While the Irish threat recedes, the war rages on against al-Qaida, justifying arms production and the modern military state. However, despite this cynicism, the fear-mongering and embellishment, this is a risky election. Without a defence policy, we would be open to attack.
Is it possible to dialogue with the [political representatives of] terrorists, breaking with Thatcher and Blair’s legacy of not even talking? Do we know what they want? Is it the destruction of the American empire? And in any case, is it acceptable to talk unless they have reasonable claims?
Marine Le Pen will home in on this fear and make huge capital out of it. Except unlike her father’s generation, she will be subtler. She will add economics, social hardship and unemployment to the anti-immigration and anti-everyone-else debate.
Are the French left sufficiently charismatic? Will they be able to win over the Sarkosists and right-wing populist arguments in these times of bankers bonuses?
Despite so-called balanced opinion, coverage remains relatively middle class. Even if only a minority are overtly racist, many will look up to the defender of the nationalist faith, although she is a woman. That might help them say how mainstream they are.
Some of us are observing this election from behind our administrative you-can’t-vote-unless-you’ve-got-nationality barriers despite more than a decade’s residency. We hope that the sensible French might remember a world before competition, cuts and homespun macroeconomic propaganda.
Cherish the values of work and community, proud exchange of quality services for a respectable sum, rather than marketing hype. Elect Hollande if you cannot suffer the Nain for five more years and the sad advance of the far right’s new wicked witch.