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Dupont-Aignan’s Despicable Political Opportunism.

J.N. PAQUET photo
J.N. PAQUETLondon
Dupont-Aignan’s Despicable Political Opportunism.
The Faustian tale of a little man who sold his soul to the Far-Right.

This is the tale of a little man, mayor of a little town in the south of Paris, with a little political party, who believed his voice should be heard. Not only did the little man believe he was representing the views of millions of people who he was calling the silent-majority, but he also believed that his views were under-represented in the biased French media, so he would be happy to oppose them if he needed to.

The little man’s name was Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, an irrelevant French politician who was calling himself a Gaullist and an anti-EU sovereignist. A candidate for the French Presidential Election in which he had received less than 5% of the votes (1,695,000 votes — actually only 3.56% of registered voters) in the first round.

The story of the little man could simply end there. After all, he had made his voice heard outside of his tiny town hall. He had made his point known. He had reached a greater audience than he could have ever dreamt of. Job done. Time to get back to work in his local community…

No. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the little man, wanted more. After the various media appearances, the campaign rallies, the handshakes, autograph signings and other selfies, the little man had had a taste of fame, a taste of the media attention… and he liked it! (to paraphrase Katy Perry) Now, the little man believed that, with his 4.7% of votes, there certainly was a way for him to negotiate a deal with the only one of the two finalists who would accept such a deal (Marine Le Pen, of course!) that would propel him from his status of little insignificant loser to… Prime Minister!

So, that is exactly what happened. On Friday morning, the Far-Right candidate Marine Le Pen and her new BFF, little man Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, agreed on a coalition government if she is to become the President of France on 7 May. As they announced the agreement at a press conference, Marine Le Pen herself announced that, if elected, the little man from Yerres would indeed become her Prime Minister.

Who would not love to be addressed to as the Prime Minister of France? Who would let this only opportunity pass them by? Even if it means that four or five weeks later, after the Legislative Elections, Marine Le Pen would ditch them like an old pair of socks that are too small to really fit, yet necessary to use until you buy a new pair at the supermarket? Just think about it. What a short-lived, yet exceptional occasion to be treated like a lord and hear:

- at breakfast at the Hotel Matignon (official residence of the French PM): “Good morning, Mister Prime Minister…” “How are you today, Mister Prime Minister?”

- in news reports on TV: “This morning, Prime Minister Dupont-Aignan has announced that…”

- at press conferences: “Prime Minister, can you please tell us whether…”

- at State visits with foreign leaders: “Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the Prime Minister of France…”

Even if it lasts 4 weeks. Even if it lasts 1 day.  

Is Dupont-Aignan, Prime Minister Material?

The jealous, the critics, the ill-mannered, the opponents will call the little man names, of course. And anyway, who are they to oppose him?

“Dupont Aignan who wanted a France arising kneels to sell his ridiculous 5% and his soul. You will have to avoid mirrors, Nicolas.” (Philippe Lellouche, French actor, director, screenwriter, TV presenter and singer.)

“Dupont-Aignan has become de facto the president of France In Bed.” (Serge Joncour, Multi-award winning French writer.)

“Dupont-Aignan: daring to call himself Gaullist by making such a choice, enormous shame!” (Francois Bayrou, Mayor of Pau and Leader of the MoDem, French Liberal Democrats)

“No Dupont-Aignan, you cannot mention Gaullism in order to join Marine Le Pen! It is an imposture.” (Gerard Larcher, President of the French Senate)

While the jealous out there will call the little man’s decision to join Marine Le Pen ‘opportunism’ or ‘treason’, the little man, standing on his step stool with his newly purchased big shiny boots will fight right back with the greatest of arguments. Calling them ‘pitiful’, for example.

“I hear the barons of Les Republicains calling my alliance with Marine Le Pen treason, even though they have all submitted to Macron! Pitiful.”

Those who will criticise the little man, dare lecture him and behave like ‘scum’, whether they are politicians, artists or writers will be called ‘scum’ and threatened with legal action.

“Some revolting insults from Lellouche, Kassovitz and Biolay: I will sue them. The lecturers behave like scum.”

Because, after all, “threatening anyone who opposes you” figures prominently in the ‘Step-By-Step Guide To Become A Fair And Democratic Prime Minister’, just one chapter before “how to guaranty the balance of power.”

“As Prime Minister, I will be the guarantor of the balance of power. There will be two different parties in this majority.”  

What Political Opportunism?

Why should we be talking here of political opportunism? Because on 26 January 2015, on French radio RMC, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan explained to journalist Jean-Jacques Bourdin that he was “happy with the victory of Syriza (Greek far-left) in the Greek general elections. “I am happy because it is a victory for democracy.” When asked by the journalist whether he could come to an agreement with Melenchon’s party, Dupont-Aignan answered: “If it is to save France and it is a smart manifesto to create wealth, why not?”

Watch at 6'06" (in French) — 26 Jan 2015

Another example, on 10 May 2013, on French radio FranceInfo, Nicolas Dupont Aignan had already been even further, saying he would be ready to work together with both the Far-Right Front National and the Far-Left Front de Gauche in what he called a “Government of national unity and public safety”.

Listen at 6'40" (in French) — 10 May 2013

The little man is indeed an opportunist politician who would shake hands with either the Far-Right or the Far-Left, or both if necessary, not because he agrees with or share their views, not because he likes what they say, not because he trusts they will do what they pledge to do if they win, but because they are close to reaching power.

Three weeks ago, in an interview for French overseas channel La1ere, he even absolutely refuted the claims he would ever accept to become Marine Le Pen’s Prime Minister.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan knew that no other political force in France would ever offer him a chance to be included in their government — even with his tiny 5%, let alone become the Prime Minister.

Thus, his only chance to exist and reach a position as important as Prime Minister always was and always will be to join the extreme parties. And, because his own political views are anti-EU, sovereignist, anti-euro, anti-system and anti-establishment, his electorate will always be eager to follow him in his despicable ranting and raving, wherever that might lead him. Even if it leads him into the arms of a destructive Far-Right President. ◼︎

In case you wondered how the tale of the little man ends, I would suggest you read this fable: The Scorpion and The Frog

“A scorpion asks a frog to carry it across a river. The frog hesitates, afraid of being stung, but the scorpion argues that if it did so, they would both drown. Considering this, the frog agrees, but midway across the river the scorpion does indeed sting the frog, dooming them both. When the frog asks the scorpion why, the scorpion replies that it was in its nature to do so.”


(This article was first published on the politics magazine PoliticsMeansPolitics.com)

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J.N. PAQUET is an author, journalist and political writer. He is the editor of PoliticsMeansPolitics.com. His book series on populism and nationalism “The Tip of The Populist Iceberg?” is available in print, eBook and audiobook worldwide.




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(Photograph cover: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP)

#France, #Elections, #French elections, #Presidential election, #Dupont-Aignan, #Marine Le Pen, #Front National, #Debout La France, #Prime Minister, #opportunism, #politics, #Macron, #Les Republicains, #democracy, #politician, #transparency, #Far-Right, #Far-Left, #Melenchon, #government, #alliance, #EU, #European Union, #sovereignist

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