No French politicians keep their promises, and no one expects them to do so, but the ideas of Benoit Hamon, the newly elected leader of the French Socialists, are in a different league from the others. He says that he wants to pay everyone 750 Euros/month by 2020 regardless of their income or resources. Before then all young people between the ages of 18 – 25 will be given 600 Euros/month without pre-conditions. He also intends to reduce the working week from 35 to 32 hours.
Let’s not bother with discussing how this might affect an already ailing French economy, or what is likely to happen to the generation of young people who don’t have any need to work or contribute to society.
There seems to be little concern about how this will be financed and the 1 Euro socialists don’t care! They paid this token amount and signed an online statement saying that they shared socialist values and were immediately eligible to vote in the socialist primaries! So once again an attempt to open up important decisions to the democratic process has backfired.
Democracy only works when voters act responsibly and can distinguish between truth and lies. First we had the £3 Labour Party voters who have chosen an un-electable and ineffective leader; then we had the Brexit vote, led by unscrupulous lying politicians like Johnson and Gove; then we had the election of Trump, who can’t open his mouth without lying; and finally (for the moment at least) Benoit Hamon, who is promising policies which are impossible to deliver. Once again post-truth politics rules!
It was crazy to decide about the complex subject of the European Union by referendum and it’s equally crazy to allow people to choose political leaders in primary elections without the voters having paid their full membership dues and having been party members for at least a year! In my view such things shouldn’t be up to the Party to decide, but should be regulated under electoral law.
It’s unlikely that M. Hamon will get through to the second round of voting in the French Presidential election but he will split the left wing vote and allow Marine LePen, the National Front candidate to get through easily. In the past everyone has always united against the NF for the second round. Recent events in the feverish world of post-truth politics suggest that we shouldn’t count on that happening this time!