Friday 30 June 2017

Fascist Marine Le Pen charged over funding scandal

The leader of the fascist Front National, Marine Le Pen, has been put under formal investigation over an alleged European parliament funding scandal. Le Pen is the most significant fascist in Europe. Fascists internationally look to her and the FN as an example of what is possible, electorally and otherwise.

The allegations have been made to French investigators who have opened a case against Le Pen. The French parliament thinks that some €5m (£4m; $5.4m) may have gone to assistants of Le Pen’s National Front (FN) who were not working for MEPs but were involved in FN work in France. Unsurprisingly, the National Front has denied the allegations.

The alleged fraudulent payments – from 2012 onwards – concern Le Pen and several other FN MEPs. The allegations first surfaced in April, before the second round of voting in the French presidential election. Le Pen was beaten by Emmanuel Macron, by 66% to 34% but disturbingly, she and other FN members have seats in the French parliament.

Le Pen refused to answer questions on the allegations during the campaign but said she would co-operate after the second round of presidential elections. Her lawyer says she had been summoned by magistrates in Paris and “as expected, placed under criminal investigation”.

After getting through to the run off Le Pen temporarily stepped down as head of the Front National. This move was intended to promote her as more “presidential”. In truth it was a cynical attempt to distance herself from her party’s toxic image.

Nobody should be in any doubt that the FN is a fascist organisation. Marine Le Pen’s father Jean Marie founded the party and remains its honorary president. He has been convicted 6 times for racism and inciting racial hatred and described the Holocaust as a mere “detail” of history.

Marine Le Pen may have smoothed the rhetoric but she has carried on her father’s foul legacy. Racism and Islamophobia are at the heart of her political agenda. Le Pen recently denied that France’s Vichy government was responsible for the infamous “Vel d’Hiv round up” of tens of thousands of Jewish people and their deportation to Nazi death camps. Behind her sharp suits lurk a cadre of activists with serious links to neo Nazi squads.

Despite Le Pen’s ultimate defeat in the Presidential election, she is arrogantly confident of capturing the Elysee Palace in 2022. Her belief is that demoralisation with a Emmanuel Macron presidency will pave the way for her to triumph in 5 years time.

Le Pen’s success is a wake up call to the millions of French people who hate racism and fascism. The building of a united front to drive the Front National back is an urgent priority. This message must be taken out into every workplace, trade and student union and to community and faith groups.

Tens of thousands have marched against the Front National in the past. This must now be turned into a real movement against them. A movement that addresses the question of islamophobia and racism.

 


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