Wednesday, 31 March 2010

More on the Breton elections : The two faced French Socialists.

A member of the UDB has very kindly provided me with the following points of view on the recent regional elections.

The Breton branch of the French Socialist Party (FSP) had planned, a long time before the 2nd round of the elections, to not cooperate with Europe Ecologie Breizh (EEB). It is suggested that their reason for this is because they couldn't tolerate some elements of the EEB's programme (autonomy for Brittany, fight against the polluting agro business, conversion of economy … etc.).

The Breton FSP didn't want, in its government group, some of the EEB councillors (for example : René Louail a former agricultural trade union leader of the Confédération paysanne, a great and clever opponent of FNSEA (agro-business union) and its polluting productivist system (nitrate run off and seaweed proliferation), or Herri Gourmelen one of the UDB's historic leaders, or Guy Hascoet a former (Green) French government minister from the Lionel Jospin government, who would have provided too much competition for the FSP council president, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

However theses three councillors were elected anyway, so the future debates in the council hall will be very interesting.

As for We Will Make You Brittany (WWMYB) platform and Christian Troadec. Firstly (Sunday evening) he called on his supporters to vote for the FSP, because of its help to constitute the WWMYB list, but he changed this advice after it became clear that EEB would have to run alone for the 2nd round of elections. (nobody could imagine at this time a no-fuse for the 2nd round)

Some words more about WWMYB : it is suggested that the Breton FSP had helped M. Troadec to build up his list to try to push the score of Europe Ecologie Bretagne under 10% by challenging the UDB autonomist support in the EEB block. If in the first round of the election a group receives under 10% of the vote, the electoral law doesn't allow them to compete for the second round. With the same goal in mind the FSP took some “Greens” on to its list inorder to push down the score of the “reel” Greens in EEB list.

Happily these strategies didn't work and the EEB list was able to present for the second round with of course the support from Brezhistance.

After the first round, the expected issue was the two lists merger between the FSP and EEB according to the D'Hondt law as in all other regions of the French state. This method would have given 14 councillors to EEB but the FSP proposed only 10 positions to EEB. A deliberate provocation of EEB. (M. Le Drian said : I have already 4 ecologists on my list, with 10 from your side you could get 14).

Thus, all Monday, after the election, the FSP pretended to negotiate with EEB, but at 8pm the leaflet printers for EEB (the same one as the FSP) called EEB to warn that the FSP had given orders to print its own ballot papers (in Brittany as in the rest of France each party uses its own ballot papers for elections) for the second round, without informing EEB. In other words the FSP in Brittany had already decided to run alone and not fuse with EEB.

You can see a short video (French television F3) which shows theses facts : the journalists were present when the printer called EEB here.

During the week between the two rounds the FSP in Brittany tried to split the alliance UDB-Greens by secretly proposing  a vice-presidency to UDB members, but the UDB refused categorically and warned its Greens allies and press about these tactics..

Friday, 26 March 2010

Regional Election Results.

A quick round-up of the regional electoral results.

Via their electoral alliance, Europe Ecologie Bretagne (EEB), the UDB has won 4 seats on the council of the French administrative region of Brittany. The French Socialist Party (FSP) refused to fuse with EEB to fight the second round of the election -the result being the UDB will not be represented in government- but 4 councillors is still an achievement.

In all other French administrative regions the FSP fused with Europe Ecologie and other leftist parties to great electoral success.

The Socialist Party of Brittany -Brezhistance- lent its support to EEB for both rounds of the election, but they have obtained no councillors.

We will make you Brittany (WWMYB), the electoral platform including the Parti Breton, was knocked out in the first round of the elections with a score of 4.29%. Although low this is still a net progress on previous elections. Regrettably WWMYB was unable (or unwilling) to give clear advice as to who to vote for in the second round of elections with Christian Troadec finally, and after a change of heart, suggesting that he would vote for EEB.

Two federalist parties, L'Alliance Fédéraliste Bretonne and Parti Federaliste de Bretagne, seemed to confirm their status as political nonentities by advising abstention from the elections.

The Breton far-right also abstained from the election.

The new government of Brittany will be formed of French Socialists with their Green and Communist allies. The Breton department of Loire-Atlantic, currently attached to the region Pay-de-le-Loire, also finds itself governed by Socialists, Communists and Greens. No Breton nationalists or autonomists were elected in Loire-Atlantic.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

44 = BZH

The 'Fresque Humaine' was a great success as can be seen from the aerial photo.

2000 citizens turned out to take part and to spell out, with their rain soaked bodies, that department 44, Loire-Atlantic, is part of Brittany.

To give Cornish readers some idea of the situation. Imagine if part of North Cornwall had been hived off administratively and attached to Devonshire (Plymouth). Could we muster as much support to protect Kernow's territorial integrity?

Apart from a minor incident between anti-fascist Breton militants and a handful of neo-nazis from Adsav and Young Brittany, they day was peaceful and productive.


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