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by Jean-Paul Piérot

Time To Put On a Spurt, Citizens!

Translated Tuesday 19 November 2013, by Isabelle Métral

Like Nature, politics abhors a vacuum. For too long the people of the Left, the social and labor movements have stood still in the face of a government and a President whose inconstancy, whose proneness to lend an ear to the bosses’ lobby exclusively, and whose capacity to forget his promises of change have misled into a situation of deep crisis.

The result is that protest against the government’s decisions is riddled with divisions, action in defense of sectional interests confuses and clouds the real issues, and the people’s legitimate anger is misspent in conflicting and ineffective struggles, while social dissatisfaction is vented in an erratic way like a rudderless boat lost out at sea. For the marchers in red, green, or yellow caps, [1] apparently set regional proximity above class . It would seem that in their eyes radars that target roadsters on roads are more legitimate targets for the people to turn against than job-slashing governors’ boards...

The despair of workers that fall victims to an avalanche of redundancy schemes should not however be confused with Far Right provocateurs that disrupt the anniversary ceremonies of WWI.As was the case on November 11th. But the recent serious incidents on the Champs-Élysées are a reminder that confusion is skilfully exploited by political forces that don’t give a damn about the fate of workers, of the jobless and pensioners.

Clearly, these manipulators will rather excite and exploit people’s exasperation over taxes than demand fair taxes; they will rather denounce taxation, which is a means of re-distributing the wealth created by labor, than argue in favor of a progressive income tax. So it was high time the Left Front picked up the challenge and called citizens to take part in a big march in Paris on December the first, so that the public scene resonates with the voice of democracy against the violence of the factions and their dangerous appeal.

The president has forgotten his promise - as a candidate - of fiscal and social justice, yet fiscal and social justice is the touchstone of all Leftist policy. And has always been. France labors under the cost of capital, even as the Third Estate was overburdened with taxes in the “Ancien Régime” [2]. The Left Front’s call for a fiscal revolution, for the taxation of capital and the repeal of the VAT rate increase to 20% as well as the 20 billion euros given over to bosses [3]has put an end to its apparent recent paralysis due to divergences about strategy in the municipal elections. The Left Front is thus back on the frontline, for its original vocation - to heighten citizen awareness and fuel citizen protest –- an open and inviting space for organizations and public figures that refuse to let popular anger be led astray and channeled by the Far Right and big companies’ bosses.

The Rightist parties have never accepted their electoral defeat. They would now have us believe that France is laboring under an institutional crisis due to a lack of legitimacy, when it is in fact, and more seriously, suffering from a political crisis. François Hollande, whose lack of popularity, week after week, is reaching an all-time high, cannot weather this crisis by means of a simple ministerial reshuffle or by replacing the Prime Minister – poor subterfuge, this, when what is urgently wanted is a determined change of tack: only the people can turn him round. Brace up, citizens!

[1Breton demonstrators marching with their employers against the ecotax were given red woolen caps to wear. These were supplied free by the boss of a Breton firm. See article 2371 about Brittany’s “red caps” http://www.humaniteinenglish.com/ecrire/?exec=article&id_article=2366 . Public transport travelers are incited to wear green caps to protest against the 7 to 10% VAT hike from January 2014. Yellow caps have to do with the Health service.

[2Under the Bourbons before the French Revolution

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