Le Pen représente tout ce que la France n’est pas.
N’oublies jamais tes racines, elles représentent ce que tu es. (Never forget your roots, they represent what you are.)
As a child, my parents took me and my sister away on numerous holidays to France. I guess it was far more convenient to go there, as we could be at the port of Dover in the hour travelling from London. It wouldn’t be long before we were on the Sally Line ferry and enjoying the play-zone, watching Tom & Jerry and playing with new friends before finally arriving to the smell of fish in Calais.
We have traveled all over France. We’ve been to Brittany, Montpellier, Soissons, La Rochelle, Toulouse and too many other places to name. Even as an adult, I have visited Paris and Arras, and we’ve kept the family tradition alive as I have taken my children away to France by following my dad but in my own car.
The French were always full of compassion and hospitality. Always happy to point us in the right direction if we were lost, or throw in the odd free drink or desert when we ate at restaurants. Wherever we travelled; north, south, east or west, we never fell short of gaining a new friend. We were never made to feel like aliens or foreigners, and I guess that’s why France has always felt like a second home to me.
However, something peculiar always stood out to me as a child and I never really understood or made sense of what it meant at the time. I used to see “Le Pen” graffitied across motorway bridges (mainly when we travelled in the north west region). It made absolutely no sense to me, but it’s a memory that has always stuck with me.
As an adult, I now know what that graffiti meant. Thinking about it, it’s a message that has always been there. A subconscious message. It was powerless message back then, but today it is a message that is starting to grow wider. In retrospect, it was a long con and now that it’s starting to pay off, it’s so sad to see.
When the terrorist attacks took place in Paris last year, the whole world mourned, but they mourned more so for Paris than they did for other places in the world. It had nothing to do with the fact that many French people are white, but because to many France are a symbol of peace.
The French are by no means angels. They are not innocent of their involvement of imperialism and war throughout history. To be fair and to some extent, everyone has blood on their hands. However, the French are progressives that have established and helped build alliances in Europe through the means of Treaties.
When the U.K. and the United States are leaning to the right of politics, the last thing one wants to see is France lose its rationale by ending up down a similar path. There is currently a war of ideas, and France is a stronghold for liberals and progressives on the left. Should the right capture France, then western civilisation will have regressed and all progression would have been for nothing.
I agree, people are fed up of the establishment and they are desperate for change. But as desperate as we are, we should not allow our despair to lead us into madness. The day that any Le Pen rules France, will be the day that I return to that same bridge in France and write RIP Liberté, égalité, fraternité.