Eric zemmour

The Dreyfus Affair continues to haunt France to this day

A short new book on Captain Alfred Dreyfus, the proudly patriotic French army officer who was falsely accused in 1894 of being a German spy, and whose court cases divided France into two warring camps, could not have been better timed. For the division sounds horribly familiar. Liberal, democratic, secular, cosmopolitan, urban France was pitted against provincial, religious, authoritarian, anti-immigrant, chauvinistic France. Dreyfus, an assimilated Alsatian Jew, was first sentenced by a military court, using faked documents and trumped-up charges, to life imprisonment on Devil’s Island, off the coast of French Guiana. When it became obvious that it wasn’t Dreyfus who had handed military secrets to the Germans but Ferdinand

Enemy of the Disaster: Selected Political Writings of Renaud Camus, reviewed

Everybody who knows nothing else about the French writer Renaud Camus knows that – as Wikipedia immediately asserts and as therefore is repeated every time he is mentioned in the press – he is ‘the inventor of the Great Replacement, a far-right conspiracy theory’. Until now, actually reading Camus has not been possible in English, so thoroughly has he been shunned by the mainstream media. Here, at last, are some of his core political essays in translation, published by a small press in America, that will make such dishonesty blatant in future. It is in that way, for good or ill, an essential publication, as few can genuinely be said

Zemmour is his own worst enemy

Eric Zemmour is back. The bogeyman of French politics spent the summer licking his wounds after his far-right Reconquest party was wiped out in June’s parliamentary elections, but on Sunday he addressed several thousand supporters at a rally in the south of France. It is, hopes Zemmour, an opportunity to relaunch his political career and judging by his recent media appearances he won’t be watering down his right-wing rhetoric. Railing against immigration, environmental extremists and the sanctions on Russia, Zemmour picked up from where he left off in the spring. When it was put to him by one interviewer that he had paid the price electorally for focusing too much

Le Pen, Zemmour and the two French far rights

Just about two months ahead of the French elections, a first poll for Le Parisién suggests that Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour are at the same level: 14 per cent. This is one out of many polls, most of which still show Le Pen ahead. But polls have been bad predictors in the past, and they can create their own momentum. Both Le Pen and Zemmour held big rallies this weekend. We now see two different economic visions emerging: one social, one liberal. The only economic point that the two have in common is that they both want social services to be accessible only to the French, not to

Eric Zemmour isn’t to blame for France’s anti-Semitism crisis

Emmanuel Macron sees anti-Semitism everywhere except where it really lurks. Earlier this month his government accused protesters opposed to the Covid Passport of giving the Nazi salute, a charge that was disproved by video footage and this week dismissed by the public prosecutor’s office in Paris. Yesterday, in a speech to mark International Holocaust Day, Macron warned of the return of ‘an ill wind’ blowing through the continent in some ‘political discourse’. He vowed that France would never cease to honour the memory of the six million Jews murdered in the Holocaust ‘particularly when some try to falsify it.’ Macron’s Prime Minister, Jean Castex, spoke on similar lines during a

Will Le Pen’s niece join Éric Zemmour’s campaign?

Is Marion Maréchal, granddaughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen and niece of Marine, about to emerge from political retirement to support the presidential election campaign of Éric Zemmour?  Normally the answer to any question posed by a journalist is ‘no’ but maybe not this time. Marion could give new momentum to Zemmour’s campaign, which seems recently to be stuck in a rut. Marion could be the right figure to lure National Front voters — who have been disgruntled with her aunt, Marine Le Pen — towards Zemmour. Zemmour’s political consultants think she could be the deus ex machina to resolve the conflict at the heart of the opposition to Macron: three

Eric Zemmour’s big weakness has been exposed

George W Bush will forever be in debt to The Donald. Before Trump became the 45th president of the United States, the man nicknamed ‘Dubya’ was widely considered by many Americans to be the most inept. Then came Trump. No longer was Bush a clown. The American left forget how they’d demonised him and looked wistfully to a time when there was dignity in the Oval Office. Marine Le Pen is experiencing something similar since Eric Zemmour’s emergence as a presidential candidate. She is no longer Public Enemy No. 1 since her detractors turned their fire on Zemmour; where once their battle-cry before any election was ‘Anyone but Le Pen’, now

Exclusive: Zemmour will run for President

It may be the worst kept secret in France but Eric Zemmour will tomorrow announce his candidacy for his country’s presidential election, according to a source on his campaign team.  It is, in one sense, confirmation of the obvious: it’s been clear for some months now to everyone who follows French politics that Monsieur Z is running for the Élysée Palace in 2022. His supposed book promotion tour was nakedly a series of political campaign rallies. Two days ago he released a campaign; now it is about to become official.  But the timing is nonetheless interesting since Zemmour has had a difficult few days. The polls suggest his soaring popularity has lost

Why a love child might help ‘Papa Zemmour’

It’s not often you find Eric Zemmour plastered across the front of Closer magazine. Brigitte Macron, Beyonce and Lady Gaga are the preferred darlings of the celebrity magazine. But this week’s issue – which is selling like gâteaux chaud in France – has on its cover Zemmour and his 28-year-old paramour Sarah Knafo and underneath what can only be described as a bombshell: ‘He’s going to be a dad in 2022!’ Is Zemmour really upset or is it faux outrage? There are more photos on pages 12 and 13, including a close-up of Madame Knafo’s alleged bump as she and her beau, 35 years her senior, stroll through a Parisian

Sadiq Khan no-platforms Eric Zemmour

As the race for the Elysée hots up, presidential candidates are busy courting voters and raising funds. And with Macron’s poll ratings flatlining in Paris, all eyes are on Eric Zemmour, the right-wing talkshow host who is still yet to declare but is nevertheless third in the polls. So Mr S was intrigued to learn that Zemmour plans to come to London this weekend in light of the capital’s considerable French contingent, with the metropolis often cited as the sixth biggest French city. Unfortunately Zemmour’s plans have run aground, with successive venues cancelling on the anti-establishment candidate in light of his controversial past statements — some of which have put him beyond the pale

Is Eric Zemmour running or not?

Eric Zemmour, the right-wing journalist and self-declared populist, is at a crossroads. Will he or won’t he declare himself a presidential candidate? Few doubt he will declare. Timing is an issue. Some in his camp think he should delay declaring as long as possible. But executing an effective launch will be more important than its timing. He’s under concerted attack by political and media allies of President Emmanuel Macron. Yet his ability to rapidly respond, to perform opposition research of his own, to build a ground campaign, remains constrained. Is he really ready to mount a presidential election campaign, which will be considerably more demanding, costly and tricky than his

France must ensure the safety of Eric Zemmour

There are several similarities between Eric Zemmour and the Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn, and one distinct difference. The Dutchman was homosexual and an ardent campaigner for gay rights, whereas the Frenchman, who has three children, recently reaffirmed his opposition to gay marriage. But on Islam and immigration they had much in common. Fortuyn, for example, campaigned for a reduction in the overall annual number of immigrants to Holland from 40,000 to 10,000, with not one Muslim among that figure. Zemmour wants an end to all immigration and believes that Islam ‘is not compatible with France’. Fortuyn paid with his life for his views. He was assassinated on May 6, 2002,

Zemmour’s xenophobia

The received opinion is that Islam and immigration are Éric Zemmour’s prime targets as his putative presidential campaign gathers pace. But he has a third mortal enemy, and that’s the Anglophone world. Éric doesn’t much like us. But then Éric doesn’t much like anyone who’s not, as his sort are wont to say, Français de souche. Zemmour’s rabble-rousing is becoming tiresome. He is lashing out in all directions, his latest act of belligerence a swipe at Britain and America during a rally in Rouen on Friday. The English, he thundered, have been France’s ‘greatest enemies for a thousand years’ while D-Day ‘was an enterprise of liberation but also of occupation and colonisation by the

Plan Z: the rise of Éric Zemmour

The fact that Éric Zemmour hasn’t yet declared himself a candidate in next year’s French presidential election is a bit of a joke. A Harris poll last week put him on 17 per cent, ahead of all other rivals to President Emmanuel Macron. And he’s holding rallies across France at which adoring fans in ‘Zemmour 2022’ T-shirts chant: ‘Zemmour! Président!’ He’s still pretending to be a TV personality on a big book promotion tour. But Mr Z is running and everybody knows it. He has a devoted and surprisingly professional campaign behind him, the nucleus of a political party, conceived with a clear mission: to restore la gloire de la

Jonathan Miller

My night in Béziers with Zemmour

Béziers is the ancient winemaking capital of the Occitanie region in the deep south of France and a stronghold of the French right. Its popular mayor, Robert Ménard, a former journalist, was elected as an independent, but with a strong endorsement from Marine Le Pen. Her political movement, the Rassemblement National, formerly the National Front, with historical roots in anti-Semitism, has been powerful here for decades. So is it paradoxical, bizarre, or perhaps evidence of a more profound shift of social and political tectonic plates, that last Saturday night thousands of Biterrois turned out at the Zinga Zanga theatre to cheer Éric Zemmour, a Parisian Jewish intellectual, author and television

Macronism is dead

President Emmanuel Macron was in an expansive mood this week as he presented his vision for France 2030 from the Elysée palace before an audience of business leaders and students. Macron is incapable of brevity. In a slick production that must have cost a fortune, presented to a fawning hand-picked audience, he spoke for two hours. His elocution was framed by a slick, Tik-Tokish video recalling the 30 glorious years of French economic growth and grand projects after the war. Macron is nothing if not busy. He’s just been on a series of pre-election grand tours, dispensing billions of euros in promises like confetti. That includes a proposed repair of

France’s political elite created Eric Zemmour

Love him or loathe him, Eric Zemmour is a breath of fresh air in French politics. Before he appeared as a contender it was the usual worn-out figures lining up for next year’s presidential election: Marine Le Pen, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Xavier Bertrand, Valérie Pécresse and Arnaud Montebourg. None of them have anything new to say and, even if they did, the electorate have stopped listening. Same old same old. Zemmour, on the other hand, despite the fact he has yet to declare his candidacy, makes for compelling TV. He was at it again on Wednesday evening, this time calling gender conversion therapy ‘criminal’ and comparing its medical facilitators in the

Is Eric Zemmour France’s answer to Trump?

Eric Zemmour, a right-wing French essayist, has had a stellar rise in the media and public opinion. He has now reached 17 per cent in the latest Harris Interactive poll for the first round if he were to run as a candidate. After Macron’s ascent to power from nowhere only five years ago, will Zemmour become the Donald Trump of French politics? It looks unlikely. Zemmour certainly hit a raw nerve with his anti-immigrant theme, but whether he can dominate the campaign will depend on events outside of his control. If the voters’ concern turns towards the energy crisis and purchasing power, Zemmour would be without an offer. But in

Eric Zemmour is eating Marine Le Pen alive

French opinion polls are best taken with a generous bucket of sel de Guérande but this evening’s drop of a Harris Interactive survey of intentions to vote in the 2022 presidential election might genuinely be described as explosive. This poll contains the crucial assumption that Xavier Bertrand will emerge as the candidate of the centre-right Les Républicains, but it nevertheless suggests that trends are moving in unpredicted directions. Bertrand is currently only marginally ahead of Eric Zemmour, whose insurgent campaign from the right is starting to profoundly unsettle the conventional wisdom. If Zemmour, who still hasn’t officially announced his candidacy, continues to climb and Marine Le Pen to decline, something extraordinary

Macron is playing Eric Zemmour’s tune

In a big speech yesterday, Macron presented himself in almost Nixonian terms as guardian of law and order. He said he would rewrite the penal code and double the number of police on the streets. But only if he’s re-elected. He further promised at least ten specific security measures and €500 million in additional spending. Ever the triangulator, he mixed hard with soft — promising also a parliamentary oversight body to clamp down on police brutality. Nobody can accuse Macron of lacking policies, though they’re mostly more show than go. His attempt to co-opt the security agenda is thus far merely rhetorical. Body cameras for all police, a new national