NOTES

Family seeks respectable business

Marine Le Pen is not impetuous like her father; she is direct and offers quick solutions, but she is distancing herself from the FN, plagiarizing the words of the moderate right, and is trying to seduce with sheep's clothing

When you arrived at the Montretout castle, on the outskirts of Paris, a massive stone wall and iron gates separated you from the untamed garden of a decadent chateau that used to belong to Napoleon III back in the day. Guardsmen would allow the journalist to enter to interview the patriarch, who arrived accompanied by dogs with skinhead faces, crossing the hall of that magnificent inheritance of a businessman with a fondness for the National Front (FN).

Interviewing Jean-Marie Le Pen was all about getting him to loosen his tongue. He would try to measure his words, but he was exuberant, radiating male chauvinism, homophobia, anti-semitism, and a hatred of immigrants. He believed that Pétain was not a traitor, that the Nazi gas chambers were a "minor detail" of the Second World War, and described gypsies as "an irritating and smelly presence". The words of the Menhir, as he was called in the party, first inspired and then embarrassed his heiress, Marine.

She draws on the ideas of the far right but is trying at the same time to seduce Gaullists who want a career and the working class heirs to the French Communist Party, who had already felt drawn to her father. The France "that rises early" is aimed at those who are afraid. Afraid of immigrants, afraid of insecurity, of terrorism, of unemployment, of the loss of social rights, of the disappearance of the myth of grandeur. Marine is not impetuous like her father; she is direct and offers quick solutions, but she is distancing herself from the FN, plagiarizing the words of the moderate right, and is trying to seduce with sheep's clothing. She is seeking respectability.

EDICIÓ PAPER 14/09/2019

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