Le Pen sounds call for Sixth Republic
Tuesday 01 April 1997
In his closing speech to the 10th FN congress in Strasbourg, he threatened to counter-attack against allegations that he and his party are fascist, racist and anti-Semitic. This campaign of vilification was a strategy by the "corrupt" establishment parties, and the "professional anti-racism lobby" to undermine the only party capable of providing France with hope of a glorious future.
The speech, touted as the opening broadside in the FN campaign for parliamentary elections next year, contained most of the standard Le Pen themes: the decadence of the establishment; the US-led plot to impose a global economy and culture; and efforts to traduce his party as a prelude, he claimed, to a legal ban.
The chief novelty was Mr Le Pen's attempt to take on the mantle of de Gaulle and call for complete renewal of all political institutions. De Gaulle, who gave up Algeria, remains a villain to many on the ultra-right. But Mr Le Pen claimed him as a forerunner of his self-proclaimed mission and "historic duty" to rescue France from immobility and corruption.
A few years after being regarded as a pariah and failure, de Gaulle founded the Fifth Republic in 1958, Mr Le Pen said. "This is a historic model that many should ponder ... Vive the Sixth Republic!"
Although the FN has called for constitutional change, without giving many details, this was the first time Mr Le Pen had directly appealed for a completely new beginning for political institutions.
But there were two sobering developments for Mr Le Pen yesterday. Four FN members were arrested after roughing up two young men in a hotel car- park. Three of the Frontistses, security guards at the congress, had claimed to be policemen. They appear in court tomorrow, undermining
Mr Le Pen's attempt to portray his party as a victim, not a cause, of political violence, after the destructive behaviour of a minority of members of an anti-FN demonstration on Saturday.
Secondly, the details of the voting for the FN central committee showed an embarrassing rejection by Front members of Mr Le Pen's efforts to curb the rise of his ambitious, de facto Number Two, Bruno Megret,who topped the ballot for the first time. One of his principal supporters came second and the man chosen by Mr Le Pen to block Mr Megret's rise - Bruno Gollnisch, the dull party secretary general - came a limp third.
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£40000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Dynamics CRM D...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Web Developer ...
£50000 - £67000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# R&D .NE...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...