A senior member of France's Socialist Party has denounced his own side of the political spectrum, claiming on Monday that France has the "dumbest left in the world". (EPA-EFE/LUDOVIC MARIN / POOL MAXPPP OUT)


France has the ‘dumbest Left in the world’, Socialist Party official says


A senior member of France’s Socialist Party has lambasted his own side of the political spectrum, claiming on September 4 that France has the “dumbest Left in the world”.

Emmanuel Gregoire, the First Deputy Mayor of Paris, made the comments in relation to recent leftist infighting over whether or not to allow Islamic clothing in schools.

“The Left has fallen into the trap,” the politician said, emphasising that the country’s Socialists were no longer focusing on the “real” problems facing schools.

He also mocked the government of President Emmanuel Macron for hinting at the reintroduction of school uniforms in the country, describing the proposal as “an old fad” that would not solve anything.

“Who can think that the question of the uniform is a central question today at school?” Gregoire queried.

“We have a problem of a drop in [the success] level in certain sectors, problems of discrimination, problems of segregation, problems of attractiveness of the profession.

“There are 1,000 subjects more important than that of the uniform,” he added.

He said the country’s left-wing should be “uniting in defence of public schools” and also appeared to back the government’s attempts to ban the abaya and qamis Islamic dress within the country’s education system.

The Macron administration implemented a ban on that clothing within primary and secondary schools at the end of August.

Gabriel Attal, the French education minister, has argued that such a ban is necessary to defend secularism in France.

“Secularism is one of the fundamental values of the school of the Republic,” he said in support of the restriction.

Some on the country’s Left have lashed out at the move, accusing the government of fuelling anti-Islamic sentiments within the country.

Others have welcomed it, saying that the ban became justified as soon as wearing the clothing became a way of expressing one’s relationship to Islam.

“As soon as the abaya or the qamis are worn in an ostentatious dimension, then it must be prohibited,” said Socialist Party MP Jérôme Guedj.