Brigitte Bardot, the international sex symbol from the 1950s and 60s, reportedly believes that controversial politician Marine Le Pen is the contemporary version of Joan of Arc who can be France’s new savior.
Le Pen is the leader of France’s National Front, an anti-immigration party that also wants the country to exit the European Union. Classified as far right by most media outlets, the populist, anti-establishment National Front won the May European Parliamentary elections in France as did the upstart Ukip (U.K. Independence Party) in Britain, which has a roughly similar platform.
Now 79, the iconic actress and animal right activist who founded the Brigitte Bardot Foundation for that purpose has had several legal run-ins with French authorities over her outspoken criticism of Islam and Muslim immigration to France, which resulted in her prosecution for racial hatred.
Last year, she threatened to apply for a Russian passport over the treatment of two circus elephants who were due to be put down.
In an interview, Bardot said of Le Pen that “I hope she saves France, she is the Joan of Arc of the 21st century. I am a native Frenchwoman and proud of it. I mourn the fact my beautiful country has deteriorated in every way. It’s criminal to submit to these depths.” Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431 for heresy but later was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint and is considered the heroine of France.
According to a recent opinion poll, if the French presidential election would be taking place now, Le Pen would defeat the standard-bearers of the two mainstream parties at least in the first round of balloting. The national election is scheduled for 2017, however. In 2012, socialist Francoise Hollande narrowly defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy of the center-right UMP. In the first round of that election, Le Pen finished third, but declined to endorse either candidate in the runoff. With France still mired in economic doldrums, the besieged Hollande — who just reshuffled his cabinet again– is reportedly the most unpopular president in France’s history.
Le Pen has sought to change the image of the National Front after assuming the party leadership position, according to Breitbart London: “Le Pen’s father, Jean Marie, came second in France’s 2002 presidential election, shocking the establishment by beating the Socialist candidate into third place in the first round. He eventually lost heavily to Jacques Chirac in the second round, however. Mr. Len Pen remains a controversial figure, having previously been convicted of racism and anti-Semitism, but Marine has made a determined effort to ‘modernize’ the party since taking over from her father.”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage has declined to join Marine Le Pen’s coalition in the EU parliament because of the National Front’s legacy of anti-Semitism.
What do you think of the Brigitte Bardot endorsement of Marine Le Pen?
[image via Bing]