Boris Johnson’s US citizenship renunciation .. and notes on the French presidential election April 23 / May 7

Feb 10th, 2017 | By L. Frank Bunting | Category: In Brief

UK Foreign Secretary and former Mayor of London Boris Johnson (left) and US President Donald Trump : two peas from a New York pod, even if US tax laws have finally prompted Boris to renounce the American citizenship he earned by being born to British parents living at the time in New York City.

I woke up yesterday morning to a brief but provocative text statement, at the bottom of the screen on Toronto’s cp24 cable TV channel. It read something like  : “UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, born in New York City, renounces US citizenship.”

Like perhaps millions of others around the world, I wondered. Is even the current UK Conservative MP (and former Mayor of London) Boris Johnson renouncing his US citizenship, because he disagrees so fundamentally with President Trump’s recent immigration-policy actions against citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries in the Middle East?

A little knowledge, however, really is a dangerous thing. On deeper examination I am now quite convinced that (unfortunately) Mr. Johnson’s renunciation has nothing to do with Mr. Trump — even if they do have somewhat comparable “blond” haircuts.

“BoJo” with Cheeky Girls, back when he was Mayor of London.

See, eg : “Boris Johnson officially gives up US citizenship” ; “UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson Renounced US Citizenship in 2016 … British politician’s name on latest quarterly list from Treasury Department” ; and “Boris Johnson Renounces US Citizenship … The British foreign secretary had previously complained about a US tax bill.”

Not surprisingly, The Guardian in the UK has the most exact summary : “Boris Johnson among record number to renounce American citizenship in 2016 … Foreign secretary had previously protested against ‘absolutely outrageous’ US tax obligations after sale of his north London home … Johnson was born in New York when his [British] parents worked there, but has not lived there since he was five years old. His decision does not appear to be an attempt to distance himself from the politics of Donald Trump, but may instead be a move to ensure he is out of reach of America’s Internal Revenue Service.”

Marine Le Pen on the campaign trail : globalisation and 'Islamic fundamentalism' are undermining French culture. Can she “pull off a Trump in 2017”? Current polls say no.

Meanwhile, there is bigger news from Canada’s first European mother country. And I have lately been trying to catch up with the increasingly intriguing French presidential election, some 10 and 12 weeks hence on Sunday, April 23 (first round) and Sunday, May 7 (second round).

Here are the current five major candidates — from “far left” to “far right” : Jean-Luc Mélenchon, FI (France insoumise) ; Benoît Hamon, PS (Parti socialiste) ; Emmanuel Macron, EM (En Marche) ; François Fillon, LR (Les Républicains) ; Marine Le Pen, FN (Front national).

Until recently it seemed the race would ultimately reduce to François Fillon of the right-wing Les Républicains, versus Marine Le Pen of the very right-wing Front national on May 7.  But then M. Fillon was hurt by a scandal about appointing family members to lucrative government jobs.

Centrist (or centre-leftist?) Emmanuel Macron of new En Marche party/movement : suddenly he seems to have become the unexpected candidate of change, for the moment at least?

The latest polls are showing that the more centrist or centre leftist (and even former Parti socialiste cabinet minister) Emmanuel Macron, who has started a new “En Marche” party (“On The Move in English”), will finish up against Marine Le Pen of the right-wing extremist Front national on May 7 — and finally defeat her handily.

Put another way, the race has unexpectedly shifted somewhat leftward. It is still early enough days, however, and one big question about  Emmanuel Macron is what kind of governing coalition he could put together in the legislature. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, for further immediate details see :

* “Macron to beat Le Pen in French election run-off vote, says Opinionway poll” ;

Jean-Luc Mélenchon arrives at Elysée Palace for dinner with Raul Castro last year. This Morocco-born man of the French far left has no chance of becoming France’s next president, but still strikes a compelling pose. Photo : AFP/ Alain Jocard.

* “Spotlight: French presidential election 2017: Macron or Le Pen?” ;

* “Emmanuel Macron’s Unexpected Shot at the French Presidency … The former economy minister’s surge in popularity makes him the front-runner—for now” ;

* “Who’s who in the French presidential election? … With months to go until the final vote, the battle for the Élysée Palace has already proven extraordinary” ;

*  “Can Marine Le Pen win the French presidential election? … The far-right leader says globalisation and ‘Islamic fundamentalism’ are undermining French culture” ;

* “Look left for the next French election surprise.”

Very finally (and believe it or not), back here in our home and native land / terre de nos aïeux : “Trudeau’s Approval Rating Tops Trump In US And Canada: Poll.”

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