The papers are pitching the speech as an attack on President Trump, with Macron saying 'Patriotism good, Nationalism bad' but it was really a little more nuanced than that. It was an explicit plea for the UN, the EU and for collective globalist government. It declared that nations which sacrificed their own interests to the collective good were 'moral' whilst those that did not were a threat to peace. It was as much an attack upon Brexit as Trump.
So eager is the press to portray this speech as a public rebuke for Trump, few have managed to recall what Trump actually said to provoke it. On 22nd October, Trump said "A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly not caring about our country so much, and you know what, we can’t have that. I’m a nationalist. OK? I’m a nationalist. Nationalist. Use that word."
Trump went on to say "We’re giving all of our wealth, all of our money, to other countries and then they don’t treat us properly. For many years other countries that are allies of ours... they have not treated our country fairly. So in that sense, I am absolutely a nationalist and I’m proud of it."
Macron raised the spectre of nationalism fomenting war, and praised the role of the EU and UN in the past 70 years in maintaining peace. The same old tripe, in other words, with nary a mention of NATO, or of the costs to nations such as Britain of maintaining an army on the Rhine for forty-three years. Europe's failure to pay for its own defence, and its 'leaching' of US money and goodwill, have also angered President Trump.
I couldn't help but conclude that Macron's whole speech was no more than a chauvinist plea for everyone else to make sacrifices to help France. Without British taxpayers subsidising French farmers, American taxpayers subsidising French defence commitments and German taxpayers paying for France's economic inefficiency, France would return to being the poor, rural, open dungheap and Gites nation of our youth, with squat toilets and tap water unsafe to drink.
Do you know, I actually preferred that France - the crumbly, pavé, Gitanes-tinted formica skintness of her. Better than the global sponger.
|Surrounded by a sea of Tricolours, Macron criticises Nationalism|