Cultural Revolutions

In Trouble Again

Jean-Marie Le Pen is in trouble again. Imagine if Pat Buchanan had just scored a major political success, which had put him within reach of real political power—and then, just as he was reaching out to taste the fruits of years of hard work, political opponents threw a minor legal charge at him. Conviction on this charge would disqualify Buchanan from holding any political post, lumber him with a suspended prison sentence of three months, and strip him of his civic rights for two years. Would not the timing seem a little too convenient to be coincidental? This is what Jean-Marie Le Pen's friends, and liberal Frenchmen of all parties, are now saying about the ancien regime's latest assault on the National Front (FN). In the last general election, Le Pen was helping his daughter, Marie-Caroline, to canvas in the Mantesla-Jolie district. During a walkabout, the FN contingent was spotted by a Socialist mob, who showed their commitment to freedom of expression by threatening the much smaller FN group.

In the front row of the mob was the Socialist candidate, a harpy named Peulvast-Bergeal who, according to Le Pen, was threatening and lunging at his daughter. Le Pen, an impulsive and chivalrous man, claims that he merely tried to fend off the Amazon, who was not hurt at all by the "assault," just even more aggrieved than usual.

The TV cameras which follow Le Pen everywhere in the hope of just such...

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