Finishing first in six regions, the National Front (FN) comes out the winner of the first round of the regional elections. By choosing the FN, an openly racist and xenophobic party, one quarter of the voters who did not abstain have, in fact, followed the path opened by the Hollande-Valls government, which differs in no way from that of Sarkozy.
The result of repeating the security-oriented, xenophobic demagogy of the FN
Coming back on electoral promises and attacking the working class, this government paved the way for Marine le Pen. Hollande called for putting up the flag in the streets, and now it is the FN flags that are waved.
The years under Hollande have seen the right to vote for foreigners being dropped immediately after his election, violence against the Roma people, racial profiling, and attacks on the labour code encouraged by Valls, who is always concerned with pleasing the cops and the bosses.
And the unemployment figures are the highest in 18 years.
In its draft revision of the constitution, Hollande plans to toughen and extend the state of emergency. He intends, in particular, to revoke the French nationality from people born in France if they have another nationality: a measure borrowed from the FN program to try and attract (without much success) the FN voters.
But mistrust toward the government is also particularly expressed by the rate of abstention approaching 50%. A part of the popular electorate probably preferred to show its opposition to Hollande and his policy by abstaining.
The state of social emergency
Some were also on the streets on December 2, in front of the High Court in Bobigny, at a rally in support of the five Air France employees who are indicted, officially for having ripped the shirt of a human resources director, but mostly for being mobilised against the threat of over 2,900 layoffs.
Bosses and government hope that the state of emergency will help silence the most combative workers by prohibiting demonstrations and also by taking advantage of every opportunity to control them.
Air France employees in Roissy found their locker fractured, SNCF and RATP workers are threatened with transfers depending on their opinions. The bosses think they have free rein but all this could also trigger a burst of anger and put the social emergency in the foreground. The regional councils cannot address the social emergency. Their authority is paltry in comparison to the State, and neither has ever prevented factory closures. On the other hand, according to their respective capabilities, they are always there to subsidize the bosses who may very well proceed with layoffs.
The only response is in our fights
Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of people voted in the first round for the Lutte Ouvrière candidates, thus expressing their agreement with a fighting program, for a ban on layoffs and for a general increase in wages and pensions, and for the control of companies accounting. Not to mention their opposition to Hollande’s hawkish policy, while the civilian victims of the Western bombing can only encourage the recruitment of new terrorists by the barbarians of IS.
These voters are a minority now, but a minority aware that the balance of power that will count in the future is not the one between majority and opposition in the regional councils but the one between big business and the working class, and that only the collective struggle of the exploited can reverse it.
This minority could lead the all workers during the next mobilizations of the working class.