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by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin

People of the left

Translated Wednesday 7 October 2015, by Adrian Jordan

The editorial of Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin. The immense success of the Festival of Humanity – not being unacceptable to mainstream media – crystallised the full range of ongoing debate and, perhaps, spurred thoughts of political change.

A strange “after-party”. A mix of real-life dream and profound desires to get to grips with political issues of the noblest sort, as if we all were, already, trustees of a gigantic unifying chain of hundreds of thousands of hands, swelled by fair winds driving us forth in some way... These are not just words. Set amid the overwhelming dismay of those on the left, astounded and exasperated by Hollande-Valls politics, the immense success of the Festival of Humanity – not unacceptable to mainstream media – crystallised the full range of ongoing debate and, perhaps, spurred thoughts of political change. Faced with the task of reforming an “alternative left” and also the left itself, time is rushing by. The country’s big political movements, “seek a new road”, as was stressed by Pierre Laurent in his speech. Opening up that new road is now of absolute urgency.

Not by chance, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, first secretary of the Socialist Party (PS), chose the day following the festival to write an “open letter” in which he called for an alliance for a “new political and civic left”. Reform the left: an age-old task which has always mattered to us, no? But to the service of what politics? For Mr Cambadélis, the only threat, albeit real, of standing by and watching the triumph of a “political identity block” of the right and extreme right, would suffice to transform the liberal François Hollande into the natural candidate for the entire left for the 2017 elections. Tactical hogwash! Based on a few polls, the head of the PS declared “As they say in cycling: the gap is made.” Mr Cambadélis should take care with his cycling metaphors. Or else he may learn to his cost that his dear president has truly “sucked the wheel” of liberalism and he will end up finding himself in a “potato chase”. [1] Does he realise the fate of a “potato-chaser”? Inexorably allow yourself to be caught by the main body, given that it organises itself and cooperates. That works fine since the main body in question is angry. It is called the “people of the left”.

[1These are all cycling terms: “the gap is made” – make headway; “suck the wheel” – trail close behind; “chase-potato” – get stuck between two groups.

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