Tuesday, September 26

Philippe Olivier, Le Pen’s brother-in-law and adviser who thinks like Zemmour

Behind every weighty leader there is a spin doctor. Even several who act in the shadows at this time when the politics is synonymous with communication and marketing electoral. In the case of the extreme right-wing Marine Le Pen, her court advisor is a discreet guy, little known by the French -nothing to do with the media omnipresence of Iván Redondo- as influential within the apparatus of the National Rally (RN). And that is an old acquaintance of the Lepenist family: the MEP Philippe Olivierthe brother-in-law who went from being a traitor to becoming the pen of the leader.

Oliver, 61 years oldachieved in 2019 his election as representative in the European Parliament. It was the first time that she had obtained a seat after 40 years of militancy in the French extreme right. The son of a family of senior officials and naval officers – he himself was part of this Army corps – he began military service in 1979 in the National Front, founded seven years earlier and renamed National Regrouping in 2018.

In the ranks of that group of small groups, then led by the incontestable Jean-Marie LePen, met and married Marie-Caroline, the eldest daughter of the head of the ultras. One of the daughters of this marriage is the current wife of the MEP jordan bardella26, the interim president of the RN and considered a possible successor to Marine Le Pen. In the Lepenist far-right, everything is a family thing and is managed vertically.

“He is probably the one who influences the most aspects, he acts as a swiss knife”, he explained in statements to the progressive newspaper liberation Laurent Jacobelli, spokesman for the RN, on the least known of the influential Le Pen-Bardella-Olivier triangle. “He is convinced that the presidential elections are won in the center,” highlighted another senior official.

Also Read  Priti Patel's career under scrutiny and over handling of Ukraine crisis | Pritti Patel

From family traitor to Le Pen pen

Despite his current influence, Olivier was for decades a plagued within the Le Pen family. Both he and his wife Marie-Caroline were part of the major split that shook the extreme right in the late 1990s, led by Bruno MegretHe then FN number two. This schism not only caused hundreds of leaders, cadres and militants to abandon the Lepenista ship, but also led to a family breakup between Jean-Marie Le Pen and his eldest daughter, considered until then the probable successor of the patriarch.

However, after Marine Le Pen took over the party in 2011, this family conflict was straightened out. Both Marie-Caroline and Philippe Olivier returned to form part of the leader’s political circles. The brother-in-law, considered a “traitor” for years, began writing his speeches after the defeat in the second round of the 2017 presidential elections. That debacle led to the forced departure of Florian Philippot from the party, until then Le Pen’s right-hand man and considered to be the main person responsible for the singular journey of the Lepen far-right between 2012 and 2017, when he tried to become a kind of 5 Star Movement to the French one that channeled discontent through criticism against the European Union and neoliberal globalization.

Obsessed with immigration and Islam

After Olivier was promoted as Le Pen’s “Swiss knife”, “his party seemed to recover the favorite themes of the FN of yesteryear, such as the denunciation of insecurity and immigration”, explains to El Periódico the sociologist Guillermo Fernandez Vazquezprofessor at the Carlos III University and author of the book What to do with the extreme right in Europe? The case of the National Front. The shadow of this adviser also hovered over strategic decisions in recent years, such as leaving the exit of France from the euro and moderate his speech regarding the EU.

Also Read  Sebastián Yatra dice que Clarissa Molina le da buena suerte

Related news

The far right “It is going to be pushed now by a favorable wind wave. The geopolitical tensions and the demographic explosion in Africa are going to cause hundreds of thousands of immigrants to come to Europe”, Olivier declared to this journalist from El Periódico during the lepenism congress in March 2018 in Lille. Le Pen’s adviser shares the same xenophobic and Islamophobic obsessions as Éric Zemmourincluding the conspiracy theory of “Great Replacement”.

Unlike the polemicist and his affinity for Trumpist aggressiveness, he bets on a moderate political style and old school, similar to the curator Jacques Chirac. It is attributed to him that Le Pen has campaigned as if it were any right-wing politician, with a rather technocratic discourse and far from the discursive radicalism of the past. A strategy that was insufficient to win, but that left Le Pen closer to power than ever, with more than 41% of the votes in the second round on April 24.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *