Phew. What a hectic 36 hours since I last posted. A quick update in semi-real time. [And out of respect to elderly Mr Trellis of South Surrey brief headlines alone are provided … with a Summary at the end.]
- Fillon’s support is haemorraging. Libération has a constantly-updated list of senior Républicains (LR), plus associated-centrists (UDI), who’ve abandoned ship. His Campaign Director and Press person have gone. Total departed politicos: 139 @21:00.
- Fillon’s Paris home was raided by the police on Thursday and hard disks taken.
- Fillon’s Sunday Support Rally is tricky. When announced, Fillon’s campaign organiser said it was to protest ‘against the coup d’Etat of the judges’. The Républicain Party has since moved away fast (in French) from that dangerously anti-democratic position. Fillon’s asking everyone to turn up (in French) to show support.
- Other Rallies are available: essayist Glucksmann (son of philosopher) is organising an anti-corruption rally at République at the same time.
- Le Monde claims Fillon phoned Sarkozy twice today. Once the Don, Always the Don?
- I promised not to mention him again, but a good campaigner just never goes wholly away. Juppé is on sort-of-standby BUT he’s let it be known that (i) Fillon must stand down of his own accord and (ii) the whole Party must demand that Juppé step up. Sarko is said to be strongly resisting Juppé being the Plan B.
- Juppé has one parrainage. Trot Nathalie Arthaud (Lutte Ouvrière) has 314.
- When Le Pen reads the latest Ipsos opinion poll about French ‘attitudes’ she will be delighted. Almost a Le Pen (but not Front National) recruiting leaflet. Much reduced confidence in political institutions. Reducing belief in democratic model. France’s powers must be increased and Europe’s reduced. School canteens shouldn’t serve different meals for children of different religions. There’s widespread racism in France. Politicians are in it for themselves and are corrupt. All extremely worrying. [though with some questions there’s grounds for optimism eg a greatly increased percentage, but still a minority, think it’s wrong to talk of a ‘war’ against terrorism.]
- Le Pen has been summonsed a 2nd time by French judges. She was to attend next Friday about Front National’s Fake EU Jobs. But she’s refused to go … a 2nd time. She will only go post-campaign. Her EU-Parlt. immunity still protects her on this matter.
- Macron may just be rather pleased that he chose this moment to publish his 30-page programme (in French). All the above very loud noises centre-stage and off-stage mean that nothing’s being heard (let alone debated) about his programme.
- The latest polls show Macron rising further to be nearly level with Le Pen… and then winning Round 2. A daft (?) poll questioned some people who said (i) if Juppé stands instead of Fillon, then (ii) Juppé finishes 1st and Macron 2nd in the First Round.
- Here’s some wonderfully inventive fun on Twitter: people are so clever.
Surely Fillon will finally throw in the sponge now? Surely Juppé will emerge? And then at long last we may actually get to have the serious Presidential Election campaign debating serious issues that is desperately needed. The future of France and Europe is at stake. And it seems to be hanging on Mr Fillon’s ego.