The current clashes have profited one group however: The far-right, anti-immigration National Front party. Appealing to the same populist fears of ethnic violence, the Front’s leader Jean-Marie Le Pen placed second in the 2002 elections.
Some experts such as Jacqueline Costa Lascoux speculate the Front’s law-and-order platform may go down even better in the next election.
“You’ll notice that the extreme right is saying nothing, is doing nothing right now,” said Costa-Lascoux, who heads the Observatory on Immigration and Integration, an independent body based in Paris. “They don’t have to do anything but wait.”
I think Le Pen’s a nutcase, but one is still left wondering at the obtuseness of people like Costa-Lascoux and others of Le Pen’s political and ideological opponents. Wouldn’t a normal, aware person, when observing that reality is breaking his opponents way so strongly the opponent need to do nothing to benefit from it, at least have the fleeting thought that perhaps there was something to that opponent’s ideology? And perhaps something wrong with one’s own?