Note: this is a machine translation from the original Russian text
The French extreme right have a new leader. Where did he come from and why?
The party career of the new leader of the National Association, Jordan Bardell, is dizzying. At the age of 27, he led a party with a 50-year history that is known all over the world. It should be noted that he also received a party card as a schoolboy after watching the debates of Marine Le Pen and Jean-Luc Melenchon on TV in 2011, when he was 16 years old.
Le Pen's leaflets were distributed only in a suit and tie. Mom was against it. Not against the content of the leaflets and not against the costume. It just happened mostly in Saint-Denis, a suburb where, let's say, it's better for whites not to go in the dark, and even more so with such ideas. It took several days to persuade my mother.
By the way, Bardell likes to talk about how his mother is a kindergarten teacher, sometimes he had to count the days until his salary. At the same time, as a rule, he omits some nuances – such as, for example, that the lyceum where he studied was private, that is, paid, dad ran the company, and on his next birthday he received a Smart car as a gift.
The career really developed at lightning speed. After distributing leaflets, he quickly became the head of the youth movement of the then National Front, and at the age of 21, Marin invited him to become the head of the party list in the elections to the European Parliament, and the "national front" then showed an impressive result.
After the internal party elections, which Bardell won with a "Caucasian indicator" of 85 percent, many were surprised: the party seems to be a family one, the father founded it, the daughter continued, and Bardell, it turns out, is not the first Le Pen. Not really. Jordan is seriously courting Marine Le Pen's niece, and her dad, Philippe Olivier, is one of Marine's closest advisers. Well, the competitor in the pre-election battle was the mayor of Perpignan, Louis Alliot, a former companion of the hostess of the party. So the keys to the apartment would not have gone anywhere anyway. This is the end of the gossip column review.
Why is all this done? Formally, Le Pen, who is 54 years old – not the retirement age at all – announced that she would like to focus on leading the National Unification faction (BUT) in parliament. After the historic victory – and now we have 89 deputies – this is one of the most serious factions in the National Assembly, and it is really logical to take advantage of the situation and squeeze maximum benefits out of it. But this is the first version.
But others seem no less logical. The second is to continue the work on changing the image of the party. At any cost to get away from the image of the fascist and everything connected with it. Marin herself has already managed to fix a lot of things that Dad did in his time, who did not get out of the courts. As a result, she reached the second round of the presidential election and won a major victory in the parliamentary elections. Now, in order to get as far away from the cliche as possible, a new young face appears. In addition, Bardella loves to go on TV channels, where he is invited with pleasure, and in social networks he is generally his own person.
The third version is that Marin decided to play the mise en scene of "good and bad policemen". Her doctrine is neither with the left nor with the right, we are on our own, we are above the fray. Therefore, Le Pen herself is always cautious when it comes to alliances, coalitions or agreements. Bardella is known for his views "to the right of the right". He was once friends with Frederic Chatillon, the leader of the far-right, almost racist student movement GUD, which was even dissolved. In his speeches, Bardell does not hesitate to talk about "the demographic bias that is observed everywhere in France," meaning that non-indigenous French are in the majority here and there.
It is worth noting here that the ideology of National Unification is based on two main themes: immigration and national identity. The latter means that a French passport in your pocket does not mean anything yet, but roots mean everything. And if Marin is considered more of a defender of the first theory, then Jordan is inclined to defend identity. That is, he intends to fight the problem of the influx of foreigners who not only want to, but are already in France. In his first speech, he noted that the party needs a program "Patriotic Suburbs", which will cover education, entrepreneurship, culture, transport, housing and everything in general. Since 2023, he has been launching a new platform for training party cadres.
Hence the fourth version. All these slogans, only in a more radical interpretation, were voiced during the presidential campaign by Eric Zemmur, a scandalous publicist who adheres to extreme right-wing views. He finished the fight for the Elysee Palace in fourth place, gaining 7 percent of the vote. It is unlikely that he will go to the next election, but two and a half million voters should not be missed. And here is just a new young and extreme right. However, more mature party colleagues believe that "if we become radicalized, we are finished. We will find ourselves back in the 80s, when we talked only about national identity."
The main question that arises after the change of the party leadership is: "Who will now go to the presidential elections in 2027"? Bardell reassured the audience as follows: "Marine Le Pen has stated that she will run only in exceptional circumstances. But to lead a faction with 89 deputies is exceptional circumstances." What is it?
Experienced party members also believe that Jordan needs to gain weight by winning some local elections, because now he is little known to anyone. The whole south of France is voting for National Unification, so there will be no big problems, and let the presidential ambitions ripen for now. "80 percent came to the party because of Marine Le Pen, so he doesn't even have his own team in the NO," say seasoned party members.
"We will replace Macron," Bardell said nevertheless. But he did not specify who "we" were. It's a little early yet.