French elections 2022

Hidalgo has trashed Paris. Can she do the same for France?

Anne Hidalgo, the socialist mayor of Paris, whose reign has submerged the city in debt and rubbish, is the latest no-hoper to declare her candidacy for the 2022 presidential election. She’s in fifth place in the polls, although these are rarely credible at this stage and currently ignore several candidates for reasons that seem obscure. Hidalgo, the daughter of Spanish immigrants, is to run on a platform of social justice. She says she is doing so with humility, although this is not a characteristic that has so far been evident in her personality. Ruthless ambition comes closer.  It is rather obvious that Hidalgo has zero chance of finishing in the top two

President Barnier would be a disaster for Britain

An arrogant, aloof, wordy, pro-EU centrist drawn from the same narrow elite that has dominated the country for decades. It’s not that hard to see how French voters might choose to replace Emmanuel Macron with Michel Barnier. Apart from the fact he is older, his hair is greyer, and his wife is slightly younger, it is quite hard to tell the difference between them.  His hardline stance meant both sides ended up with a far worse deal than was necessary and an atmosphere of mutual mistrust Even so, the veteran politician has this week launched his candidacy for next year’s presidential election, vying to become the centre-right challenger to the incumbent.