Yesterday, I received a comment from a reader who said, in part, that France’s UMP (Conservatives) were pretty similar to the Parti Socialiste (PS).

Before I conclude with France — as an illustration for all of us, regardless of where we are in the world — let’s briefly examine the Socialist vs Conservative question.  Conservatives aren’t saints, by any means, however, we are continually bombarded with anti-Conservative messages through the water-carrying mainstream media every day.  Conservatives support individual freedom and free markets. They value family and education.  They encourage getting ahead in life. They like lower taxes and a more orderly society.

Now, I realise that in the 21st century, conservatism is being turned on its head somewhat. The US had eight years of a globalist George ‘W’ Bush with his war in Iraq and Patriot Act, to name two examples — enough said.    Britain’s current Conservatives have reneged on getting ahead and national destiny by pushing through through higher taxes and more EU involvement.  In Britain, we call these types of conservatives ‘wets’.  In the US, they are called RINOs — Republicans in Name Only. Generally, however, no one is surprised to find that conservatives enjoy making money, own holiday homes and appreciate the finer things in life.

In France, the left-wing press criticised Nicolas Sarkozy for celebrating his election as president at Fouquet’s, a fabulous restaurant in Paris’s Champs-Elysées. (I ate there in 1995 — the food and service were incomparable.) In fact, four years later, the media still criticise him for it.  I’m not sure why, as I understood he paid for a portion of the dinner himself and the rest came out of his campaign funds.  Doesn’t everyone have a pleasing victory party for those who helped elect them?  What about President Obama’s midweek dinners in the first part of 2009 featuring kobe beef and other delicacies?  Silence, even from French journalists who put him on a pedestal regardless of what he does.

Equally, there is silence in Britain and France with regard to their own beloved Socialists.  People like John Prescott — famous for his two Jaguars — now elevated to the House of Lords, when he said many times he would never accept a peerage.  And what about Tony Blair of the many houses — six or seven — and his lucrative lecture tours? And, of course, we have their equally elitist French counterparts such as Dominique Strauss-Kahn and the thinkers of Terra Nova. But, once again, the left-wing media says nothing. They give these people a pass.  And as far as private lives are concerned, how was it that I saw a documentary about the extramarital life of Jacques Chirac (RPR — Conservative) several years ago on the leftist BBC but it came as a shock to the world, including France, to find out that François Mitterand (PS) had an illegitimate daughter about whom we found out only after his death?  Yet, all the journalists knew — it was no secret.

Similarly, I have read that the MSM in France knew about DSK’s issues yet never thought to expose them.  Now, if that had been Nicolas Sarkozy … Oh, wait, a new film has just come out — La Conquête — a quasi-fictionalised account of his 2007 presidential campaign with the story of his disintegrating marriage to his then-wife Cécelia.  They later divorced.  And, in real time, during this century, Le Monde and other left-wing publications featured a disproportionate number of articles about Sarkozy’s marriage.  Yet, now that he’s married to Carla Bruni, little has changed. In fact, some of what is written about their marital life in the press is so speculative and insulting that it cannot be mentioned here.  As to the UMP as a whole, last year Marianne carried extensive stories week after week on the Eric Woerth (Employment Minister) – Liliane Bettencourt financial irregularities. It is unlikely that Mme Bettencourt (of the Loréal fortune), age 88, knew all the ins and outs of what was going on. And, yes, it’s unfortunate that Mr Woerth was the UMP treasurer at the time. But that’s another story.  And, yes, the French media blew it out of all proportion.

Bottom line is that we hear all about conservative politicians’ scandals but very little recently — until DSK — about Socialist goings-on.  So, no, I’m not going to become equivocal about biased and imbalanced media coverage of politics. We need to begin to think independently about what we read, hear and see. The goal of the left-wing MSM is to shape the way we think.  My American readers no doubt still remember the coverage of their nation’s 2008 presidential campaign.  I remember last year’s coverage of Britain’s general election; the BBC still refuse to acknowledge that we have had a Conservative Prime Minister for the past 12 months.  Next year, the US media will go into overdrive again with Obama’s anticipated re-election campaign.  Some months before that, France will have its presidential election.

Anyway, this is the conclusion of my posts on socialism in France.  Watch for the outward caring, sharing aspects contrasted with a preoccupation with sexuality outside of the biblical definition. Yet, a lot of people — even in France — will be unaware of these stories, generally suppressed for a veneer of equality and fairness messages in the daily papers and news programmes.  Much of what follows is definitely not for children.

First, those of us who live outside of France might recognise the name Jack Lang.  Until recently, I knew of him only as a Minister of Culture in Francois Mitterand’s administration. In 1982, he instituted the annual Fête de la Musique which takes part in nearly every French town and city on June 21. It’s a lot of fun, it’s free and it lasts until the wee hours.  But, there’s a little more to the story than that.  When Lang became part of the Mitterand cabinet, he was young, well-presented and received a lot of great publicity around the world.  (I remember, I read it.)  Along with the French Wikipedia entry cited above, Le Blog de Gai Luron fills us in on the details.  Lang’s father and grandfather were members of the Grand Orient de France.  If you read my first post about DSK, you might recall this part of it (emphases mine):

Allow me to interject a bit about the Grand Orient de France, also from Wikipedia:

The Grand Orient de France (GODF) is the largest of several Masonic organizations in France and the oldest in Continental Europe, founded in 1733 …

The Grand Orient advanced the concept of Laïcité, a French concept of the separation of church and state and the absence of religious interference in government affairs.[23] In the 1930s the Grand Orient was still hostile to Church interests, wishing to close private schools (which were predominantly Catholic), or failing that to reintroduce an insistence that only state schools could provide civil servants.[24]

This dislike of religious participation is still an official policy of the Grand Orient de France today.[25] The Grand Orient de France is concerned about a ‘silent revolution’ of a return of religion in society.[26]

Lang is a member of an offshoot of the Grand Orient, a private club-think tank called Le Siècle (The Century), which was founded by an influential member of the GODF in 1944.  Le Siècle’s membership is comprised of the most powerful people in France not only in politics but in media, industry, finance and culture.  Only 15% to 30% are Freemasons, by the way.  However, it’s elitist and globalist.  Yes, Nicolas Sarkozy is a member but so are Socialists like DSK, Robert Badinter, Lionel Jospin, Pierre Moscovici, Martine Aubry and François Hollande (the last three are 2012 PS primary candidates).  Le Siècle is a a club for people who share the goals of Freemasonry but don’t want to be Freemasons.

Now on to some of Lang’s finer — and sometimes forgotten — political moments.  From Wikipedia:

– In 1977, Le Monde published a petition which Lang signed calling for charges against three paedophiles to be dropped.

– In 1991, he told Gai Pied (Gay Foot), ‘Sexual relations with children is still forbidden territory, it will be up to the explorers of the 21st century to cross that border’.

– In 2010, he leapt to Roman Polanski’s defence with regard to sexual relations he had with a 13-year old girl in 1977.

– This year, Lang dismissed the gravity of the DSK allegations on national television, saying, ‘No one died’.

Le Blog de Gai Luron (cited above) says that as far back as 1981, Lang was said to like ‘subversion’.  Although married, he frequented a gay venue in Paris, the Palace, known for its orgies.  He was the only politician that year to come out in favour of a gay pride march.  However, some people who are aware of Lang’s apparent support for paedophilia take it seriously. In April 2011, the organisation AIVI (Association Internationale des Victimes d’Incest) published a petition to Nicolas Sarkozy asking him to not appoint Lang as Defender of Children (Defenseur d’Enfants) of the newly-created commission, Defender of Rights (Defenseur des Droits).

Lang’s other love is Cuba.  He has a deep admiration for Fidel Castro.  In 1982, he gushed, ‘Cuba is a courageous country creating a new society … Culture is all about that, recognising that each people freely chooses its political regime.’  Whaaat?  In 1995, UNESCO invited Castro to Paris.  During his stay, Lang arranged to meet him privately at the Louvre.  Lang, in his best designer clothes, couldn’t hide his enthusiasm for his guest, which was on full display for the press and television cameras.  Even Lionel Jospin (PS), Prime Minister at the time, was appalled.

But there’s more, and here we move to the Green representing Europe-Ecologie, Daniel Cohn-Bendit. On May 30, 2011, I mentioned the leftist coalition in France called Sauvons l’Europe (Let’s Save Europe):

A young lecturer at a teachers training college (Ecole normale d’instituteurs) and United Socialist Party (PSU) militant by the name of Joël Roman was a regular contributor to Julliard’s Intervention.  Roman became increasingly interested in the role of media, the French principle of laïcité (secularism) and immigration.  He is a co-founder of the think tank / movement Sauvons l’Europe (Let’s Save Europe).  Sauvons l’Europe, created in 2005, is part of the 21st century phase of the deuxième gaucheIt involves Greens, Muslims and Socialists working together for ‘human development’.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit is one of the earliest and most supportive members of Sauvons l’Europe. The lower-right hand corner of their home page says ‘A pro-European and progressive engagement’.  Gay rights, amnesty for illegal immigrants and a humanist communitarianism are among their aims.

In 1999, I had dinner with some of my French friends.  Then, as now, Daniel Cohn-Bendit received glowing coverage in the press.  At the time I was reading more about the Greens and liked what I read.  So, I mentioned his name in the course of conversation.  One of the Frenchmen threw his napkin on the table: ‘Please don’t mention that name, especially while we’re eating.’  I asked him why.  He replied, ‘He’s a disgusting man and I’m not prepared to talk about him, especially if we’re at table.  And, another thing, he’s not French — he’s German.’  It was only a couple of years ago that I read about Cohn-Bendit in more detail — in Marianne, as it happens.  I was shocked.  Interestingly, I didn’t run across any more about the subject until this year online.  Are the negative details about his life hidden from view with some help from the media?

But, first, let’s explore his origins.  He was born in France in 1945. His father was a lawyer in Germany and his mother was French.  During the Second World War, they escaped from Germany to France.  His parents intended on moving to the United States, but that never happened.  During his youth, Cohn-Bendit — or Dany, as he likes to be known — opted for German nationality so he could escape (what was then) obligatory National Service in France.

Both of his parents died before Dany reached the age of 18.  He attended an alternative school not far from Frankfurt which shaped his political identity.  His Wikipedia entry tells us that in the 1960s he was an anarchist for a time then became the prime mover of the May 1968 demonstrations in France.  The photo at right comes from the New York Times, which makes him sound like a great student liberator:

The events (or movement) of 40 years ago began in March at Nanterre University, just outside Paris, where a young French-born German named Daniel Cohn-Bendit … led demonstrations against parietal rules – when young men and women could be together in dormitory rooms – that got out of hand. When the university was closed in early May, the anger soon spread to central Paris, to the Latin Quarter and the Sorbonne, where the student elite demonstrated against antiquated university rules, and then outward, to workers in the big factories.

Today, Dany’s politics haven’t changed much.  He is described as a Communist libertarian, presumably meaning that he still enjoys a touch of anarchy now and then.

Looking back, the NYT gushes (emphases mine):

Scenes of the barricades, the police charges and the tear gas are dear to the French, recaptured in every magazine and scores of books, including one by photographer Marc Riboud, now 84, called: “Under the Cobblestones,” a reference to a famous slogan of the time from the leader-jester, Mr. Cohn-Bendit, now a member of the European Parliament: “Under the cobblestones, the beach.”

Mr. Cohn-Bendit, known then as “Danny the Red” for the color of both his politics and his hair, is also thought responsible for other famous slogans of the time: “It is forbidden to forbid” and “Live without limits and enjoy without restraint!” — with the word for enjoy, “jouir,” having the double meaning of sexual climax.

The injunction was especially potent in a straight-laced country where the birth-control pill had been authorized for sale only the year before, noted Alain Geismar, another leader of the time …

Now 69, Mr. Geismar, a former Maoist, uses an iPhone.

I love their summary of this episode of French history. They treat these anarchists with such respect and make sure they mention that Mr Cohn-Bendit is now a member of the European Parliament. Don’t you sometimes wonder what planet the NYT journos live on?

Here is a recent quote from Dany — a caring, sharing, egalitarian lefty:

The majority isn’t right, we have to stop somewhat this little story of the majority.

Sounds a bit like Olivier Ferrand’s Terra Nova which wants to have an elite committee to evaluate election winners for suitability.

Anyway, the French government actually forbade Dany from staying in France between 1968 and 1978, although that did not stop him from visiting friends.  Whilst living in Germany during that time, he was a teacher’s aide at a crèche near Frankfurt.

Now comes the shocking bit, which you rarely read elsewhere — especially in the NYT!

In 1975, so still living in Germany, Dany wrote a book called Le Grand Bazar, in which he described his teacher’s aide experiences at the crèche.  This is a quote from the book, wherein he describes his sexualisation of his young charges, who ranged from the ages of 1 to 6:

It happened on several occasions that certain kids opened my fly and started to tickle me.  I reacted in a certain manner, depending on the circumstances.  I would ask them, ‘Why don’t you play together?  Why did you choose me — me — instead of the other kids?’ But they would insist, and I would caress them all the same

In 1982, Dany appeared on the much-watched (and much-missed) highbrow television show, Apostrophes, which discussed the latest books.  He said:

You know, a kid’s sexuality, it’s absolutely fantastic … When a little girl, five years old, starts to undress you, it’s fantastic!

You see how this has been suppressed by the international mediaNYT — do your job.

On the book’s 25th anniversary in 2001, various news stories appeared in France questioning what effect Cohn-Bendit’s actions had on the children involved.  None of them said he had done anything untoward and their parents were equally supportive of him as a teacher’s aide.  He said that the book was written in language which was meant to shock the bourgeoisie.  He also stated:

Claiming that I’m a paedophile is insanity.  Paedophilia is a crime.  Sexual abuse is something we have to fight againstThe [book’s] text, which wasn’t scandalous at the time is now suddenly unbearable.

Finally, we have Bertrand Delanoë, mayor of Paris since 2001.  His family history is interesting because of the absence of a strong family connection to France.  Knowing that, I can understand why the PS value him so much and why his politics are as they are.

His parents, although of French parentage, were both born in Carthage. (It’s worth adding that his mother was half-English.) His father was an engineer and an atheist while his mother was a Catholic nurse.  Mr Delanoë’s great grandparents had left Saint Malo in France for Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon, a French-administered archipelago off the coast of CanadaDelanoë’s grandfather left the islands for Tunisia, where he was put in charge of the port of La Goulette. So, his family were very much oriented to North Africa.  Delanoë himself was born and spent his childhood in Tunisia.  He and his parents left for France in 1961 during the incident known as the Crisis of Bizerte.  Even so, Delanoë has happy memories of his childhood there, retaining a deep fondness for that part of the world and its people.

He joined the PS at the age of 21 and has been involved in politics ever since, holding elected office in Paris since 1981.  When he was elected as mayor in 2001, many people could see that change was in the air.  Jacques Chirac had been mayor between 1977 and 1995.  His successor — Jean Tiberi — also conservative, served six years.  The Conservatives were split at the time between the RPR, the UDF and the DL parties.  (These were predecessors of the current UMP.)  The PS was gaining support from Paris’s Greens.  But a new generation was also living in Paris.  These were young, upwardly mobile centrists or centre-leftists who loved expensive minimalism yet had a penchant for politicians espousing fairness and equality.  The French have a name for these people: bobos (bourgeois-bohemians). Bobos are everywhere now, and every marketplace caters to them, even that former bastion of working class shoppers, Monoprix.  So, Delanoë won thanks to new, youthful, moneyed support.

No one could espouse the notion of fairness more than Bertrand Delanoë, and this is where he goes off the rails for many living in provincial France.  Openly gay, he supports homosexual marriage.  He also supports euthanasia and green policies, such as the rent-a-bikes available in the city.  He also wants everyone to get along, much as folks did in the Tunisia of his childhood.  Therefore, equality characterises many of his policies — probably too much.  As such, he is a member of the Human Rights League (LDH — Ligue des Droits d’Homme).

Delanoë’s most controversial move to date might well turn out to be his opening up some of the Mayor of Paris’s buildings to house Tunisians and other Africans entering Europe illegally via Lampedusa, an island off the coast of ItalyLampedusa was the story of the first half of this year in the French blogosphere until the DSK scandal broke. It is still of real concern to those living on the Cote d’Azur near the Italian border.  And, like the DSK saga, Lampedusa looks as if it will be running and running.  As long as the Mediterranean is calm, the boats just keep coming.

French people are naturally quite anxious about this state of affairs.  Regardless of what Joel Roman of Sauvons l’Europe says, immigration of all kinds is on the increase and with it — right or wrong — apprehension among the French public.  Crime in certain neighbourhoods and towns has increased noticeably in recent years.  A ‘them and us’ mentality has developed on both sides of the spectrum which extends to employment, welfare subsidies and higher taxes.

With regard to the recent arrivals from Lampedusa, no one is sure who these men are.  The Tunisians at home in their own country have told visitors that some prisons had been opened during the uprisings earlier this year. Yet, in interviews in the press and on television, the immigrants say they were freedom fighters. The French wonder why people who fought for freedom in their homeland would leave it so suddenly.  Also, the immigrants have plenty of avenues for legal immigration, as France has an extensive agreement with North African countries — including Tunisia — for jobs that need to be filled now.

Yet, in Delanoë’s mind, it doesn’t matter that these men have arrived without papers or have, for whatever reason, evaded official immigration channels.  He is putting them up at Parisians’ expense and has asked for calm as well as cordial behaviour towards the men. Yet, the location of this humanitarian gesture has been viewed as provocative. Le Parisien of May 3, 2011 carried the story:

tonight Bertrand Delanoë’s team will open emergency housing for a portion of the Tunisian migrants who have been squatting since Monday in a municipal building [in the 19th arrondissement] which ‘is presenting security problems’.

The address is anything but anodyne: 127 Rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, in the chic heart of the city, a few steps away from the Elysée [presidential palace] and the Ministry of the Interior … ‘It’s a centre which was open during the winter for the homeless and it’s available, that’s all,’ explains Pascale Boistard, deputy mayor (PS) of Paris who carries the remit for migrants for the Mayor’s Office.   

So, many people question these policies, which are turning into a political game using taxpayers’ money to encourage dishonesty in the form of illegal immigration and possible subsequent criminal activity.  Yet, increasingly, the French are being told that their opinions don’t matter.  Delanoë asked no one.  Daniel Cohn-Bendit said, ‘The majority isn’t right.’  And Terra Nova wants to scrutinise the electorate’s choice of politicians.

Where are we going with this?

Fortunately, more information may be to hand in the form of new French sites written by professional journalists to counterbalance the leftist bias.  One of these is called Atlantico.  Another, which is a collection of useful videos about the PS, is called The Solferishow.  (The name comes from Rue de Solferino in Paris, where the PS HQ is located.)  There is also a new book which just came out (this isn’t a plug, just info) called Les intellectuels faussaires by Pascal Boniface, which exposes the thought control by the French intelligentsia.  Rather timely, considering the election cycle.

So, if you’re a Francophone or know someone who is, visit these sites, share them and reorient your mind!