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French election – what next?

The centre did not hold

Letters to the Editor. Illustration: Paul Scott
The Irish Times - Letters to the Editor.

Sir, – The victory of the left-wing grouping of parties in France would only make sense if it had a proper political agenda and policies to execute.

Sadly, however, this particular coalition appears to have only been cobbled together for the purpose of stopping the Rassemblement National from winning power. In my view, this tactical manoeuvre only serves to create further division, and disenfranchise the people who wished to see sanity prevail insofar as immigration control, financial strength and economic stability are concerned. – Yours, etc,




Dublin 9.

Sir, – For years, most of the mainstream media and political leaders on the right have been preaching to working-class people and the radical left that the possibility of a socialist government taking power was impossible.

They claimed we were in fact at the end of history and capitalism had triumphed, that there was no alternative to free market, neoliberal economics.

But the French workers have blown this myth out of the water and put socialism back on the agenda in France.

At the same time they have also defeated the prospect of a far-right government by presenting the French working class with the choice of voting for an alternative left government. The programme of the French left included a wealth tax, a rise of 14 per cent to the minimum wage, a huge investment in public housing, price freezes on energy and essentials, reducing the retirement age to 60, ecological planning, and an arms embargo and sanctions on Israel.

Workers in Ireland and throughout the world should take inspiration from the French workers and unite in the fight against capitalism and for a freer and more equal world without hunger and war. – Yours, etc,



Co Kerry.

Sir, – Can you explain how the party of Marine Le Pen can be called far right while the party of Jean-Luc Mélenchon is merely left wing? I see both as two extremes and they should referred to as such. One is as bad for France as the other. – Yours, etc,



Wirral, UK.