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Politics

Mélenchon in Dijon “I am the candidate for equality and social justice”

Jean-Luc Mélenchon : “The majority will be a rebellious majority where the candidates make commitments under the banner of respecting and implementing the programme.”

Translated Wednesday 26 April 2017, by Emma Jackson

On Tuesday evening in Dijon (and in six other cities via hologram), the candidate of “Unsubmissive France”, supported by the PCF and Ensemble, dedicated his last rally to the fight against inequality and to the distribution of wealth.

According to its organisers, 35 000 people in seven different cities participated on Tuesday evening at Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s last campaign rally and at its holograms. Charlotte Girard warned that it was the “last rally” but not the “last chapter”. Girard is the co-director of the chapter of “Unsubmissive France” in Dijon, a city where the candidate was present in flesh and blood [1]. After having been presented as “the Candidate of Peace” at Marseille on Tuesday evening, Jean-Luc Mélenchon announced: “I am the candidate for equality and social justice.”

“What is just is good for all”.

The candidate proved this by citing an FMI study which shows that: “the more the wealth of the rich accumulates, the more growth is weak” and that “making the labour market more flexible goes together with a rising inequality and an enrichment of the 10%.”

They concluded that labour market flexibility favours the richest people and reduces the poor workers’ ability to negotiate, he added, ironically. He pointed out another injustice: “1 % of the world’s population, the wealthiest, owns as much as the other 99 %.” A “limitless” phenomenon of “predation” on “nature and human beings”, which is “accelerating”. “In our eyes, such a system is intrinsically bad and wrong”, he concluded. The driving force of this operation is greed and the competition of everyone against each other. We oppose this with entirely different values: altruism; the acknowledgement of the similarity of everyone around us, and the cooperation of human beings and nations rather than competition and war. Jean-Luc Mélenchon proceeds with his propositions by starting with the protection and division of “common goods”, which today become: “the property of the few” (with changing to 100% renewable energy or simply keeping the first cubic metres of water free of charge), and the fight against the territorial inequalities in the Dom Tom [2], the poor quarters, particularly by the revitalization of public services, such as education.

“The Nations’ Joint Programme is not an extraordinary thing”

The candidate particularly lingered on the subject of the sharing of wealth, which “isn’t only an abstract concept.” His adversaries were examined in turn on this occasion. Notably Emmanuel Macron and his proposition of making it a condition of unemployment benefits to a maximum of two employment offer rejections. “That already happens (…) in the current text it says “two reasonable job offers”. That means that what he is proposing is “any kind” of job offer. Is it an accident that the rules they implement wouldn’t exactly meet their interests?” he pretended to ask himself. Just like in Lille last week, but using another example, Jean-Luc Mélenchon took care to explain that the transfer that has happened in these last decades are “the pockets of work that are those of capital” : “in 1982, you would work an extra 10 days a year for them without pay. Now you must contribute to their personal happiness – I’m speaking not of businesses’ financial results but in dividends - 45 days per year”. “Decidedly, these people are costing us too much”.

He also mentioned, before elaborating on his fiscal propositions (described in l’Humanité on 14 April) that “everyone can give what they can”. He rejected once again “a morality” summarised as “take advantage and shut up”, asserting that the investments therefore will benefit everyone (“Mr. Dassault can take the Metro if it is running”). Businesses are obligated to report their profits in the countries where they earned them (to stop tax evasion); retirement at 60 years of age; equal pay for men and women; 100% disabled access areas (“one of those things which will resurrect the economy with 10 billion euros of investments”)… These were some of the many measures detailed by Jean Luc Mélenchon. “The Joint Programme of nations is not an extraordinary thing: to be able to make a dignified living, to be cared for when you are sick, to be able to stop working when it is time” he summed up.

Of “ministers who carry out the core functions, the executive functions and many the high commission works”

As for the perspective of the first round: "it may be that we will succeed in the qualification”, he estimated, responding once again point for point to the attacks in the past few days (on Europe, the tax battering…), attacks which he called “a little more serious”. “Ready to exercise its powers which (will be) conferred on them by the will of the people” waiting for the Constituent Assembly to finish drafting the new Constitution, Jean-Luc Mélenchon also defined his concept of his potential future majority : “the majority will be a rebellious majority where the candidates make commitments under the banner of the ``Phi’’, of respecting and implementing the programme. For, naturally, I have no intention of organising my own rebels”, he warned. And he presented for the first time the way he envisioned a possible government : with “ministers who carry out the core functions, the executive functions, and many high commissioners working on missions which would have certain objectives”, such as ecological planning, the fight against illiteracy or the question of water.

(1) Nantes, Dijon, Clermont Ferrand, Nancy, Grenoble, Montpellier, Le Port (La Réunion)

[1HIE correction: Actually, he did the broadcast from a huge, and overflow, assembly in Nantes, and was a hologram in Dijon and other sites.That just goes to show how convincing the holograms were!

[2French territories outside continental Europe


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