Monday, May 07, 2007

Someday a real rain will come

So, the title of most famous living Hungarian, vacant since Puskas died last year, has now been won by Nicolas Sarkozy. I know that Sarkozy is Hungarian in name only (and even that should really be Sárközy), but since he thinks of immigrants as scum I think one should constantly remind him that he is one himself (even if he was the son of an aristocrat, and not some poor marginalised Algerian in the banlieues). Though I can't help thinking that before long, there won't be a Hungarian in the world who wants to be linked in any way to him. He promises to make the Bush presidency look like a model of enlightened decency and respect for human and civil rights.

While we're on the subject, how come much of the English language press refers to him as "centre right"? I know the centre has moved to the right, but surely not as much as to allow some hard-line right winger who actively courts Le Pen's supporters and openly wishes that the immigrant scum be washed off the streets of Paris with a high pressure hose to be considered "centre right"? He's a French Travis Bickle. Except rather than trying to kill the president he tried to be one - and succeeded.

9 comments:

Florin said...

I think the post is just too harsh on Sarkozy. He may have a hard stance on immigration but this atitude is triggered by the fear of having an islamist nucleus in France.
Sarkozy has campained for a renewal of republican values and his view on immigration is that those already in France should be integrated into french society before accepting a new wave of immigrants.
After the attacks in Madrid and London it is safe to say that unbridled multicultualism has failed in Europe and Sarkozy is trying to prevent the formation of the equivalent of a londonistan in Paris. It's unacceptable that western society should allow in its midst imams who disseminate hate speech against the same society that has accepted them in the first place.
It is true that Sarkozy has pursued a policy of deporting those residing illegaly in France (the "sans-papiers")but it's equally true that during his stay as Minister of the Interior no "7/7" took place in France.
The government in which Sarkozy played a major role has banned muslim headscarves in state schools and the interior ministry deported an imam who taught his followers that wife-beating was OK and who said he wanted an islamic republic in France.This was not the only instance in which radical imams were expelled by the "brutish" Sarkozy.I'm afraid that the British government is too afraid to offend "muslim sensitivities" to act properly with their own batch of islamist .
It's also worth noting that Sarkozy is not an islamophobe having been the first french politician to request state funding for the building of mosques. The thinking behind this is that ,if moderate muslim communities are supported in such a way ,the more radical elements coming from abroad will not be able to wield any influence by the use of their money.
You also mentioned in your post Sarkozy's "racaille" comment which, while not being the best choice of words, was uttered during a string of pointless and violent attacks against the interests of ordinary peoples(cars were burned and schools were broken into).
The anger that is brewing in the "banlieues" is not due primarily to racism but to the utter lack of jobs for the young people living there. France has one of the highest rates of unemployment in the western world, especially amongst the younger population,and,unfortunately, the only way of redressing that is by doing exactly what Sarkozy has set out to do: liberalizing the labour market and lessening taxation .
Thus, Sarkozy will probably do more to help the 'scum' than his socialist rival would have done by maintining an unsustainable 'social model'.

Andy H said...

I hope you are right Florin and that he doesnt actually follow through on some of his more brutal statements against the immigrants. It is easy to win votes by attacking the dispossessed, and Sarkozy has played that card very heavily. I really would be pleasantly surprised if as president he suddenly worked for them. I am not holding my breath though...

I disagree with this though:
"it is safe to say that unbridled multiculturalism has failed in Europe"

The fact that no terrorist attack took place on his watch is utterly meaningless.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what uninformed bullshit! I didn't vote for him because I hate his Napoleonic complex and tough-guy attitude to media freedom and the like. But are you aware he's the only French politician to have advocated affirmative action for non-white minorities? To have pushed for a black journalist to host a high-profile TV newscast? To have vowed to have 50 pc of women in his government? Do you even know his spokeswoman, Rachida Dati, is a Frenchwoman of Moroccan-Algerian descent? Do you have any idea how many ethnic Arab professionals have voted for him? Do you ever do any research before you sound off about impending Fascist doom?
So yeah, he's pro-America and pro-Israel, and has no truck with the oh-so-trendy terrorist-hugging, antisemitic left. Same here. And he doesn't think fucked-up youths should go around burning cars, wrecking train stations, and raping young women on council estates. Do YOU think they should? Andre

florin said...

I'm in favour of monoculturalism and I want to stress that monoculturalism is not synonymous with cultural intolerance.
I'm sorry to see that leftist thinking has demonized the concept of a national state and that some people continue to think that authentic multiculturalism can ever take place.
Two cultural entities can coexist only as long as the minority makes concessions with regard to its own cultural identity.
I will give a telling example:
a muslim, who uses Friday as a day of rest, cannot hold a job in the western states unless he or she agrees not to celebrate this particular day.
Some fundamentilast christian-orthodox priests argue that a true christian should refrain from any form of activity on Sunday, including travel, which is clearly incompatible with the requirements of our age.

Andy H said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy H said...

Ok last night I lost my temper, and now regret one or two things I said to Andre here. But not everything, so having retracted the ugly bits, let's revisit

Andre: Your first paragraph is interesting - you're right I didn't know some of these things. I question how much it matters, given the way he's used the immigrant question in his campaigning, but OK, thanks for some information. However, let's lookat the rest of what you wrote, which rather spoilt your point as it made my original post look moderate and well balanced by comparison.

Who mentioned fascism? Not me. That came from you. Who mentioned his pro-US, pro-Israel politics? Not me. Once again it came from you. You seem determined to put me into some pigeonhole of this non existent anti-semitic leftist (have you ever met any of these anti-semitic leftists beloved of Fox News and the Likud party? I have to tell you I never have. And, and here's the crux, I'd thank you to retract that vile slur. I am not anti-semitic, nor am I "terrorist hugging", And if you don't retract that I see no point going on with this argument. I'll ignore your ridiculous question at the end since it seems you are just intending to be massively insulting there. Want to talk about Sarkozy? Fine. Want to abuse and insult me as an anti semitic apologist for rape? Then fuck off.


Florin: Can you define "monoculturalism" for me? I mean how you understand it. I think you're in danger of conflating religion and culture here. I agree that the minority "culture" has to adjust itself to fit in with the host society's norms, but I don't think that is a position opposed to multiculturalism.

Anonymous said...

OK, Andy, let's address your points:

Reading your own writings which you link to, I can see you clearly believe that it's evil to boycott Hamas. You therefore think my taxes should go to finance people who blow up Jewish buses, textbooks that deny the existence of Israel, and generally fanatics who believe Jews belong in the sea.

Let's read further:

"We all know why there are double standards, and why there will continue to be double standards even if the Palestinians elect a party of neo-liberal Gandhis."

But of course we all know why: because the Jews run the world, n'est-ce pas? I rest my case. Just because you speak in code doesn't make your positions any less transparent.

You ask where I see the antisemitic left beloved of Fox News? I don't have to look far: I see it all around me, and everyday: I see it in the opinion pages of the Guardian, I see it in Mayor Livingstone who abuses Jewish journalists while entertaining crazed imams who think gays should be hanged by their balls, I see it in the professional union from which I resigned last week, the NUJ, after it voted to boycott Israeli products and to blame Israel for the kidnapping and continued detention of Alan Johnston by Palestinian gunmen. (Clearly, logic doesn't matter to Israel-haters; and of course, there's no talk of boycotting Russian or Chinese or Sudanese exports.) I see it among academics in Britain deciding to boycott Israeli academics and Israeli universities. Need I go on?

Re: Sarkozy. You object to his use of the word "racaille" -- rabble, or scum -- in reference to crazed gangs who as part of their turf wars killed a young child. So what was the right expression? "Cool dudes"?

Let's move on: so you didn't mention Fascism by name. But you speak of immigrants being washed off the streets of Paris, hardline right-wingery, courting Le Pen. Pretty synonymous, wouldn't you say? (BTW: you object to him being called "centre-right", but don't seem to challenge the "Socialist" label for a woman who wants us to display the national flag at home and who wants young criminals interned in boot camp.) Which begs the question: who are you to freak out about right-wingery in France? If I'm not mistaken, you've chosen to live in a country where:

1. Oligarchs with roots in the former Securitate own much of the media -- and now most of the state;
2. Local authorities erect statues to Marshal Antonescu and name streets after him;
3. Football stadiums erupt in racist abuse and calls for pogroms against the Roma;
4. Gays are attacked by ultranationalist thugs while marching for their rights;
5. There is not a single woman in government;
6. Rabid churches -- whose ceremonies and festivals, by your own admission, you occasionally attend -- force-feed propaganda to kids in state schools, in a nominally secular state, preaching a vile mix of obscurantism, homophobia, and hatred for minorities;
7. A nun gets crucified to death to drive out her "demons".

This, once again, is the country you have CHOSEN to live in, which suggests that all things considered, you're reasonably happy with all of the above, or at least willing to tolerate it. So your concern about how France is about to become a hellhole of right-wingery is, you know, really touching. But I hope you'll forgive me if I don't immediately pack my bags to move to Miercurea Ciuc.

Andre

Andy H said...

Oh for fuck's sake, Andre, get a grip.

Where have I said that I "clearly believe that it's evil to boycott Hamas."? Come on? Tell me? I've said it's wrong to boycott the democratically elected Palestinian government, but specifically said "I have no time for Hamas". I don't think your or my tax money should go to people who blow up buses, nor do I think it should go to the Israeli government and their systematic brutality in the occupied territories, nor, for that matter do I think my tax money should go on laying waste to Iraq - but sadly, much of it does.

And, no I don;t think there's an international Jewish consipracy. I think there's a western anti-Arab policy, which is what that paragraph refers to. You really must learn not to assume all these Fox News ideas are actually a reality.

Criticising Israeli government policy is not anti-semitic, any more than criticising the neo-cons is anti-American, or criticising the Mugabe regime is racist against Africans. By this token I am obviously a self-hating Brit (would that be the term you would use - you seem to know who I am and what I think based on your Rush Limbaugh tapes)

Did Sarkozy not court Le Pen supporters then? Everything I have read (and to counter your inevitable snide comeback, not just in the Guardian), says that he did - more or less openly. I have read numerous interviews and vox pops with former FN voters who were going to/did vote for Sarkozy because he addressed their wishes. I don't think that makes him a fascist. I think he is a democrat (which makes him decidedly non-fascist), but a democrat who has played a very ugly race card during his rise to power.

Andn the only thing I have freaked out about is your vile abuse of me and slurs on my character. My apologies for daring to have and express an opinion about anything beyond the walls of my own apartment.

I take it that I'm not going to get an apology for your disgusting characterisation of me as a racist lover of murderers and rapists.

Are you really a journalist, Andre? Who do you write for? The Daily Express? Christ on a bike.

Andy H said...

I guess that's it then, Andre. No apology, no retraction. That's nice of you.

By the way there's a few straw men you haven't yet attacked (since you are obviously not actually critising anything I have said but things you think I think) - the most obvious one is "I bet you think Saddam was a good bloke". Are you not coming up with that one? I'm disappointed.