Historian turned TV pundit, Éric Zemmour, has been steadily climbing the polls in France to become the second favourite to challenge Emmanuel Macron (closely after Marine Le Pen) in next year’s presidential election. But he is yet to declare his candidacy. During his visit to London at the weekend, we spoke to supporters and Mr Zemmour himself to understand what’s behind his campaign. Watch the full interview:
I think a lot of people are sick and tired of the discussion about immigration and culture being 1 way, i.e.we just have to put up with it and self flagellate over imperialism (my ancestors were farm peasants so not sure why I should feel guilty about anything). Personally I like Zemmour’s unapologetic frankness. And if it were up to me I’d be looking at what it means to be a citizen. Being born here is not nearly enough. Perhaps 3 generations in might be better because until then you have the onus on you to integrate and abide by the law or be sent back to where you ca.e from. Seriously, yes I’d be that draconian. Being here is a privilege not a right. Grooming gangs and the like, targeting ‘infidel’ girls? They’d be GONE. Immediately. And their families too,. So they don’t lose their ‘right to a family life’. Europeans are far outnumbered by the rest of the world, we are being swamped. In France the police are too scared to tackle migrants because of their numbers and their aggression. How can this be? If they won’t do it send in the damn army ffs! We don’t owe anyone anything. We certainly don’t owe them the erasure of our culture or homeland in favour of regressive backward patriarchal ones.
The police can barely do their job. And when they do their job, criminals are sent to our lax judicial system. In some areas, ambulances cannot even enter without multiple police escorts (and they still get attacked). Every weekend, cars are set on fire for entertainment. For women, harassment is a daily occurrence in many areas. In my own neighbourhood, which most consider extremely posh, we have gangs of underage thieves (Moroccan and Romanian, mostly) who operate with impunity. They get arrested regularly but are released within hours because of their age. We all suffer this daily cruelty in the name of compassion and human rights.
Another great contribution – thankyou. I’ve been very curious about Zémmour since he started to really mix it up on French political turf so it’s good to get some insights. My thoughts (numbered, as always – I like lists ALOT):
1) I am on board with the argument that measures to assimilate immigrants are necessary. Many countries in Europe have just been far too laissez-faire with immigration and integration over the past 50 years and now we’re being presented with the bill for our own failures. More pressure needs to be put on immigrants (especially those from drastically different cultures) to accept the culture and the way of living of the host country. How exactly you would effectively do that is the question. Signing some woolly integration agreement is worthless – it’s a signature and then nothing. Switzerland used to make people change their names (the father of an acquaintance of mine was originally from Croatia and had to change the spelling of his name from “Gajic” to “Gaitsch” when he moved to CH to be more “native”). Do we want to do that? What can we do? What measures would be effective? Can any measures be effective, in view of the fact that – ultimately – integration is a personal choice, out of reach of the state?
2) That feeds into my central question about Zémmour, which is how he intends to turn these big ideas (many of which I can at least partially agree with) into actual, practical policies. He can rail against the technocrats all he wants, but at the end of the day – they are good at the nitty gritty and getting things done in the real world. If he can’t articulate how his ideas are going to work on the ground, he’s just a talking head.
For example – all these deportations that are going to happen. You can ‘t just stick people on planes back to their home countries, chuck them out on the tarmac and say “there you go, here are your citizens back!” Countries of origin have to cooperate in the return, issue certain papers etc. And that is the reason so few deportations actually happen, e.g. of failed asylum seekers – their countries of origin (if, indeed that country has been correctly identified) don’t want to take them back. And then you’re a bit stuck. So Zémmour, again – would just be spouting all this forceful rhetoric, whipping up dangerous emotions…but not getting things done. Where do you go from there? Nowhere good.
3) It’s interesting to see the crowds he attracts – educated, well-to-do, quite cerebral people. Perhaps it’s because Zémmour, as a thinker, is good at identifying and talking about the big picture in their society. Maybe there is a feeling among them that current politicians have lost sight of that big, civilisational picture for their nation & culture and feel comforted that someone is out there who hasn’t and is willing to fight to reaffirm or revivify it.
4) While I think that the quote about him not being the arsonist, but the person alerting others to the fire is correct – I do not like the firy rhetoric at all. It’s important to speak openly about issues which have been swept under the carpet but which are a concern to many people. But you’ve got to be conscious of your own responsibility in that discussion. To put it back into the language of his quote: OK, Monsieur Zémmour, alert people to the fire. But then try and get the fire under control or put it out – don’t throw gasoline on it.
I take the point about fiery rhetoric but consider – in order to gain any sort of “cut through”, especially today, you need to speak with sincerity and salt. The public is so smothered in the occlusions and evasions of the MSM and its “langue de bois” that much of it has disengaged from politics entirely. To awaken them and supply a little hope that something new is being said and likewise that something might actually be done to address their concerns, a few flames must surely flicker among the words. It’s a difficult tight rope to manage.
What a superb and insightful comment that raises some excellent points.
One point everyone fails to mention which I believe paramount is Intelligence. That any migrant who is below average indigenous intelligence is not denied, excepting exceptional cases is crazy. Actually I feel 20 points above mean should be the minimum, excepting high skills or something else of high value (money say).
That unskilled are allowed to migrate in is astonishing. The Liberal Left useful idiot has decided to self genocide it would appear. That people are not given language requirements is crazy.
But your negative points Kathy, they should not be cause for just doing nothing. That is what is happening – just give up because there are problems.
Thanks for the feedback. Please don’t call me Kathy though 😉
I would have put similar questions to him. Especially, what he’ll do, if the countries of origin, don’t take their citizens back again, or more pressing: people with double citizenships, born and bred in France, being radicalised as second generation immigrants. It is impossible to send them back to their the parents’ country of origin. The other very difficult task is stopping immigration altogether ( look at Britain right now) Then France has to introduce closed borders and this will be the end of the open border EU…
People can be stripped of their citizenship for certain infractions.
I don’t like lists at all:
- They indicate structure and orderliness;
- And lots of other things I don’t agree with.
The solution to repatriating people to their countries of origin is to deny visa access to countries who refuse to take back their citizens.
Places I visited as a young man are now areas of urban decay and squalor. Here, London, Luton, northern cities between Liverpool and Leeds. Europe, France, Belgium, the West Germans were uneasy about reunification let alone immigrants. That this does not deter newcomers says everything. I visited Karachi several times, India and now even Saudi, off the beaten track; squalid. We follow USA in everything. The blue cities? Squalid with squalid liberal authorities. What’s happening there? Guns, partisan violence. London? Guns, knives, muggers. We have no political parties willing or able to grasp the nettle betrayed as they by our Common Purpose Police leadership and woke institutions. Our youth is already increasingly disenchanted, from ‘A’ level to 2:2 to MacDonalds in three years is a sorry tale. Something must give. The French, nervous about a Le Pen government appealing to the working class, seem to have a middle class veering in a rightward direction. I hope they get what they need.
AFAIK the place started going to the dogs soon after we let the Picts, Celts, Norsemen/Vikings, Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Friesians… into the joint. Did I mention the Romans?
All of those migrations brought a lot of bloodshed with them.
“Those anglo saxons, comin’ over ‘ere, with their inlaid jewellery and their ship burial traditions…”
But that’s the point. The Anglo Saxons became the English – and then there were the Normans too. There are STILL schisms in this country as a result!
Yes, it might be different if the receiving countries were able to maintain a high quality of life. But quality of life suffers as more immigration occurs.
The strength of our city is its diversity.
Sadik Khan, trying to cancel an opposing view….
Cheeky Sadiki telling lies–lies that are accepted by the woke. Hey, Sadiki, just because you say it over and over again doesn’t make it true.
One of the absolute worst things in the video is the French lady with the “Hate Speech Has No Place in London” sign at the beginning. She is confused: what she means to say is that NO TO FREE SPEECH IN LONDON! It was sickening to hear her talk about Zemmour’s “convictions” for “hate speech,” as if this is a real thing. Disgustingly woke! “Those ideas had no place here.” So Zemmour said some “very bad things” about unaccompanied minor invaders. Hateful and divisive? SHE is hateful and divisive–I get a lot of money she hates me, and my views. Why aren’t the Greens focusing on overpopulation and protecting the environment?
These people are an “invasive species,” and it never ends well for the natives. Today is Thanksgiving in America–does anyone think the natives are so happy that they welcomed the Pilgrims? Would they do it again? Let’s see–what happened to the natives? Almost exterminated, culture destroyed, most Native Americans live on the res (reservation), which is at or near the bottom by every possible measurement in America. How did this happen? The invasive species took over. Pythons in Florida. Lionfish. The list is almost endless, and it never ends well.
A huge point of respectful disagreement:
- It is important that these individual invaders lose. I would like nothing better than to return them to their country of origin with nothing—and even take their “ill gotten gains.” To use an American example, if Pedro came to the US with $5, and built a successful life over 20 years, seize ALL of his $, property, car, everything. He must be returned to Mexico with only the $5 he had when he arrived. Everything else should go to the government as “forfeiture” for his ill-gotten gains. Want to live illegally in America for 20 years? Roll the dice, take your chances!
Why? This would eliminate the tremendous “pull” factor. Yes it’s harsh for Pedro, but it’s also fair. Think of all the Julios and Joses who make it in America, send $ back, and create an endless chain of migration. I can do it because Julio did it. The “narrative” (I hate this word as used here, but hey….) must change. People must return home as losers, not as winners. Tough love.
The same is true of the invaders on the EU border. Each one must lose, each one must be returned to wherever the country of origin, to stop the madness. Hardball tactics. Each must return home, broken and defeated, as a warning to all the others coming. Perhaps the “tragedy” in the English Channel will serve as a warning, but I doubt it. More likely is that the UK and France will cooperate in continuing this people smuggling operation, because Western Civilization grows faint at the thought of a few dozen invaders killed as they attempt to invade. If the West doesn’t hold it’s nerve, it deserves to be taken over, wiped out–and let’s remember, this is a war.
Gaining the cooperation of the countries of origin is the easy part. Let’s play hardball: no visas for anyone from those countries unless and until they agree to take these people back. Done and dusted.
Finally, if the UK is so welcoming of migrants, with respect may I suggest that you take back the Duchess of Sussex and Shamina Begum. Many in the UK seem to want both; you can have them!
Indeed the the tremendous “pull” factor, and more generally the social aids including for nationals therefore no discrimination could be even argued, but as Laurent Obertone said no politician would dare.
I am sure Mr Zemmour is aware that the whole of Europe is recolonizing itself and the main driver for this invasion is cheap Labour for the liberal class who could not care less for human rights as long as they can employ a Moroccan housekeeper at half the cost of a French one. His main adversary is the centre left who do not care about the Islamization of their country if they can profit enormously from it.
I still remember going to Beirut at about 10, and for my first time seeing all the Neon, the dazzling shops, bustling, it was amazing, back when it was The ‘Zurich of the Levant’.
That was the old days when the three, the Druz, Christian, and Muslim were in balance there. Once the balance tipped to Muslim it spiraled into one of the most brutal and pointlessly destructive civil wars ever. (Israel and PLO being a good part of the disaster)
The man interviewed earlier from Lebanon knows, Zemmour mentioned Lebanon a couple times, it should be the lesson paramount for Europe.
I respect Islam and Muslims, they are ‘Of The Book’ so have much in common with us, and are highly Moral (although as Morality is cultural based, a bit different). But knowing Islam I also know how it goes, and Islam is great in Europe, but in small numbers, and Intellectual Muslims are very different from the low educated ones. Especially when in ‘Communities’.
Fascinating on many levels. And Freddie as usual is a superb interlocutor.
I would like to know more about his example of the Jews becoming adequately “French” in his view without sacrificing their core religious/cultural values. Is there a thriving orthodox community in France that feels that it is able freely to practice its faith, and do the mainstream Christian French see no equivalent tension between orthodox values and French values?
His proposed program also highlights the difference between the French conception of freedom and the American. People like me in America are intensely hostile to the values of people like Ilhan Omar and AOC, but we would never consider making them embrace patriotic American virtues associated with the center right by force of law, even if it were constitutional. Is the French liberte just “freedom to be French?”
On the other hand, I do not doubt that the crisis of which he speaks threatens to become existential for France, if it is not already.
Maybe that Judaism is not proselytising so those who take their faith to extremes still do so at the personal level with little impact on the native majority.
Maybe its a completely different debate but I think its worth commenting on what people who have come from other countries may find when they return; Zemmour mentioned that foreigners had come to France because they didn’t like living in their homelands. Can the countries that feel they have reached saturation point be part of establishing better living conditions ‘back home’?
I think Freddie Sayers is too genteel. Kind of like most people in Europe and the U.S. who don’t like all this immigration but are too afraid to speak up about it. We’ve been shamed into silence by the forces who have imposed this unwelcome migration on us.
Maybe it bothered Zemmour that Freddie kept referring to a possible Zemmour presidency as the “Zemmour regime,” suggesting that Zemmour was spouting ideas that were unique to him, and not to a large segment (if not the majority) of the French people.
Freddie went a bit BBC here – pointlessly repeating political points masquerading as questions. Poor performance. How many different variations of “you’re dangerously stoking up anti-immigrant feelings” rubbish could he come up with? About 4 apparently.
Another BBC-ism – not listening to, and engaging with, the response.
It is very ironic that a North African Jewish guy has something against black and brown immigrants as though his ancestors were indigenous French. He does not have anything against Zionist Jews colonizing Palestine however and gives himself a right to invade Palestinian land any time. Immigrants and immigration are not a problem, the problem is population transfer without any State effort to accommodate and assimilate these immigrants. “Immigrants” who are merely taken from one land and put into another land, no language, no culture change, no integrated community, no meaningful social and political activity for them. Segregation, ghettos, deprivation of basic human dignity, growing hate and anger incitement. It is more like one species caged with another species in a zoo.
“He does not have anything against Zionist Jews…” Which part of “I’m not Zionist, nor yet anti-Zionist” don’t you understand?
One way to ensure greater integration is make conversion to Christianity a requirement. This would also go a long way in obstructing radicalism.
The problem is (as we saw with the Liverpool bomber), ‘conversion’ to Christianity is sometimes freely chosen – and is a cover for, rather than a hindrance to radicalism
Of course. Many will not hesitate to do so because this sort of dissimulation is religiously sanctioned by Islam (taqiya). This would be an insufficient measure. Zemmour is correct that we must take very drastic measures because the future of the country is at stake.
Christianity is a missionary faith and it is easy to convert to it. What is needed is something that people have to jump through hoops to convert to…
They would just pretend. Second, I’m not sure that integration should be pushed beyond a certain point. Remember, there are a number of points in play now. First, we need everyone in the west to subscribe to a small number of essentials, not a vast list of “vah-lues”, to echo the wretched Gordon Broon. Those essentials cannot be the left’s menu of self-abasements but the classical liberal virtues of tolerance, privacy and free speech, all of which qualify and support each other. It is precisely this loosening of social bonds from the Enlightenment on which brought debate, improvement and material progress. And it is here, in the most generative but most tender spot of western culture, that the left – like an STD – is doing most damage. Consider, as an example of this, its perversion of “diversity” into a new uniformity.
In response therefore, rather than offering our left wing bureaucracy another chance to bully us by means of enforced “integration”, which you can bet your bottom dollar would involve denuding our ancestral culture even more, we should focus on regaining two forms of safety by two right wing means.
In short, we recreate the “western” classical liberal forum and in so doing we offer private ways of recreating ancestral European identities. This means that not only should we reassert free speech but free association, allowing those whose ethnic identity used to be bound up in nationality to recreate it in cultural form. Against the left’s monopoly of cultural activity we need European plays to be cast, unapologetically, with European actors; we need exhibitions free of modish cant about “exploitation” or “supremacy”; we need films which recreate and celebrate our mono-cultural past and so on.
The left will squeal that this is “apartheid”. Nonsense. “Apartheid” was enforced – and anything enforced is oppressive, including “togetherness”, which is why I worry about “integration”.
Btw. This was also tried and successfully executed in the US by many Chinese students who outlived their student visas. Many of them converted to Christianity and therefore acquired a green card and unlimited stay.
News to me – you know this how??
Ironically, an earlier respondent suggests “One way to ensure greater integration is make conversion to Christianity a requirement.”
Oh, and this is a problem? It might be if they were all uneducated, unskilled, untrained and unmotivated Chinese students destined to flood the US welfare queues. They are not.
100% The Spanish Inquisition is unfinished business.
Interesting that another respondent highlights the ‘problem’ of (highly trained, intelligent, professionally and economically successful) Chinese students extending their visa by connverting!!
Indeed. Curious to know what your own views are on this topic.
These so-called converts would be like recalcitrant children told to sit down who eventually do so but are still standing up rebelliously on the inside! How would you tell if a conversion was genuine other than by the passage of time?
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