On Apr. 23, the results of France’s first round presidential elections set the stage for a face off between far-right xenophobic candidate Marine Le Pen will face the neoliberal former investment banker Emmanuel Macron.
But 15 years after the 2002 elections, which for the first time saw a National Front’s candidate (Le Pen’s father) running against a politician from “the establishment” (former President Jacques Chirac), French voters seem so “blasé” with the results that they may not mobilize as much against the far-right this time.
The abstention rate is expected to reach a record high on May 7, as last Sunday’s numerous calls to support Macron were later undermined by the candidate’s own mistakes. Between Sunday and Thursday, the former economy minister of the socialist government had already lost 4 percentage points according to an Ipsos poll — down from 63 percent to 59, while Le Pen rose from 39 to 43 percent. What happened then?
First, Macron came under fire after he celebrated in advance of his uncertain victory in a fancy brasserie of Paris, while most of the country was mourning the victory of the far-right for the second time in French history. With less of a quarter of the popular vote tallied, many found the candidate arrogant for taking his election for granted thanks to the probable anti-National Front vote that would turn in his favor in the second round.
Moreover, despite this extremely low support, Macron firmly refused to change a line of his program or to negotiate alliances — another blow to the many voters who did not support him last Sunday, but still feel compelled to do so on May 7. For instance, the same survey found that only 40 percent of the people who voted for progressive candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon would vote for him in the second round — a 13-point drop in only a few days.
On the other hand, the day after the election Le Pen announced that she temporarily suspended her presidency for the infamous National Front, in a bid to appear more moderate and appeal to a larger spectrum of voters. Le Pen also reached a highly symbolic alliance with the eurosceptic leader of a center-right party, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, who encouraged the 5 percent of people who supported him on Sunday to vote for Le Pen. If she wins the vote, she promised to appoint him as prime minister.
On Wednesday, another embarrassing moment saw Macron being insulted by workers from Whirpool, a domestic appliance factory in Amiens, northwest of Paris, right after Marine Le Pen enjoyed a much warmer welcome on the industrial site.
While 295 jobs are threatened by outsourcing to Poland, Macron attempted to explain the benefits of globalization and promised he will do his best to secure their jobs — just like socialist candidate Francois Hollande promised ArcelorMittal workers in Florange, before the site definitely closed shortly after he was elected.
In France, the annual May Day demonstrations are being combined with anti-fascists demonstrations meant to counter the traditional far-right celebration of catholic Joan of Arc’s victory against the British invaders. Since 1995, anti-fascist groups also commemorate the anniversary of the killing of Brahim Bouarram, a bystander that fascists threw to the river after the far-right rally that year.
But with the current tensions mounting ahead of Sunday’s vote, authorities have boosted security in anticipation of tomorrow’s protests. In recent weeks, anti-fascists rallies have turned into violent clashes with the police and arrests — not too surprising, considering that up to 60 percent of active police officers planned in January to vote for the xenophobic and anti-immigration candidate, according to a Cevipof poll.
Here Come The Bilderbergs: The Complete 2014 Cast And Host Nation Breakdown
The only thing more ominous for the world than a Fed raising interest rates is a Bilderberg Group meeting. The concentration of politicians and business leaders has meant the organisation, founded at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem in 1954, has faced accusations of secrecy. Meetings take place behind closed doors, with a ban on journalists. As InfoWars notes, the 2014 Bilderberg meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark is taking place amidst a climate of panic for many of the 120 globalists set to attend the secretive confab, with Russia’s intransigence on the crisis in Ukraine and the anti-EU revolution sweeping Europe posing a serious threat to the unipolar world order Bilderberg spent over 60 years helping to build.
Current list of Participants (source):
- FRA Castries, Henri de Chairman and CEO, AXA Group
- DEU Achleitner, Paul M. Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Deutsche Bank AG
- DEU Ackermann, Josef Former CEO, Deutsche Bank AG
- GBR Agius, Marcus Non-Executive Chairman, PA Consulting Group
- FIN Alahuhta, Matti Member of the Board, KONE; Chairman, Aalto University Foundation
- GBR Alexander, Helen Chairman, UBM plc
- USA Alexander, Keith B. Former Comdr, U.S. Cyber Command; Former Director, NSA
- USA Altman, Roger C. Executive Chairman, Evercore
- FIN Apunen, Matti Director, Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA
- DEU Asmussen, Jörg State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs
- HUN Bajnai, Gordon Former Prime Minister; Party Leader, Together 2014
- GBR Balls, Edward M. Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer
- PRT Balsemão, Francisco Pinto Chairman, Impresa SGPS
- FRA Baroin, François Member of Parliament (UMP); Mayor of Troyes
- FRA Baverez, Nicolas Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
- USA Berggruen, Nicolas Chairman, Berggruen Institute on Governance
- ITA Bernabè, Franco Chairman, FB Group SRL
- DNK Besenbacher, Flemming Chairman, The Carlsberg Group
- NLD Beurden, Ben van CEO, Royal Dutch Shell plc
- SWE Bildt, Carl Minister for Foreign Affairs
- NOR Brandtzæg, Svein Richard President and CEO, Norsk Hydro ASA
- INT Breedlove, Philip M. Supreme Allied Commander Europe
- AUT Bronner, Oscar Publisher, Der STANDARD Verlagsgesellschaft m.b.H.
- SWE Buskhe, Håkan President and CEO, Saab AB
- TUR Çandar, Cengiz Senior Columnist, Al Monitor and Radikal
- ESP Cebrián, Juan Luis Executive Chairman, Grupo PRISA
- FRA Chalendar, Pierre-André de Chairman and CEO, Saint-Gobain
- CAN Clark, W. Edmund Group President and CEO, TD Bank Group
- INT Coeuré, Benoît Member of the Executive Board, European Central Bank
- IRL Coveney, Simon Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine
- GBR Cowper-Coles, Sherard Senior Adviser to the Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
- BEL Davignon, Etienne Minister of State
- USA Donilon, Thomas E. Senior Partner, O’Melveny and Myers; Former U.S. NSA
- DEU Döpfner, Mathias CEO, Axel Springer SE
- GBR Dudley, Robert Group Chief Executive, BP plc
- FIN Ehrnrooth, Henrik Chairman, Caverion Corporation, Otava and Pöyry PLC
- ITA Elkann, John Chairman, Fiat S.p.A.
- DEU Enders, Thomas CEO, Airbus Group
- DNK Federspiel, Ulrik Executive Vice President, Haldor Topsøe A/S
- USA Feldstein, Martin S. Professor of Economics, Harvard University; President Emeritus, NBER
- CAN Ferguson, Brian President and CEO, Cenovus Energy Inc.
- GBR Flint, Douglas J. Group Chairman, HSBC Holdings plc
- ESP García-Margallo, José Manuel Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation
- USA Gfoeller, Michael Independent Consultant
- TUR Göle, Nilüfer Professor of Sociology, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales
- USA Greenberg, Evan G. Chairman and CEO, ACE Group
- GBR Greening, Justine Secretary of State for International Development
- NLD Halberstadt, Victor Professor of Economics, Leiden University
- USA Hockfield, Susan President Emerita, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- NOR Høegh, Leif O. Chairman, Höegh Autoliners AS
- NOR Høegh, Westye Senior Advisor, Höegh Autoliners AS
- USA Hoffman, Reid Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, LinkedIn
- CHN Huang, Yiping Professor of Economics, National School of Development, Peking University
- USA Jackson, Shirley Ann President, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- USA Jacobs, Kenneth M. Chairman and CEO, Lazard
- USA Johnson, James A. Chairman, Johnson Capital Partners
- USA Karp, Alex CEO, Palantir Technologies
- USA Katz, Bruce J. Vice President and Co-Director, The Brookings Institution
- CAN Kenney, Jason T. Minister of Employment and Social Development
- GBR Kerr, John Deputy Chairman, Scottish Power
- USA Kissinger, Henry A. Chairman, Kissinger Associates, Inc.
- USA Kleinfeld, Klaus Chairman and CEO, Alcoa
- TUR Koç, Mustafa Chairman, Koç Holding A.S.
- DNK Kragh, Steffen President and CEO, Egmont
- USA Kravis, Henry R. Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
- USA Kravis, Marie-Josée Senior Fellow and Vice Chair, Hudson Institute
- CHE Kudelski, André Chairman and CEO, Kudelski Group
- INT Lagarde, Christine Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
- BEL Leysen, Thomas Chairman of the Board of Directors, KBC Group
- USA Li, Cheng Director, John L.Thornton China Center,The Brookings Institution
- SWE Lifvendahl, Tove Political Editor in Chief, Svenska Dagbladet
- CHN Liu, He Minister, Office of the Central Leading Group on Financial and Economic Affairs
- PRT Macedo, Paulo Minister of Health
- FRA Macron, Emmanuel Deputy Secretary General of the Presidency
- ITA Maggioni, Monica Editor-in-Chief, Rainews24, RAI TV
- GBR Mandelson, Peter Chairman, Global Counsel LLP
- USA McAfee, Andrew Principal Research Scientist, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- PRT Medeiros, Inês de Member of Parliament, Socialist Party
- GBR Micklethwait, John Editor-in-Chief, The Economist
- GRC Mitsotaki, Alexandra Chair, ActionAid Hellas
- ITA Monti, Mario Senator-for-life; President, Bocconi University
- USA Mundie, Craig J. Senior Advisor to the CEO, Microsoft Corporation
- CAN Munroe-Blum, Heather Professor of Medicine,, McGill University
- USA Murray, Charles A. W.H. Brady Scholar, American Enterprise for Public Policy Research
- NLD Netherlands, H.R.H. Princess Beatrix of the
- ESP Nin Génova, Juan María Deputy Chairman and CEO, CaixaBank
- FRA Nougayrède, Natalie Director and Executive Editor, Le Monde
- DNK Olesen, Søren-Peter Professor; Member of the Board of Directors, The Carlsberg Foundation
- FIN Ollila, Jorma Chairman, Royal Dutch Shell, plc; Chairman, Outokumpu Plc
- TUR Oran, Umut Deputy Chairman, Republican People’s Party (CHP)
- GBR Osborne, George Chancellor of the Exchequer
- FRA Pellerin, Fleur State Secretary for Foreign Trade
- USA Perle, Richard N. Resident Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
- USA Petraeus, David H. Chairman, KKR Global Institute
- CAN Poloz, Stephen S. Governor, Bank of Canada
- INT Rasmussen, Anders Fogh Secretary General, NATO
- DNK Rasmussen, Jørgen Huno Chairman of the Board of Trustees, The Lundbeck Foundation
- INT Reding, Viviane Vice President and Commissioner for Justice,European Commission
- USA Reed, Kasim Mayor of Atlanta
- CAN Reisman, Heather M. Chair and CEO, Indigo Books & Music Inc.
- NOR Reiten, Eivind Chairman, Klaveness Marine Holding AS
- DEU Röttgen, Norbert Chairman, Foreign Affairs Committee, German Bundestag
- USA Rubin, Robert E. Co-Chair, Council For’n Rel’ns; Former Secretary of the Treasury
- USA Rumer, Eugene Senior Associate and Director, Russia Carnegie Endowment for Intnl Peace
- NOR Rynning-Tønnesen, Christian President and CEO, Statkraft AS
- NLD Samsom, Diederik M. Parliamentary Leader PvdA (Labour Party)
- GBR Sawers, John Chief, Secret Intelligence Service
- NLD Scheffer, Paul J. Author; Professor of European Studies, Tilburg University
- NLD Schippers, Edith Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport
- USA Schmidt, Eric E. Executive Chairman, Google Inc.
- AUT Scholten, Rudolf CEO, Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG
- USA Shih, Clara CEO and Founder, Hearsay Social
- FIN Siilasmaa, Risto K. Chairman of the Board of Directors and Interim CEO, Nokia Corporation
- ESP Spain, H.M. the Queen of
- USA Spence, A. Michael Professor of Economics, New York University
- FIN Stadigh, Kari President and CEO, Sampo plc
- USA Summers, Lawrence H. Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University
- IRL Sutherland, Peter D. Chairman, Goldman Sachs International;
- SWE Svanberg, Carl-Henric Chairman, Volvo AB and BP plc
- TUR Taftal?, A. Ümit Member of the Board, Suna and Inan Kiraç Foundation
- USA Thiel, Peter A. President, Thiel Capital
- DNK Topsøe, Henrik Chairman, Haldor Topsøe A/S
- GRC Tsoukalis, Loukas President, Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy
- NOR Ulltveit-Moe, Jens Founder and CEO, Umoe AS
- INT Üzümcü, Ahmet Director-General, Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
- CHE Vasella, Daniel L. Honorary Chairman, Novartis International
- FIN Wahlroos, Björn Chairman, Sampo plc
- SWE Wallenberg, Jacob Chairman, Investor AB
- SWE Wallenberg, Marcus Chairman of the Board of Directors, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB
- USA Warsh, Kevin M. Distinguished Visiting Fellow and Lecturer, Stanford University
- GBR Wolf, Martin H. Chief Economics Commentator, The Financial Times
- USA Wolfensohn, James D. Chairman and CEO, Wolfensohn and Company
- NLD Zalm, Gerrit Chairman of the Managing Board, ABN-AMRO Bank N.V.
- GRC Zanias, George Chairman of the Board, National Bank of Greece
- USA Zoellick, Robert B. Chairman, The Goldman Sachs Group
And, broken down by country of origin:
Oddly, not many Russians in there…
UK Elections: Gap Closes by 10 Points in a Week as Corbyn up, May Down
According to a YouGov poll, Theresa May’s lead over Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn has dropped to 13 points from the 23-point lead enjoyed by the Tories just last week.
The Sunday poll showed the Labour party leader up by six points with a 31 percent support, with May’s Tories dropping to 44 percent, ahead of the June 8 UK general elections.
Other polls varied but showed a similar trend.
Poll aggregator Opinium placed the Labour Party up by four points with a 30 percent support, while May’s Conservative Party dropped to 44 percent.
The shift has been attributed to Theresa May’s inability to accept a public debate with Corbyn, with May refusing to appear in any one-on-one televised debates even though over 119,000 people signed a petition asking for a debate.
Meanwhile, support for the Liberal Democratic dropped by three points to 8 percent, The Independent reported. LibDem leader, Tim Farron, who called Corbyn the “worst leader in history,” was widely criticized for his views on LGBT community. In a recent interview with channel 4, when asked if he considers homosexuality a sin, he responded by saying he would not “make theological announcements.”
The far-right, ‘eurosceptic’ Ukip also saw a drop over the past few weeks and currently stands at 7 percent, a two-point dip from the previous week.
Just last week, Ukip leader Paul Nuttall came under fire for his ‘racist’ stance on Muslims after rolling out his plan to ban the burqa and sharia courts.
Labour’s Corbyn has repeatedly blasted what he calls a bias by media against him due to his left-wing policies, with studies showing most of the British public agree.
The Labour leader said a week ago that he would consider suspending the British involvement in airstrikes against Syria as an effort to minimize civilian deaths in the war-torn region. Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he believed that “the only solution in Syria is going to be a political one.”
“I want us to say ‘Listen, let’s get people around the table quickly’ and a way of achieving that – suspending the strikes, possibly.”
Boris Johnson, Tory foreign secretary, slammed Corbyn calling him a “threat to national security” who had no “grasp of the need for Britain to be strong in the world.”