Reign of Terror Part Deux? Leftist Politician Warns Macron of Beheading Like King Louis XVI


During the Reign of Terror in 1793, radical revolutionaries in Paris deployed Madame Guillotine to cut off the head of King Louis XVI. Now 230 years later there is a rise in alarming talk about historical precedent swirling around the country’s ever more controversial and unpopular President Emmanuel Macron, with even a left-wing politician making what may be interpreted as a threat.

“Louis XVI, we beheaded him, Macron, we can start again!” has become a common chant heard in protests as the revolutionary rage has once again boiled up throughout France after the government used a constitutional loophole to push through a raise to the pension age in the National Assembly without a vote in March.

Christophe Prudhomme, an emergency doctor who not only serves as a national delegate for the CGT trade union confederation behind the national strikes but also as a regional councillor for the far-left La France Insoumise (LFI) party, was filmed singing the beheading threat outside the headquarters of Macron’s Renaissance party on Sunday.

Defending himself on broadcaster BFMTV the LFI politician claimed that the chant was “symbolic”, saying: “I prefer that anger be expressed verbally… We have the right, I think, to express our anger.”

Mocking Macron for his previous comments comparing himself to the Roman god Jupiter, Prudhomme said: “If we compare Mr Macron to a king, he is more than a king: he is the god of Olympus, he is Jupiter.”

The footage has sparked national outrage, with people across the political spectrum condemning the actions of the leftist politician.

Former Les Republicains presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse said: “I strongly condemn the words of Île-de-France LFI Regional Councillor Christophe Prudhomme. This call for violence and hatred against the President of the Republic is intolerable and dishonours his mandate as a regional councillor.”

Prominent French journalist Olivier Truchot said: “This man is not just anyone… Let the people be in excess, why not, but he is a CGT delegated emergency doctor and regional councillor, he is not just anyone, he has a duty of exemplarity and representativeness. When he takes up this slogan, he goes to the lowest level.”

While international media typically highlights the pension reforms as the sole cause for the protests against Macron’s government, the increasingly heated rhetoric in France is indicative of wider social trends, particularly the cost of living crisis. The pensions question can be thought of as the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.

In the leadup to the French Revolution, during which King Louis lost his head, a combination of economic mismanagement from the ruling elites and unfortunately timed droughts resulted in rampant inflation, with the average worker spending an estimated 88 per cent of his wages on bread in 1788 and 1789.

Although inflation is nowhere near as bad at present, food inflation has been a major issue in France and indeed throughout much of Europe, with the French seeing their grocery bills increase by 15 per cent over the past year, leading to one in four of the nation’s poorest people beginning to skip meals to make ends meet.

Rather than addressing the economic hardships faced by his citizens, Mr Macron chose instead to spend his political capital on pushing through his pension reforms, which was widely seen as a slap in the face to an already struggling working class and confirming in the minds of many that Macron is nothing more than the “president of the rich”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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