I don't know Marine le Pen, have never seen her in person but this is what's written about her - she's 45, with three children and twice divorced. She took over the Front National a party her father founded in 2011 which made a BIG showing in European elections Sunday. Fears are this will turn the party into the most powerful anti-EU and immigration force on the continent.
Her father, often described as an old Fascist, once predicted a bright future for Marine, the youngest of his three daughters, by describing her as “a big, healthy, blonde girl, an ideal physical specimen”.
Her detractors later nicknamed her “the clone” or “la peste blonde” – the blonde plague – a play on words with the Black Death and “la peste brune” – a reference to the occupying Nazi troops and their brown shirts.
But today, she claims to have detoxified the Front National, taken the “extreme” out of extreme-Right and succeeded in forcing her anti-European, anti-euro and anti-immigration agenda onto the French and EU political mainstream.
When asked what was the most formative moment of her childhood, she once said, “20 kilos of dynamite”. In 1976, when she was eight years old, a bomb tore off the front of the family’s apartment bloc in Paris while they were asleep. “I realized politics could cost you your life,” she said.
My friends had mixed feelings or none at all about voting in the EU election held yesterday. Only two people I know voted or at least said they did. Turns out there was only a 43% turnout in France. But most Parisians think whatever happens in the EU doesn't affect them. Well Marine wants to make sure it does.
Meanwhile on the Orient Express
Cara - Tuesday