Sunday, March 04, 2007

France's far right has 'Orientals' in its sights

Jean-Marie Le Pen is France's equivalent of Nick Griffin (the leader of the BNP) - a political figurehead for the far-right.

Whilst many view him as 'yesterday's man' - someone who's time has passed, it's worrying to see that Le Pen's most recent speech has specifically singled out Chinese and Asian people as the new 'threat' to France:

The Times article.

“France faces catastrophe,” Mr Le Pen told the hall of cheering supporters. “The political class has taken us to this point. They are all guilty — left-wing and right-wing. France wants a president with a sense of destiny, not a governor of a European Union province.” If the frontiers were not closed, France would be “sub-merged by illegal immigrants — Mongols, Tamils, Chinese,” he added.

It's the same old rhetoric, just the skin colour has changed. Traditionally, the racially motivated attacks from right wing extremists have tended to focus on black and Indian/South Asian people, with Chinese people tending to go unnoticed (in fact I've always thought of France as traditionally having more respect for the culture of China and the Far East than even the UK). Does this mark a shift in tactics, as migration from China and the overall visibility of Chinese people increases?

Time will tell if these tactics achieve anything, and whether this should be taken as forewarning of what the British far-right may be trying next.

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