Madonna was invited on a French TV Show a few days ago and shared her point of view concerning the Front National. For those of you who have never heard of the Front National, they are an extreme-right party which bases their political agenda on extreme-nationalism, on the fears of the population, on racism etc … But without doing it in too obvious a way. They are carefully choosing the words they use in order to gain more and more popularity without people being too suspicious. And if you are honest, you might admit they are kind of succeeding.
And for those of you who live under a rock and have not heard of Madonna, she is an old Pop Icon who somehow manages to keep her popularity in the music industry.
In 2012, Madonna gave a performance in which a picture of Marine Le Pen (Head of the Front National) appeared with a swastika drawn on her forehead. Yet, when she was invited to talk to Le Grand Journal, she stated that she would like to have a drink with Marine Le Pen in order to listen to what she would have to say about human rights. Madonna also explained that quite often, when she was talking to people, she managed to change their point of view on things. How nice!
If the solution to end such hateful political parties was to send them Madonna, why did associations not think about it earlier? We can not deny that Madonna has good intentions, but they somehow appear to be deeply unrealistic.
The Front National is a political party that was created in 1972 by Jean-Marie Le Pen, which is now chaired by his daughter, Marine Le Pen. When Jean-Marie Le Pen was at the head of the party, there was no doubt for the population that the Front National was an extreme right political party. Jean-Marie Le Pen was well known for making shocking statements about nearly everything.
“I am not saying that the gas chambers did not exist. I couldn’t see them myself. I did not specifically study the topic. But I think that it is only a detail of World War II ‘s history.”
(Jean-Marie Le Pen on the 13th September 1987)
“Homosexuality is not a crime, but it is a biological & social anomaly.”
(Jean-Marie Le Pen on the 13th February 1984)
The statements made by the creator of the Front National left no space open for any doubt about the political party’s main preoccupations. It is a party of intolerance, racism and homophobia. But since his daughter arrived at the head of the party, she managed to clean up the image given by her father. In France, we talk about the Dé-diabolisation of the Front National. Which means that the party is being de-diabolised. Marine Le Pen worked on a vast campaign to rehabilitate the name of the party. And since she arrived, it worked.
According to a survey made by the Huffington Post in the end of November 2014, Marine Le Pen managed to gain 300% of adherents. Augmenting the number from 22,000 adherents in January 2011 to 83,000 in November 2014.
Marine Le Pen managed to polish the image of the Front National, and people seem to believe that the party really changed its views on the society.
According to a survey released today in Le Parisien, concerning the departmental elections, – France is separated into several areas called départements – 33% of the voters will chose the Front National, in front of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (27%, right party) and the Parti Socialiste (19%, left party).
Some French people are worried about their future and do not see the differences between the main political parties that are the Parti Socialiste (left, current president François Hollande) and the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (right, previous president Nicolas Sarkozy). They want some change and think that the Front National might not be that bad.
But did the foundations of the political party really change? When checking Twitter statuses from Front National politicians, one will notice that nothing really changed. Many candidates to be elected representatives of the Front National are repeating the same kind of atrocities than Jean-Marie Le Pen.
“Marriage=A man and a woman. Those gays always want more.”
Roger Dohen, candidate FN in the Pas-De-Calais, 23rd September 2012
No, the Front National did not change that much. Yes, the roots of the Front National are still the same as 40 years ago, they are just well hidden under the ground.
Even if this morning, Marine Le Pen accepted Madonna’s offer, I highly doubt that this meeting would have a successful ending. Or maybe she should bring a spade to destroy the roots.
By Defné Cetin