Gavin Mortimer

Gavin Mortimer

Gavin Mortimer is a British author who has lived in Paris for 12 years. He writes about French politics, terrorism and sport.

Is terrorism really a mental health problem?

When news first broke of the terrorist attack last Saturday in Paris, the French government rushed out a statement describing the suspect in custody as a French citizen born in France. His name was given as Armand R.   More details gradually emerged and the picture painted of the man accused of stabbing to death a German

Hell is the 2024 Paris Olympics

The motto for the 2024 Paris Olympics is ‘Games Wide Open’, which as far as irony goes is worthy of a gold medal.   These Games are shaping up to be anything but open, as the city’s famous bouquinistes have already discovered. More than 600 have been ordered to shut down their little green kiosks on

The EU is in denial about stopping the boats

The Global Alliance to Counter Migrant Smuggling is the latest EU initiative to address the continent’s migrant crisis. Unveiled in Brussels on Tuesday, the aim of the alliance is, in the words of the EU, ‘to close the loopholes in national legislation and international systems and prevent this criminal trade in human lives.’  Europe should brace itself

Macron’s France is trapped in a cycle of violence

On Monday, the spokesman for Emmanuel Macron’s government, Olivier Véran, visited the village of Crépol in south-eastern France. A fortnight ago few people had heard of Crépol, but on the evening of Saturday 18 November a gang of youths from an inner city a few miles away gatecrashed the village dance.   In the maelstrom

The EU has only itself to blame for Geert Wilders

On the same day that the Dutch went to the polls my teenage daughter went to Strasbourg on a school trip. Once in the EU parliament she and her classmates were given a guided tour by a French MEP; she was charming, by all account, a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

The ugly side of the European left

Dutch politics got a blast from the past on Monday when a right-wing politician was assaulted. The country goes to the polls tomorrow and the hospitalisation of Thierry Baudet, attacked with a bottle in a bar in the northern city of Groningen, is a reminder of what happened to Pim Fortuyn in 2002.  After being assaulted in

What France gets right about assimilation

Among the crimes of Suella Braverman, the now former Home Secretary, was a speech she gave in Washington at the end of September. Multiculturalism had failed, she told her audience, ‘We are living with the consequence of that failure today’. ‘Uncontrolled immigration, inadequate integration, and a misguided dogma of multiculturalism have proven a toxic combination

Macron has lost all credibility on Israel-Palestine

It has been a bruising few days for Emmanuel Macron. It began last Friday when he gave an interview to the BBC at the Élysée palace at the conclusion of a peace forum in Paris. In unusually forthright rhetoric, the president said there was ‘no justification’ for Israel’s bombing of Gaza, which was killing ‘these

The shallow solidarity of saying ‘we’re all Jews’

Over 100,000 French citizens marched peacefully through their cities on Sunday. They did so to show their support for the country’s 500,000 Jews, a growing number of whom have been harassed physically and verbally since Hamas attacked Israel last month.  In the Mediterranean city of Nice many of the 3,000 demonstrators chanted ‘we’re all Jews’,

Britain must stand up for its Jews

In his speech to parliament on Tuesday, King Charles declared that Britain was ‘committed’ to tackling anti-Semitism. His remarks were made amid a surge in acts of such bigotry on British streets, the majority occurring in London.   On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police announced that they had arrested 98 people on suspicion of anti-Semitic hate

The frightening bigotry of the French left

France’s most infamous antisemite is back in the headlines. At the weekend, the president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, declared in an interview that he didn’t believe Jean-Marie Le Pen was an antisemite. This came as a surprise to many given that the 95-year-old Le Pen, who founded the National Front in 1972, has

French Jews live in fear of the far left

One of the most shocking images in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 was the sight of Palestinians dancing in the street. Who would have known the murder of 3,000 Americans would elicit such delight? A larger number of Palestinians were on the streets of the West Bank in January 2015 following the

Macron is wrong if he thinks Isis is finished

Emmanuel Macron has suggested the formation of an international coalition to combat Hamas similar to the one deployed against the Islamic State several years ago. The president of France floated the idea on Tuesday during his visit to Israel. An Elysee source later fleshed out the proposal in more detail. ‘We are available to build a

Macron’s worrying dilemma

For a man so keen to thrust himself onto the international stage, Emmanuel Macron has been surprisingly quiet over the last fortnight. At the beginning of 2022, the President of France shuttled across Europe in an attempt to avert conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Though his diplomatic efforts were criticised in some Anglophone quarters, Macron earned

When naivety meets terror

On Monday evening a service of remembrance was held in Arras cathedral in northern France. The congregation was there to pay its respects to Dominique Bernard, the teacher who was murdered by an Islamist at his school last Friday, not far from the cathedral. The service was led by Bishop Olivier Leborgne. ‘We don’t have

France’s teachers are scared

Rarely has the publication of a book been so providential. The Teachers Are Scared was released in France last Wednesday, written by Jean-Pierre Obin, a former teacher who rose to become the General Inspector of France’s National Education.   Two days later, Dominique Bernard was stabbed to death in his school in Arras. The man