The French will see right through the latest dirty trick of the EU to smear Le Pen
It was to expected and the author did predict here on these humble pages. The EU couldn’t help itself but to attempt the dirtiest of tricks against Marine Le Pen, just days before the second round of the head-to-head Presidential elections. Clearly planned well in advance, the EU’s so-called anti-fraud watchdog – OLAF – let it be known to a few chosen French journalists that Le Pen was being investigated for misuse of EU funds (as she is an MEP). No question whatsoever what its intention was to make this move, days before the election, when it knew it would have maximum impact at the polls. It says many things about the EU and its relations with far-right groups. But largely that it is a loser and afraid of the times ahead. It also shows that Le Pen is a real contender, compared to her father who was perhaps considered ‘fringe’.
And it’s the same old stunt which it plays time and time again. It’s not even the first time it has done it against the Le Pens. OLAF largely serves the mainstream element of the EU and chiefly more leans to the Christian Democrats within the EU sphere. It is also quite favourable to Germany in many of its decisions and initiatives. But any mainstream MEP approach it with a ruse and, if it serves the purposes of the EU establishment, there’s a good chanсe it will be acted upon.
In the case of this so-called fraud investigation, OLAF didn’t need the nod and the wink. It’s been pulling this stunt for decades and did the same thing against le Pen’s father when he was an MEP. It also did the same trick against Nigel Farage leading up the referendum in the UK.
How does it get away with it? Easy. There’s no accountability within the EU for such skullduggery as the EU in many ways operates much the same as the elite in the 19th century Russia. All OLAF has to do is announce that it is investigating a certain individual and then weeks later forget the matter. In most cases there is no hard evidence, just inference by socialist and conservative MEPs in the European parliament who want to derail the momentum of the Le Pens and their success. A hit job. And very effective in an organisation like the EU which is entirely anti-democratic and arbitrary in everything it does.
In fact, the actual “investigation” is one which started decades ago and has just been conveniently brought back to life as a desperate attempt to derail Le Pen.
It might have some effect on Le Pen’s last-minute swing voters at the polls though. Although, in many ways, I suspect that most French who are tired of the EU and its authoritarian practices are weary of such a cheap shot and consider it a stunt which only goes to show how far Le Pen has come if the European Union has to stoop so low to block her. It may well even help her campaign.
But if we are to imagine for one moment that the predictions by the French press are correct and Macron will return, the dirty tricks campaign by the EU will not be forgotten by her. It’s possible that in her defeat she may well go back to her Frexit plan which she abandoned just recently. The mother of all nightmares for the EU is that Le Pen just keeps on growing in popularity and that her own party – as a knee-jerk reaction to the EU plot – will win even more seats in the European elections in 2024.
And so, either way, the EU comes out a loser in the shorter or longer term. If Le Pen becomes stronger on an EU level, it is entirely possible that the Brexit factor will be played out once again. Le Pen will use the EU stage and its money to campaign for a radical new relationship between Paris and Brussels or for the republic to leave the bloc altogether. An EU without one of its most salient founding members is not an EU in any sense and will be its demise if Le Pen goes down this path. Perhaps the OLAF move wasn’t such a smart one after all. What will the French do when she loses by just a slim measure and it becomes clear that there is no real EU fraud investigation into her office? When more people wake up in France and see the EU for what it is: an outdated, bloated, elitist administration which only serves its own people and has no real purpose any more. Even the French are finding it hard to see what the point of the EU is these days. Those who write the history books may well single out this OLAF stunt as a milestone in the EU’s downward spiral.