Interesting blog post by Arnaud Herve from Breast he gives a great insight into the mindset inside Phillipe de Villiers' party which is run along feudal lines with local magnets taking control of the grass-roots and boasting about their predestination to lead the people. From Politics.ie,
Posted Yesterday at 09:51 AM by arnaudherveSo, finally Declan Ganley announced his alliance with Philippe de Villiers. That had been expected for some months now.
I was a member of de Villiers' party for 2 years, during the mid-nineties. I was very young, I came from a right-wing family, it was an era of very high corruption (the last days of Mitterrand) and a certain loss of prestige of free-masonry. Philippe de Villiers seemed to be the most dynamic person of the moment.
It was also becoming obvious that Europe had taken a wrong direction with the Maastricht treaty, and that even for the sake of Europe some resistance was needed, at least for those who had courage.
The first thing that surprised me was the de facto social rift between the members. If you were from a common family, you had the right to attend the party's meetings at a local level, and to glue the posters at night for your candidate, during the elections. Those from gentry families were immediately appointed as the heads of the local groups, they had direct access to de Villiers himself, and they were selected as candidates.
It looked like a return of the Ancien Régime. It was such a caricature it almost looked stupid. I even drove once with a local count who was telling me that the nobles were chosen by the population during the Middle-Ages, because they were more dynamic, more intelligent, and they could lead the communities for the common good. Another time I had dinner with 3 gentlemen, they discussed their pedigrees and the origins of their names, then one turned to me and asked: "Et alors vous vous êtes de la roture?". He was half-joking, only half.
But the most bizarre was that the gentlemen and gentlewomen who opposed the ideas of Philippe de Villiers were still allowed to become the local leaders of his party. Villiers being at the time the main opponent to federal Europe, he attracted many eurosceptics, who were contradicted, scorned or even betrayed by his representatives at the local level. Once a local marquis or something, head of the party for a large town, was asked what he was doing at the moment against federal Europe. He replied: "I dine with the Thibauld de Silguy family. The son is the European Commisionner for the creation of the Euro, but his father is strictly against it".
The presence of the gentry was not the only bizarre element in de Villiers' organization. He was supposed to be a devout Catholic, but only if the priests were right-wing. Throughout his organization the Faith was like a house boiler with technical problems, sometimes burning bright and loud, sometimes coughing, sometimes extremely cold.
Patriotism also had its weaker moments. The Nation was supposed to be paramount, but not when you had to pay taxes. The State, public health, the education and the social level had to be very strong, only without public budget. We were all united as French, except you could frown at a party comrade if he revealed to you that he had been educated in a free, State-owned primary school.
My economic education at the time was also very weak. It took a long time for me to understand that de Villiers' moral values were also completely incompatible with his economic choices. A totally free, competitive market means first a globalized society, not at all a return to national roots. Then it also means a consumer mentality, isolated individuals, unethical activities (to remain polite), and it also means more organized crime. Where do you find the Catholic family life in all that?
Even his voice, his tone and his eloquence were ambiguous. Sometimes a grand orator in the best eighteenth century style, sometimes foul mouthed and insulting like a back-street bad boy. But always biting anyway, always cutting, always negative. An ace of spades.
I also grew a doubt about his real ambitions as a politician. This is something that you won't understand if you have never been a member of a party. It is frequent that a politician runs for an election at a certain geographical level, not with the intention of winning seriously, but in order to strengthen his position for the next election, at another geographical level. He just wants to appear on the scene, to stifle rivals... The more I observe de Villiers career, the more I see that the only tangible result of all his activities has been to keep him in the role of completely unchallenged head of his county, the Vendée.
Even his rhetoric about the Ancien Régime, the evilness of free-masonry and our Christian roots, does he really believe it, or did he develop this legend only in order to become the head of that historically anti-revolutionary county, to develop his historical summer festival, etc? Because when he needs business meetings for his county, political horse-trading for keeping his seat, or course he meets with anybody, of course he allies without scruples with the "evil" ones.
You will have understood by now that I have a rather negative opinion of M. de Villiers. I think he is some kind of pirate. I think he is not sincere in what he says. I think he does not have a genuine, thought-out program for the nation, but that his great and only talent is to make political coups, and the European elections are very convenient for quick coups. To be frank, I'm not sure Declan Ganley is that dark.
Anyway, I don't know which one will harm the other most. Maybe Ganley will destroy Villiers' campaign in France because of an assimilation with "Anglo-Saxon influence" in the public's mind. Maybe the brilliant but sinister and somewhat dangerous personality of de Villiers will cool certain minds in Ireland and Britain.
I don't know. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
ganley is worse