Arriving in France the day after the Front National candidate won the local council election at Brignoles in the Var – the departement next to us – I was prepared for the usual hand-wringing and “how could they do this” wailing. Instead all was calm in the press, perhaps helped by the arrest of three suspected jihadis in the same neck of the woods that day. The French are fed up with Hollande and fed up with the number of Roma in the country, setting up squalid , illegal camps and living off crime. The FN expresses these concerns and is anti-EU, which the French believe is the reason all these illegals are infesting the place. So the FN is gathering more support.
This week’s cause celebre is Leonardo, a fifteen year old Roma girl of uncertain origin who was scooped off a school bus and deported back to Kosovo with parents and five siblings. Pupils at some schools have been protesting vigorously about this, and Hollande in his usual pathetic effort to please everyone has said that the girl can return but without her family. Leonardo has said that she cannot leave her family, but by all accounts she had to say that or else her father would have beaten her again. Father has been lying in his teeth for some years now. He and mother, who may or may not be Italian, are not married; there are no papers such as birth certificates or passports available and father’s story is unravelling by the minute. The local police in France are glad to see the back of a petty criminal; mother never learned any French or attempted to integrate; the family is now settled in a flat in Mitrovica, but two- thirds of French people asked do not want the girl back in France. Seems a pity, since without her family she might have a chance of a decent life.