested to 
prevent him from holding a public forum on the issue.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) ? China's justice 
system continues to strike the country's human 
rights activists.  The trial of Chen Guangcheng 
(an activist against forced abortions) has seen 
witnesses disappear. In Xinjiang, two sons of 
dissident Rebiya Kadeer were found guilty in tax 
evasion. In Beijing an AIDS activist is jailed for organising a public forum.

The blind activist, who focused world attention 
on coercive birth-control measures by village 
officials in Shandong province, was given an 
unusually harsh sentence of four years and three 
months in jail in August for damaging property 
and organising a mob to disrupt traffic. But he 
was granted a surprise retrial late last month 
for irregularities (three of Mr Chen's lawyers 
were arrested and replaced with court-appointed 
counsel). His retrial began yesterday with the 
disappearance of four witnesses and the brief detention of one of his lawyer.

His current defence team said four key witnesses 
for the defendant were "kidnapped" on Sunday by 
local officials, including villager Chen Guanghe, 
who was taken away by several unidentified people 
in front of the lawyers on Sunday.

full: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=7870&geo=6&size=A


Prior to the debates, Royal had made it clear to 
the French ruling elites that she was capable of 
breaking out of the constraints of the Socialist 
Party’s traditional rhetoric, which involves 
giving lip service to anti-militarism, the 
handling of crime as a social problem, the 
defence of workers’ rights and egalitarian aspirations.

In contrast to Jospin, who had, while pursuing 
pro-capitalist policies, attempted to distance 
himself from Tony Blair’s extreme market-oriented 
policies, Royal professed her admiration for the British prime minister.

She called for delinquent youth to be taken in 
hand by the military, for the weakening of 
regulations which prevent school choice from 
being the preserve of the middle and upper 
classes (i.e., the right wing’s demand for “freedom of choice”).

And for doubling of the hours of attendance for 
teachers in collèges (catering for ages 11 to 
15). She made the demagogic populist proposal 
that citizen juries, selected at random, should 
assess the performance of elected representatives.

Royal won the nomination not because she put 
forward a popular programme, but because she was 
systematically built up by the media as the 
candidate most likely to beat the contender of 
the ruling UMP (Union for a Popular Movement).

As the paper Libération commented, the issue was 
not to chose “the candidate most suited to 
represent the party at the presidential 
elections” but “the candidate most able to beat the right.”

It was a question of “voter utile”—a vote for 
what would be most useful to gain power. This is 
cryptic language for choosing the candidate best 
capable of attracting the support of the 
bourgeois media and political establishment.

The two outvoted candidates immediately confirmed 
that they would rally to the winner. Despite the 
fact that Fabius had been a leading opponent of 
the party’s support for the European constitution 
and had adopted a mildly reformist posture 
against the openly pro-business positions of his 
opponents, his spokesman Claude Bartelone declared:

“The only thing that counts now is that the 
Socialists should unite under the best possible 
conditions, and right now get to preparing the posters and paste.”

Fabius supporter SP deputy Jean-Luc Mélenchon, 
however, expressed fear of the complete isolation 
of the SP from the working class with such an 
openly right-wing candidate. He articulated the 
need for a “left” alternative credible enough to 
head off working class struggles.

full: http://www.radicalleft.net/blog/_archives/2006/11/20/2511700.html

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