Florian philippot

The rise of Florian Philippot, France’s answer to Nigel Farage

These are dispiriting times for France. The 6pm curfew and the closure of bistros and theatres have taken all the fun out of life. What is there to do in the evening but watch television? Last night viewers were subjected to a live political debate, what was regarded as the opening salvo to the 2022 presidential campaign. The long-suffering French have 15 more months of this. The debate pitted Gérald Darmanin, the Interior Minister, against Marine Le Pen of the Rassemblement National (RN). In the estimation of this morning’s Le Monde it was a ‘cordial’ encounter dominated by Islamism. Much was made recently of an opinion poll in which Marine