Dead Men Left

Thursday, June 02, 2005

No: a "surge of democracy"

Brilliant piece from Serge Halimi:

Most commentators have observed that Jacques Chirac has been stung by this defeat, but the rout of France's mainstream media is even more impressive. From the rightwing television channel TF1 to the "leftwing" weekly le Nouvel Observateur, and including le Monde, Libération, the business press, the major radio stations, even women's and sports publications - they all warned and railed, they all censored and twisted. Yet, their propaganda was blunted by an unexpected surge of democracy. Thousands of well-attended meetings discussed the constitutional treaty. And, bit by bit, the sense of inevitability that it would be easily ratified by a mildly interested electorate was torn apart.

And how do the visionaries of a new, meaner Europe respond to this "surge of democracy"? How should those determined to win the fight for neoliberalism battle on?

No, the wise course for the British presidency is to behave in quite un-Blair-like fashion, in order to achieve the final, strategic triumph of Blairism. No missionary preaching. No headline-grabbing prime-ministerial initiatives. Instead: quiet, patient behind-the-scenes diplomacy and European-style consensus-building.

They should, in other words, fight as they always prefer to: out of sight, in the cosy rooms of the Berlaymont, carefully building a "European-style consensus" amongst a political elite already agreed on the neoliberal essentials - and without rude interruptions from the citizens they claim to represent.