Before Brexit Nigel Farage wouldn’t have been seen dead with Marine Le Pen.
This is the remarkable full interview between Nigel Farage and Marine Le Pen, the controversial right wing leader of France's Front National.
But since “quitting politics” he’s already backed Trump in the US election and now he’s doing the same for the leader of the French National Front.
In the tenth minute of this 40 minute interview Farage asks Le Pen if she feels British Prime Minister Theresa May snubbed her by inviting her rival Emmanuel Macron to Downing Street.
Farage himself never let UKIP enter Le Pen’s nationalist grouping in the European Parliament.
In this 30 second clip Le Pen refers to Macron as not being the sort of person she thought Theresa May would want to meet as, in contemporary French politics, he’s the key salesperson of deregulation and Globalisation.
Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage bond over Theresa May’s terrible judgment.
They correctly point out that it makes no sense for Theresa May to say she stands for Brexit and threatening immigrants but then roll out the red carpet for Macron and not Le Pen.
Farage points out that Theresa May wanted nothing to do with Trump until some days after he was elected – despite the supposed similarity in their agendas.
Farage and Trump, unlike Le Pen, strongly back deregulation.
They refer to it as cutting red tape.
But Le Pen talks about protecting French workers from deregulation.
Trump and Farage pretend to rail against corporate power but their loyalties lie with the uber-rich.
Could it be a similar story with Le Pen?
A former top lawyer and daughter of a multimillionaire, her party also needs big cheques but courts and delivers a mainly working class vote.
The only things they really agree on are the threat of open borders and Islamic terrorism.
Le Pen shows solidarity with May and Farage against the vindictiveness of the European Union.
She says the EU wants to punish Britain.
Farage asks her about how she wants to protect French businesses and whether there is room for trade with Britain.
Le Pen says her Economic Patriotism means ensuring French Local Authorities buy from local suppliers.
She also says further measures should be taken to protect french industries from ‘dumping’ – where foreign firms sell their products cheaper because they are able to produce more for less due to weaker labour and environmental laws.
I feel China and Germany are being alluded to here but there’s no mention of British and American exporters and the huge deregulation going on in the USA which they plan to use to boost exports to France.
On the other hand she says she also wants France to “conquer the world” and therefore favours trade.
She concludes that for some industries you need protection but not for all.
This is similar to Steve Bannon’s assertion that he is not a White Nationalist but an Economic Nationalist.
America already had a Buy America policy under Obama.
And while France’s local industries obviously ought to be protected, there are massive inconsistencies in Le Pen’s argument.
But Farage doesn’t point them out.
How can global waves of economic nationalism and protectionism help French exporters?
But we can still sell to each other with minimal taxation, right?
Farage asks if by threatening to impose tariffs on Britain, the EU is ultimately making French workers pay to protect the EU project.
Conversation moves on to talk of migration, borders, Calais and suspending the Schengen agreement.
Brits living in France are reassured that they will not be threatened.
Le Pen says many of the French in London will return to France.
Taxes will be cut as unemployment falls and public spending is cut.
Le Pen says being a Muslim in France is not a problem – it is sectarianism she says she objects to.
She says she is against Islamist Fundamentalism.
When asked about anti-semitism in her party Le Pen says she doesn’t tolerate it and would prefer not to be judged by the words of all her supporters.
Farage says he knows how it feels to be judged by one’s supporters.
Conversation then goes to Putin.
Le Pen argues Russia and US are both as important as each other and that Russia has done a lot of good in Syria.
Farage asks if borrowing from Russian banks compromises her.
Le Pen says she couldn’t borrow elsewhere but that her lender doesn’t choose her policies.
On Trump – Le Pen says she too opposed TTIP and is glad he wants to be a President of the US and not of the world.
Le Pen says there’s definitely a global revolution going on.
She points out that it is funny that the Anglo Saxon creators of neoliberalism are now the ones who reject it.
Farage says that it was Brussels who created this neoliberalism and not the Anglo Saxons.
Le Pen replies that the Anglo-Saxon world implemented Liberalism and the EU has turned it into Ultra Liberalism.
She says that either way, they are both now on the same side.
This doesn’t feel unlike rival football hooligan firms enjoying a friendly beer before resuming normal service and beating the crap out of each other.
The Raheem Kassam / Tommy Robinson interview on Breitbart is a great insight into the various conflicts and shifting identities at play in some of these manufactured populist movements.
The Spice Girls, The Sex Pistols and even the Jimi Hendrix Experience were all put together by their management teams.
So why not UKIP or the EDL?
Kassam, a self-defining ex-muslim and product of intellectual PC-friendly culture, shifted to the alt-right and now runs Breitbart London which is controlled by Steve Bannon.
Tommy Robinson changed his slightly Irish and double barrelled name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon to head up the English Defence League with an alias taken from a notorious Leeds United football hooligan.
He makes his money running a tanning salon in Luton.
Yes, that’s right.
From people in a multicultural area who pay him money to look less white.
Everybody’s looking for something. And you have to make a living, right?
There’s a beautiful symmetry here.
Where were we?
The French Presidential Election
Farage asks why Le Pen should be French President.
She says because she is profoundly French.
The other candidates just want to represent the Insurance, Banking, and Drug Companies.
Le Pen is asked if, having won the first round, she can win the second round.
She says it is a choice for the French.
It’s no longer a left-right split.
Do we want France to remain France?
She says if voters really want French values such as secularism, equality of race and religion, and not sectarianism, then they will vote for her.
Le Pen says the other candidates have a post national vision.
They want to work for Mrs Merkel.
The election is a referendum on Globalisation.
Farage asks Le Pen if she thinks she will win.
Le Pen says she thinks she will.
— Daniela Gabor (@DanielaGabor) March 16, 2017