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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Michel Barnier: We must fight woke ideology that seeks to destroy a united France

Michel Barnier, the former chief EU Brexit negotiator who hopes to lead the French Right in upcoming presidential elections, has laid into wokeism and cancel culture, calling it a dangerous far-Left threat “we must absolutely fight”.

Long known to British observers as a reserved, phlegmatic Brussels technocrat, Mr Barnier has enacted a sharp Right turn in his bid to clinch the nomination for his Republicans Party, which is due to pick its runner at a congress on December 4.

In the third television debate ahead of the vote, Mr Barnier and his rivals were asked to comment on remarks by Rama Yade, a former human rights junior minister in the conservative administration of Nicolas Sarkozy, who described woke as “a noble fight for justice and a call for equality”.

The term, she said, was “brandished in an abusive manner as a tool for censorship”.

Ms Yade, who lives in Washington, also said she felt a “twinge” every time she walked past a statue of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, Louis XVI’s First Minister of State who wrote the Code Noir setting tough rules for French slaves.

In a two-minute diatribe, Mr Barnier responded by lashing out at “those who wish to topple statues”, saying: “Wokeism and cancel culture are not micro-aggressions but dangerous, extreme-Left ideologies we must absolutely fight.”

“Woke ideology wants to destroy our national cohesion,” he went on.

“One must pay attention to these people because what is coming over here from American universities – and is already present – is unacceptable.”

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