Mosley: My husband would have hated Le Pen: DIANA Mosley, whose friendship with Hitler led to her disgrace and imprisonment in Holloway Prison in 1940, has surprisingly joined the growing criticism of Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of France's National Front party. In her first interview since Le Pen's poll success, she told The Scotsman the far Right politician was "just a crusty, old, Eurosceptic, Tory backbencher".
So ... apparently, it's OK to be racist and anti-immigrant, but not to be anti-European and entirely uncharismatic.
Well, all-righty, then!
Mind, Hitler's version of a united Europe is substantially different from the current version, what with the armies and the bombing and the signal lack of anything resembling consent outside Germany. But I guess, if I understand Ms Mosley, any path to a united Europe must be an acceptable one.
In any event, Slate proposes that the reason that Le Pen did as well as he did is that current French political orthodoxy doesn't allow discussion of important issues. In the country that "invented nationalism", you're not allowed to discuss the fact that control most of French national policy has been ceded to Europe. In a country absorbing a fair number of immigrants, you're not allowed to discuss immigration policy. Therefore, the person who defies these taboos and talks about them incessantly does well and makes it onto the ballot. Essentially, a protest vote that protested just a bit more than the people casting it intended.
So by that logic, since discussing race and its effects, or actual immigration policy for that matter, in the US is something that Is Just Not Done by mainstream politicians, then almost the only people who will raise the issue are the ones on the left and right fringe, right? Oh, now, really, that's just ... oh. Oh, wait.
Let me say that I am truly -- truly -- impressed that Mr Goldblatt, a white professor of all things, would be baffled as to why it would be considered, at the very least, a bad idea in this society for him to satirize blacks. Or at least an idea that would be met with some resistance. Seriously, that is just some spectacular density. That said ... I'm surprised he didn't get more push from it. It surely should have been considered a cause celebre by the conservative right; censorship in the marketplace of ideas. You'd think the Buchanans, our own little neo-Nazi family, would be all over the airwaves, talking about how this book had been kept off the shelves. Of course, technically speaking, it isn't censorship. The book is available -- you can order it from Permanent Press yourself, if you like. It got reviewed in Kirkus and Publishers' Weekly, so it's almost certainly available in some libraries here and there. (And in fact, checking a national catalog, I see that it's currently available from 99 different libraries or library systems, so it's not as if people can't get to his book.) I'm vaguely tempted to pick it up, just to see what on earth it could be.
Vaguely.Posted by iain at April 25, 2002 12:10 PM