HATING ON MACRON – The latest poll in France has Marine Le Pen sitting on 41 per cent of the vote in the run up to the deciding round of presidential elections in early May. It’s around twice as much as her father managed to get during his tilt, but clearly not enough to win against Emmanuel Macron, even if the trend is in her favour.

For all sorts of different reasons I have never been a fan of either Le Pen or her party, but as the campaign progresses I’m more and more coming to intensely dislike Macron.

The 39-year old strikes me as just an empty, but smiling, suit. Being a banker and a (former) Socialist, Macron is the perfect combination of everything that is wrong with the Western middle-of-the-road politics – the champion rent-seeking plutocratic leftist. There is nothing new about Macron politics; it’s pretty much all the gold-plated platitudes and sound bites of the Third Way, nicely repackaged, with a large pinch of sunny “optimism”. That his “policies”, such as they are, continue to appeal to the restless and disenchanted electorate owes more to the bankruptcy of the established political parties. He could have as easily been a centrist Gaullist candidate as a centrist Socialist candidate, and in either case the party affiliation would have been a millstone around his neck; instead, he is running – and winning – as an independent and an outsider – and the only alternative now to Le Pen’s populism and nationalism.

Macron is such an European federalist that even before being elected, he is already picking fights with Poland over her “violation of all [EU’s] principles.” Not being a great fan of the current Polish government either, it’s one of those fights I wish both sides could lose, but it is a stupid one to pick in the current geo-political climate in Europe, and it shows how much Macron is a part of the current Euro-establishment; a breath of old air.