France has a real problem. Well it has a multitude of real problems, but it has one particular real problem identified by its screams and finger-pointing: Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Born in Spain in 1962, member of the French Parliament from 2002 to 2012 when he took office as Interior Minister under then-PM Jean-Marc Ayrault, before becoming himself PM in March 2014, Manuel Valls was always the short-tempered, authoritarian kind of guy but these caracteristics combined with the power of prime-ministership are becoming a serious liability for this country.
If only Valls was a real liberal with good ideas and a profound respect for fundamental republican values, his tantrums might pass as acceptable to get us all to a better place but that is definitely not the case, despite the constant rethoric. Manuel Valls is hysteric, craves power, hates those who think differently, and uses every opportunity to create legislation to control and contain dissent. Valls is heir to a deep running, hypocritical political lineage that uses the power to legislate against french citizens’ constitutionnal rights to disagree with the official point of view, or official history.
This trend began with the Pleven law in the 70s which created the crime of “racial hatred” for the main benefit of anti-racist organisations and lawyers, thus able to bring to court anybody who thinks differently. It picked up steam with the Gayssot law in 1990 which makes it illegal to disagree with the official story of the Shoah of other officially sanctified mass murders – even if such disagreement is voiced in a purely private setting. This law was reinforced in 2001 by the Taubira law that forbids criticism of the official story on slavery. Regardless of the facts themselves, as historian Olivier Pétré-Grenouilleau found out after having written a soundly-researched book on slavery showing that the african salve trade greatly predated the arrival of european slave traders. But that contradicts official history and is thus illegal. Christiane Taubira today is Minister of Justice…
Manuel Valls is taking official dictatorship to a personal level: his vandetta against humorist Dieudonné in January 2014 made no sense except for the fact that he is very close to the jewish lobby and has no moral issues with abusing his access to power to shut down any act of lèse-majesté. After the Charlie Hebdo and Hypercasher shootings in January 2015, Valls went into overdrive and cracked down on any dissent from officiality, even as far as sendings the cops against those who refused to take the official minute of silence in memory of the dead, or dared claim that they “were not Charlie”. He then used this event to bring in Patriot Act-style legislation enabling increased surveillance and beefed-up secret services, that will do little against real terrorism but will be very useful to scare and quash internal dissenters. The kind of thing you’d find normal in a dictatorship but which are now coming to a France near you.
When he was in the opposition, just like current president François Hollande, Manuel Valls considered that by-passing an Assembly vote by using the infamous 49-3 fast-track legislative weapon was “against the Republic”. But as soon as he got a chance, Valls used that same 49-3 to force an economics package known as the “loi Macron”, arguing that “Now that growth is returning, the French ask for speed and efficiency“. In other words, going through the National Assembly debate and vote sequence is slow and inefficient. In other words again, democracy is slow and inefficient and should be by-passed. Which it is, as a matter of fact, but the alternative – autocracy – is even worse. The proof is in the pudding. And that is why we have a real problem with Manuel Valls.
No doubt Manuel Valls will have a field day again when he returns tonight from Bogota in the wake of this morning’s attack against an Air Products facility near Lyon. Apparently a maddened fundamentalist decapitated his boss and hung his head at the gate of the facility before blowing up a couple of high-pressure gas bottles, wounding a few people. Horrible as it is, one doubts that a planned attack by Daesh islamists would target something as meaningless as this, but the act has already been hyped by the establishment – and of course by Valls who is cutting his official visit to Colombia to cater in situ for this country-threatening event! We will be spared no amount of bullshit from him in the days to come, and plenty of justification for his freedom-hacking legislation.