There is always a mood change, sometimes it is for good, on other occasions less so. Like a metrometer from one side to the other, in some illusion that we remain neutral, a foundation of somewhere in between. Our daily mood a mere form of aggregation as we decide how we feel. This all relates to politics. It has been tradition in many houses to keep two elements off-topic. The first is religion, the second is politics. It is the second one that is now escalating in Europe. There is no way that people can keep it off the table, because there is a realistic risk that the EEC will not continue. There is a real risk that the EEC will come to an end. We are now at a stage that the EEC will face true hardship in 21 months.
The first element is France. French politics is a mess on the best of days, yet at present they are about to have a European impact. The big player here is Marine Le Pen. National Front is very much on the right side of right as such they have been all about national pride (which is fair enough) and the current mess as France finds itself in, is one that the people are not happy with. Debt is at an all-time high, jobs are low, immigration issues as well as low expectations for the immediate future. Actually, make that an issue for the next 3 years, which means that current President Hollande does not really have too great a chance of getting re-elected. EU Inside (at http://www.euinside.eu/en/analyses/francois-hollandes-battle-for-a-second-term) gives us the following four points that Hollande needs to agree to (they call them conditions).
- Improvement in economic performance and most of all a drop in unemployment
- Lack of serious competition in the left
- Nicolas Sarkozy as a candidate of the right
- A second round against Marine Le Pen
The first one is a dud as I see it. The only way to pull that off is to massively cut into the budget on nearly every level. French’s debt being 50% larger than that of the UK is not one to sneer at. Cutting in the UK is already hard beyond believe, so I do not envy President Hollande on that. In addition, whoever voted for him, when they feel the cutting pinch, they will not vote for him as I see it. The second one is a little different, it is not that Hollande is leading, he remains for the most unopposed in this, which is not the same. His current opposition has cushy jobs and going against Hollande for a second term is wasting massive amounts of energy that will not add up to enough. Martine Aubry is mentioned as an option, but the Asbestos debacle and the fact that she is not the favoured choice of the unions will stop this from happening. Lille has a decent economy, is high on the political list as a region, but still without strong Union support, Martine Aubry will not go anywhere. She gets additional visibility through the achievements of the University of Lille in Science and Technology. They are globally renowned, which helps getting an influx of international students through the Erasmus program, an element that does additional good to commerce in that region.
The other choice is Manual Valls, who is considered to be a social liberal, with a whiff of Scandinavian-style social democracy and Blairism, making him a little of everything. This is nice to be accepted on the larger field, but the left (as does the right) has all levels of niches to which he might end up being less of an appeal. Yet the news in the Sydney Morning Herald in January 2015 gives us “Mr Valls was starting a speech to about 700 people in support of his Socialist party’s candidate for a by-election on Tuesday night when the lights went out and his microphone turned silent. The electricity stayed off for about an hour, not just at the venue, but in the whole neighbourhood in Audincourt, eastern France. Mr Valls resumed his speech once the power had come back on” (at http://www.smh.com.au/world/unions-turn-lights-off-on-french-prime-minister-manuel-valls-20150128-130jjl.html), which is not a biggie, but it does imply that unions and Valls are not on the best of turns, all elements taken into account gives us that Manuel Valls could be a replacement, but only if current President Hollande messes things up with the unions, one step he is not likely to make at present.
The third issue is fine with me, we can argue on the qualities of Nicolas Sarkozy, or the desire some voters have to see a lot more of his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, former model and songwriter. He remains a highly experienced politician, so there should not be any issues. Whomever wants to dig up the affair again, better realise fast that France remains the only European nation where Crime Passional gives the slaughterer of an adulterer an acquittal, justice does find a way!
Now we get to the good stuff, the rest was not mere foreplay, but if we do not set the stage, we will not get the right view we need to have. The fourth issue was ‘A second round against Marine Le Pen‘. This is the mother lode, because Marine Le Pen has been growing her influence. National Front has been growing its army all over France and if Marine Le Pen becomes president of the Calais region, it will start changes, more important she will grow influence in Belgium too. Any economic victory she can score in her first year will count twice, it will give her one credit, whilst also removing a credit from Hollande, so two for the price of one. In addition, any moves by Hollande against Calais will not hurt Marine Le Pen, but will count against Hollande. Again, adding hardship and reducing his changes. Yet, these are not the only two players. The Republicans, the Union of Democrats and Independents as well as the Greens. Yet none of them have been loudly fighting for a stronger France (read less dependent), President Hollande has not done enough, or better stated, whatever he did, for the most failed. There is over two point six trillion euro in evidence there. Marine Le Pen should be regarded as a serious contender here.
So how does the mood change?
Whatever France does, is on the turf of France, but there is no secret that Marine Le Pen is all for Frexit if certain essential changes are not made almost immediately. Her move to secede from Shengen and her request for a hearing in these matters. She had gained traction during the Charlie Hedbo events, but now as issues escalate in Calais, her chances increase and this will change the game a little. It is only a little, but it starts the change in moods. You see, there is Frexit and Brexit. We had Grexit, but the people forget (and remain uninformed by the press) that this was never a possibility. I raised them in ‘The mere legality‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/06/the-mere-legality/). How many newspapers and news blogs were there to properly inform you on how expulsion is a near legal impossibility? They all danced around the matter of Grexit, something I personally regard as a big ‘No No’. Now things are different, you see both Brexit and Frexit are voluntary, this means that a massive can of worms will open, as the British referendum will be held in 2016, before the French elections and that will impact the French elections too. Hollande and others have been in favour of staying in the EEC and in the Euro. Yet both Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage have given their views. Now that the Greek crises (which was never much of a crises) is ‘presented’ to be over, we must acknowledge that Greece still hasn’t made all the preparations. We see terms like “in the final stretch” and “a complex, three-year deal“. When we look at Reuters, we get language like “Athens is racing to wrap up the bailout agreement of as much as 86 billion euros ($94.35 billion) by as early as Tuesday in a bid to get the first disbursement of aid by Aug. 20“, yet what reforms has Greece delivered? It seems that 86 billion is a sexy topic to have, but on the other side of the fence we now have France and the UK. If Tsipras makes any kind of a gesture towards ‘re-negotiation’ that price will be a very high one. Many nations have had enough of Greek antics and the concessions made are not the kind that the European nations will allow for, because the people are in a clear state of mind, it is coming out of their payment one way or another. This gives strength to both Brexit and Frexit issues. That view was clearly shown last week by Nigel Farage (at http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-33715160). The language remains simple, read: “Nigel Farage has told No campaigners to “stop moaning, stop bitching” or risk losing the EU referendum“, he is clearly ready for war, because whatever victory he gets now, will largely contribute to the 2020 elections. They are still far off, but the Liberal Democrats are basically no more and British Labour isn’t getting its act together. All votes that UKIP could pick up and Nigel seems to be very driven to do just that. In addition, he has France to deal with now too. If the referendum fails and France does move out, the UK will be in a bad spot for at least a year after that, giving the people that fear is what Nigel will be all about and it would be a valid strategy.
Even though some prefer the ‘wait and see’ option, it must be stated that not all is well on this front either. Many of the ‘wait and see’ group are looking nervously at France, the power of Marine Le Pen remains underreported, as well as Grexit was (the legal impossibility of it). Yet the dangers here is that if UK follows France, it will wield a high cost, so the UK must make up its mind on the dangers it faces and it needs to be a proper realistic view, which seems to be less possible as some have been managing bad news, scoring the news that the dangers are less severe. I do not believe that to be the case. More and more do we get to see articles like ‘Greece needs wide debt relief to avoid permanent depression, think-tank warns‘, basically telling us that Greeks debts need to be forgiven (for at least 50%), yet they will not arrest, prosecute or demonise the people behind this folly. They stood overly proud that this is not their fault. Blaming whomever they could. I think that until that moment comes the Greeks will just have to learn the hard way. In addition, who will deal with the losses of these hundreds of billions? Someone is not getting his/her money, how will that reflect on others having to pay? These elements will also fuel both Brexit and Frexit.
This upcoming mood swing is all about financial players trying to prolong the game, all trying to relief debt whilst giving out 86 billion more. Their own selfishness will be the foundation of Brexit and Frexit coming into reality. What excuses will these people give then? Or are they spiking the juice so that they can get their life’s ambition within the next 18 months?
I’ll let you decide on that.