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.

France is spiralling out of control

It’s been a brutal month in France but one would barely know it from the reaction of much of the political and media class. Their attention has been focused on a rapper called Médine, who was invited at the start of August to appear at the Green party’s summer conference, which opened in the Channel

The developing world has grown tired of Britain’s hypocrisy

The timing could not have been worse for Rishi Sunak. Just days after it was confirmed by Downing Street that the Prime Minister would host Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in the autumn, a human rights organisation published an extensive report accusing Saudi Arabia of the ‘mass killing’ of migrants at its border with Yemen.  The

Enforce the borders, stop the boats, save lives

Rishi Sunak has failed in his pledge to ‘Stop the Boats’, and the £480 million deal he signed with France in March is nothing more than a gargantuan waste of money. In fact, the French have intercepted fewer migrants in the Channel this year than they did in 2022. If the Prime Minister is truly committed

Macron doesn’t care about migrants crossing the Channel

The British government is reportedly ‘frustrated’ with France for its failure to stem the numbers of migrants making their way illegally across the Channel.  What’s new? It’s a gripe going back years and the solution has always been the same: to throw more money to France in return for a solemn promise from Paris that

Europe’s migrant crisis is about to get much worse

The first time Mohamed Bazoum came to the attention of the European media was in the aftermath of the Great Migrant Crisis of 2015. The man who was, until a fortnight ago, the president of Niger, was at that time the minister of the interior.   The shockwaves of a war in Niger would be

Macron can’t escape blame for France’s failures in Africa

Emmanuel Macron was the recipient of a letter on Monday from nearly 100 senators from across France’s political spectrum. The signatories lamented the ‘failures and setbacks’ of the Republic’s policy in Africa in recent years and called on the president to rethink French strategy on the continent. Listing some of these failures – the rejection

Macron is pushing France to tipping point

In the last three years, Mali, Guinea, Sudan, Burkina Faso and Niger have all undergone coup d’états. The most recent regime change was last week in the west African nation of Niger, where Mohamed Bazoum was overthrown by the elements of the presidential guard.   The coup’s leader is Colonel-Major Amadou Abdramane. Last Wednesday he

Is France’s loss Russia’s gain in Niger? 

France is preparing to evacuate its citizens from Niger following the coup d’état in the west African country on 26 July. The French embassy in Niamey – the capital of Niger – said in a statement that the air evacuation ‘will take place very soon and over a very short period of time’. Last week’s

The French police have lost faith in the judiciary

Emmanuel Macron broke his silence about the recent riots in France at the start of this week. In a speech in New Caledonia in the southwest Pacific, the president of the Republic declared that the country required a ‘return to authority at every level’.  He added: ‘The lesson I draw from this is order, order, order.’

What the French media can learn from the Farage banking scandal

Geoffroy Lejeune knows how Nigel Farage feels. Like the former Ukip leader turned TV host, Lejeune’s ‘values’ have made him persona non grata among France’s progressive elite. The 34-year-old journalist was last month appointed editor-in-chief of Journal du Dimanche (JDD), France’s only dedicated Sunday newspaper with a circulation of 140,000.  Newspaper staff were outraged. They

Could Ulez lead to Sadiq Khan’s downfall?

Emmanuel Macron has spoken of his fear of France’s ‘fragmentation’ and of the nation’s ‘division’ following the riots that reduced parts of the Republic to rubble earlier this month. The truth, as the president well knows, is that France is already deeply divided, and the fractures are numerous. As well as the topical one, that of

Will the French riots spawn a new generation of jihadists?

Apart from the 96 arrests and 255 burned cars, Bastille Day passed off without a hitch in France. A bullish Interior Minister, Gerald Darmanin, expressed his satisfaction in a tweet, thanking the 45,000 policemen and women who had been deployed across the country. It says much for the state of France that avoiding a riot on

Where did it all go so wrong for Emmanuel Macron? 

It is Bastille day in France but few people are in the mood for festivities. The riots of a fortnight ago have left physical and psychological scars that won’t heal anytime soon.    It is Emmanuel Macron’s seventh Bastille day as president, and his special guest this year is Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India,

What was Algeria’s role in the French riots? 

In March 2012 a French Algerian called Mohammed Merah murdered three soldiers and shot dead three Jewish children and a rabbi in southern France; three years later two French Algerian brothers murdered the staff of Charlie Hebdo and later in the year men of Algerian heritage were among the terror cell that slaughtered 130 people

Who really helped end the French riots?

It wasn’t president Macron who brought six days of rioting in France to an end, nor the brave bands of mothers who called for calm in some of the inner-city estates. It wasn’t even the presence of 45,000 police and gendarmes on the streets that persuaded the rioters, arsonists, vandals and looters to stand down. Instead,

France’s riots have left the country more divided than ever

There is a myth of France, specifically of its banlieues, that has been frequently repeated in recent days. Descriptions of ‘marginalised suburbs’, ‘ghetto-like suburban estates’ and of ethnic minorities ‘shunted away into suburban housing projects…out of sight and out of mind’ have emerged in the international media. It’s even been suggested in one British publication that

France wants Macron to send in the army

Nearly three quarters of French people think it’s time for President Macron to send in the army to restore order to the towns and cities that have been sacked in recent days. According to a poll published yesterday, 70 per cent of people said they wanted the military to be deployed to areas that have

Gavin Mortimer

Is it safe for France to host the Rugby World Cup?

The Rugby World Cup kicks off in just under ten weeks with hosts France playing New Zealand in the Stade de France. The national stadium sits squarely in Seine-Saint-Denis, a district which yesterday was smouldering after a night of anarchy. Shops were looted, cars torched and a bus station destroyed in an orgy of violence