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I can see what you're trying to say wrt to the Rainbow Warrior, but i don't understand this:


With choices like this for their presidency, no wonder the situation in France is hopeless!!

Sarkozy vs Royal= Cardinal Richelieu vs Marie Antoinette

And Sarkozy.....--don't even get me started on this pseudo-populist ideologue. Talk about the "worst excesses of the French Revolution".

Would you substantiate all or any of this in any way? I have no idea what you mean.

As to this:


her contempt for the environment and related issues generally.

This is silly, absurd and unsubstantiated. She's been the major candidate that's talked the most about the environment and the need to start thinking about sustainability in our economy. It's not nearly enough, but by talking about "contempt" you show you're not serious.

As a general matter, the only chance greens have to influence policy in France is by allying with the socialist party - as happened in 1997-2002. Purists will always say that not enough was done, and that the greens in government betrayed their principles, but at least they gave it a try. Currently, the greens in France are so busy testing who's the "purest" green and calling one another traitors that they have become totally inaudible to everybody else.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 09:11:06 AM EST
Thanks for the post Jerome--I am happy to try to explain myself.

Sarkozy vs Royal= Cardinal Richelieu vs Marie Antoinette

This is a probably not so clever device comparing Cardinal Richelieu (a mean and frightenly ambitious man ie Sarkozy) with Marie Antoinette (an arrogant woman who put style ahead of substance ie Royal).

The "worst excesses of the French Revolution" is taken from Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest with the meaning construed here much as it is meant there-rather tongue and cheek.

I trust you understand why I called Sarkozy a Pseudo-populist ideologue.  I am certainly not the only one.

Lets face it, I think France has two very bad choices, almost as bad as...let's see....oh that's right....Chirac and Le Pen.  You guys don't exactly have a good record here.  But you are not alone on this in the world.  My own country of Australia is plagued by this lack of leadership as well (see my comment above).

her contempt for the environment and related issues generally.

While I will grant you that the use of "contempt" here may be overly strong, Royal's time as Environment Minister and her environmental activities before and after have been largely taken up with activities that could be put down to the"beautification" of the rural countryside.  While this in and of itself can be a useful thing if it is done properly with good habitat models, it is not really a meaty environmental issue.

She talks a good talk but her record seems ultra-light.

Having worked with the Ibex Program in the Vanoise National Park in the French Alps, anyone there will tell you that on the issue of endangered species and hunting that the success of this program and other related ones across France has always been in spite of the Government in Paris regardless of whether it was Socialist or Conservative.

Furthermore I am not the only one who feels she is all style and little substance, read the very interesting BBC blog about her winning the Socialist candidacy. Many if not most of the French bloggers there are lamenting the Sarkozy/Royal choice much along the same lines that frustrates me.

This is not to say Royal does not have good policies. Her work on GLBT issues is probably one area where she is regarded highly both in talk and in substance.  I certainly agree with her there, and hope that like Prime Minister Zapatero she tackles the marriage issue head on if she gets into office.

Also I take your points on the French Greens--they have been a disorganised lot and plagued with serious anti-Semitic issues.  However, it seems like they may have got their act together in the last few months.

I am sorry if I seem over the top, but you need to understand the depth of feeling with the Rainbow Warrior Issue down here. France committed a terrorist attack on an NGO and on a friendly Pacific nation.  France has been less than apologetic and not acted with integrity in this issue, and now Ségolène Royal is continuing in this rather ignoble vein.  This is indeed contemptuous behaviour in my book.

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 03:00:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for the more substantial response.

I understand your feelings about the Rainbow Warrior, it's clearly not the best thing in recent French history, but i think the link between Ségolène Royal and that act is a lot more tenuous, if at all existant (as explained by afew above) than you make it to be.

While I'm with you on Sarkozy, who is a truly dangerous man, your comparison of Royal to, effectively, Le Pen (or possibly Chirac) is really not appropriate. There's been a lot of whining about Royal's lack of substance, but she's been holding her own in the recent campaign, and a lot of that had to do with the slime other Socialist "elephants" tried to use to discredit her. In any case, she'll have several excellent choices for Prime Minister amongst the Socialists, something which would not be true for Sarkozy.

As to her environmentalism - at least she did something then, at a time when nobody cared much about that in France, and she is talking aobut it now. We'll see if it's enough, but she seems to take the topic seriously. I don't understand AT ALL your comment about the Greens' antisemitism. I've never heard of that accusation before.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 03:38:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unfortunately the French Greens have a noted record of Anti-Semitism within part of its ranks.  Probably I should characterise it as more Anti-Israel or Anti-Israeli Government, uncritically only seeing Israel or its Government as merely an extension of the USA military establishment.  Again this is not peculiar to France, Green Parties in other countries have had this as well to a more or less extent.

This is in contrast to more mainstream Green policy which deplores the excesses on both sides (Israeli and Palestinian) and seeks to find a peaceful way to have 2 independent and viable states next to each other both taking good care of their environments!

This article from Wikipedia addresses the particular issue in regard to France, but if you Google Ginette Skandrani's name, you will get more detailed info in French and English.

One of the party's co-founders, Ginette Skandrani, had long attracted criticism due to her involvement with holocaust deniers.[1]. The Stephen Roth Institute criticized the Green Party in 2004, calling its record "tainted by abortive attempts to expel from within its ranks notorious anti-Jewish activist Ginette Skandrani herself ethnically Jewish[2] who has close contacts with Holocaust deniers." [3].

Other critics, such as Roger Cukierman of the CRIF (council of French Jewish organisations) did not attack the party as a whole, but rather its anti-zionist wing, claiming that it promoted a "brown-green alliance".[1]

In June, 2005, the Greens voted to permanantly expell Skandrani. Among the reasons for her definitlve expulsion were her participation in the holocaust-denial website Aaargh (Association des anciens amateurs de récits de guerres et d'holocaustes).[1] Patrick Farbiaz, a Green leader involved in her explusion, argued that "although she has not written [anti-Semetic texts] herself, she looks like a kingpen of holocaust deniers and avowed antisemites".[1]

The party had previously expelled another co-founder (in 1991), Jean Brière, for signing a text addressing the alleged "war-causing role" of Israel and "the zionist lobby in the Gulf War.[1]



I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 06:27:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Using one highly contentious individual as a sign of a "noted record of Anti-Semitism" amongst the French Greens is a pretty dubious claim to make.

It's the first I've heard of her, so her role is not very public. And you mention procedures to get rid of her, which seems to show that her positions were not tolerated within the party.

That accusation ("noted record of Anti-Semitism" amongst the French Greens) sounds like the rightwing propaganda coming from the US and Israel that wants to make France appear as anti-semitic in as many ways as possible because it is (in general) critical of Israel and some real antisemites can be found in the country.

This is not serious.


In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 06:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
in particular.

I have worked with the Greens in Australia and globally for decades, and the trial and expulsion of Ginette Skandrani made a lot of news within Green circles and was outlined in an article in the June 30th, 2005 edition of Liberation under the title of: "Une verte trop brune exclue du parti".  The link is here.

This article does note that her role in the party had gradually reduced in recent times, but her outlandish politics may well have been a main reason.

Also I qualified my comment to state:

Unfortunately the French Greens have a noted record of Anti-Semitism within part of its ranks.  Probably I should characterise it as more Anti-Israel or Anti-Israeli Government, uncritically only seeing Israel or its Government as merely an extension of the USA military establishment.  Again this is not peculiar to France, Green Parties in other countries have had this as well to a more or less extent.
.

While I agree with you that the party has dealt with the situation very well, the fact that two co-founders have been expelled for the same reason does point to a real and noted undercurrent even if not a particularly powerful or successful one.

I am also not sure if the French Greens are powerful or large enough to warrant much/any focus from "rightwing propaganda coming from US and Israel", but honestly I do not really know. I have never seen any overt examples of it in relation to the French Greens although the story is a bit different in relation to the German Greens who, due to holding the balance of power with the SPD, have borne relentless propaganda attacks from rightwing forces outside Germany.

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Sat Nov 18th, 2006 at 08:19:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
if the French Greens are powerful or large enough to warrant much/any focus from "rightwing propaganda coming from US and Israel"

We are all, constantly, permanently, the focus of "rightwing propaganda coming from US and Israel". The main intent of which is to disqualify Europe (the EU in particular) from having any influence on what happens in the Near East, above all the Israel/Palestine situation.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2006 at 08:51:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Secondly, the Wikipedia article on the French Greens seems tendentious to me in that -- speaking of a party that has shared government and is therefore not without a history of some interest -- it consecrates no more than two sentences to the government period thus:

Dominique Voynet was to lead the party into government for the first time, joining Lionel Jospin's Socialist Party (PS) and the Communist Party (PCF). Voynet was rewarded with the cabinet position of Minister for the Environment and Regional Planning, before being replaced by Yves Cochet in 2001.

In general the party's history is sketchily covered. Yet "Skandrani's expulsion" takes up a full section and runs to about a quarter of the entire text about the party. All this for someone who is quite unknown to the public and never held any position, founder member or not. The same can be said of Pierre Brière, totally unknown Green expelled many years before Skandrani (1991). (I strongly suspect the Wikipedia article of having received the attention, quite precisely, of propagandists who want to blow up this affair out of all proportion).

Let me be clear. I am greatly angered and dismayed by Holocaust deniers and consider the French Greens quite right to exclude members who gave their support to any of these. But the two individuals in question are of no great importance. Making out the Greens have issues with anti-semitism is akin, as Jerome says, to making out France is an anti-semitic country, that Europe has not dealt with its anti-semitic past, etc : these are propaganda talking-points originating with the Zionist neocon right.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2006 at 09:31:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for the information.  This is not in any way a major point so I am happy to defer to you and Jerome here.

Most Wikipedia Green Party Pages are edited and monitored by the various Green Parties themselves.  Although I have no idea who in fact does the editing for the French Greens article. If it seems imbalanced as you point out, you may want edit it/ or get them to edit it, to present a more balanced picture of the party.  More information on their accomplishments and key policies would be helpful in the article. Since anyone can edit a Wiki article it is easy to do.

I like the silence of a church, before the service begins better than any preaching. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

by Norwegian Chef (hephaestion@surfbirder.com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2006 at 04:06:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're right, it isn't a major concern. I think the French Greens looked after their French Wikipedia page, but seem to have failed to take a look at the English one.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sun Nov 19th, 2006 at 04:12:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To supplement Jérôme and afew:

the fact that two co-founders have been expelled for the same reason does point to a real and noted undercurrent

Since the French Greens were born in the fusion of two earlier ecologist movements, "founder" describes not a select few but a lot of people.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Nov 20th, 2006 at 05:48:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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