Eric Zemmour, the far-right French presidential candidate who is now polling in second place behind Emmanuel Macron, has a new “mortal enemy”: English-speakers. In a rally last week, he described D-Day as an act of American colonisation and the English as France’s “greatest enemies for a thousand years”, says Gavin Mortimer in The Spectator. Perhaps he should remember the “successive generations of young British men who gave their lives to liberate France”. As for American colonisation – if only! Maybe France wouldn’t have burnt through 21 administrations in the 12 years after the Second World War if Uncle Sam had stuck around.
We Brits now know how France’s Muslims feel on hearing Zemmour’s “political dog whistling”. He proposes to end all immigration, legal or illegal, and says immigrant children born in France should be given French names. Presumably he thinks Ahmed Merabet, the policeman shot dead as he advanced alone towards the Charlie Hebdo killers, “would have died more gallantly had his first name been François”. Immigrants kept working during the pandemic while “well-heeled Parisians” fled to second homes, and it will be immigrants who will take on, if anyone does, France’s 400,000 unfilled jobs. Thankfully Macron, though uninspiring, should see off Zemmour’s challenge. The majority of the French “will not vote for a xenophobe”.