Some foreign observers may gloat over the disturbing scenes of rioting, arson, looting and urban warfare in the banlieues of French cities over the last week with an arrogant sense of schadenfreude, blaming the EU leadership, the French governance team, complacent left-branded politicians and naïve French voters for failing to address the root causes of the societal breakdown we see unfold before our eyes on electronic devices in the safety of our suburban neighbourhoods. Allegedly the police shooting of a Maghrebi teenager, Nahel Merzouk, triggered the destruction of billions of Euros worth of public and private infrastructure with schools, libraries and apartment blocks razed to the ground. Some will recall the brutal stabbing of 4 toddlers in the picturesque Alpine town of Annecy by a mentally disturbed asylum seeker earlier in the month. The woke left admonished some commentators for highlighting the assailant’s origin. Yet while some nationalist politicians may have capitalised on the incident to call for stricter immigration controls, we did not see riots on the streets of provincial towns still populated by autochthonous Europeans. Neither did we see violent retaliations in the wake of the horrendous 2016 truck attack in Nice that killed 86 innocent people or the 2015 Bataclan Theatre massacre with 89 fatalities. Most French citizens did not blame all Muslims for the outrageous crimes of a minuscule, radicalised minority. Indeed, the crimes were so horrific, many suspected dark forces associated either with Western secret services or with foreign actors, could have trained a small army of gullible patsies to commit acts of terror that serve mainly to spread fear and thus to justify more surveillance and censorship.
Like elsewhere in Western Europe, the French government squandered hundreds of billions of Euros on heavy-handed covid containment. They deployed riot police to suppress overwhelmingly peaceful protests against lockdowns and vaccine mandates, losing the trust of millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens. Although French pensions may seem generous by British standards, raising the retirement age amid a cost-of-living crisis with dwindling long-term career prospects for most over 40-year-olds proved to be the last straw for millions of French workers of all political persuasions. Macron could only win his second term as French President as the lesser of two evils, with the corporate media and trendy left opinion leaders smearing his opponent, Marine Le Pen, as a fascist. Ever since Manu, as many his subjects call him, has shown more interest posing on the world stages alongside WEF associates like Rishi Sunak, Joe Biden, King Charles, Volodymyr Zelensky and Ursula von der Leyen. As France burned, Macron partied with Elton John.
True to form, the gallic WEF puppet blamed the riots on social media, and wait for it, video games, both pastimes that his business buddies have been busy promoting for the last thirty years. Rather than focus on the underlying causes of social discontent, Macron opted to clamp down on free speech limiting access to the Internet in high-crime neighbourhoods and liaising with tech giants to suppress videos of mindless violence. Should we not ask instead: Who exactly benefits from the wanton destruction of shopping centres, libraries and schools? More important, who gave tens of thousands of looters carte blanche to steal luxury goods without fear of prosecution? How could acts of vandalism bring justice to the murdered teenager? I see close parallels with the choreographed overreaction to the police murder of George Floyd three years ago in American cities. One way or another French taxpayers will the price of their regime’s overspending on medical martial law, foreign wars and now mopping the mess of a civil war, either directly through tax or higher inflation.
Inevitably, as French security forces struggle to restore order, calls will grow for international peacekeepers on the streets of one of the wealthiest countries on Earth and tighter control over citizens movements. The stage seems set for the roll-out of 15-minute neighbourhoods with exit permits dependent on good behaviour. Nostalgic patriots may fantasise Macron’s resignation with early elections leading to Marine Le Pen’s victory. Socialists may dream of a general strike to bring down the government and, once in power, roll out their welfare panacea with a blend of 1960s social democracy and 21st century green technocracy. Yet the ongoing civil unrest can only benefit Macron’s international backers, eager to suppress the culture and independent spirit of the feisty French people to fast-track its transition to a billionaire’s playground with its lower-to-middle class residents confined to special reserves and suburban ghettos. The global elites may ditch Macron, but they will have another placeman or placewoman ready to fill his shoes with empty promises of reconciliation.
Despite all the bad press France has attracted of late, it remains one of Europe’s more self-sufficient countries and is much less susceptible to higher global energy and food prices than its neighbours with a strong farming sector and major investments in nuclear power. At all costs, Manu’s Mafia bosses must avoid a return to viable nation states.