Dr Alf in this article which he brings us from the Daily Express, is careful and measured in his assessment of Macron, who on paper looks like the favourite to win the French election at this time. Having visited France many times and with friends near Montpelier, I think that dramatic reform is needed to French big business and to the attitudes of people who think that France is owed a living by a harsh and cruel world. Muslim migrants are in the suburbs of great French cities and rather too many are marginalised and therefore have nothing to lose by engaging in acts of troublemaking and terrorism.The French economy has therefore to be reorganised so that it runs faster and can create more jobs, difficult as that is going to be with more automation, AI,robotics, 3D printing, nanotechnology, machine learning. Muslims who are busy earning a living and integrating into a secular way of life will give up their medieval practices and not make trouble but whether Macron, if elected, can effect this sort of mental shift given trades union militancy and the French traditions of blockading ports, burning dead British sheep, demonstrations etc, is questionable.
Macron is a technocrat, clever full of solutions but not necessarily able to articulate to France’s losers, what the future needs to be and what sacrifices there will need to be along that road. The French business elite and Government elite do not have proper solutions either and they think they have already earned the right to their feather-bedded and gilded existence which means that the Society Dr Alf knows and loves so well is dangerously polarised.
Macron, or whoever wins ,cannot turn the clock back but he is going to have to prepare France for an EU operating at two-speeds or the possibility of an EU split into two halves, North and South. Whether he can or indeed anyone can, is a moot point; however, Macron is not a supine Obama but he is no streetfighter either, so for me the jury is out.