Insulted Publicly by the Mayor of Lens

Not satisfied with having prevented me from participating in a debate [1] organized by the association Les Obsédés Textuels which had invited me to the media center in Lens, the mayor of the city insulted me publicly in the 8 June 2012 issue of Libération.

After treating me as a "embourgeoisé de la culture", which is dumb but not offensive, he has now asserted an outright lie : it would seem that I "made an undignified statement about the people in Lens" ["tenu des propos indignes sur la population de Lens"]. The articles published on this site are proof that this accusation is foundless.
The best is yet to come, if we may say so : "Let him stay home with his vomit. This Parisian elite creates the culturally oppressed, well I defend the oppressed" ["Qu’il reste chez lui avec son vomi. Cette élite parisienne crée des opprimés de la culture, et bien moi je défends les opprimés"].

This statement not only expresses a public insult [2] (liable under penal law), but above all reveals a terrifyingly populist character which we thought was the domain of certain political parties of the extreme-right. Yet, Guy Delcourt is a member of the French Socialist Party, and official candidate in the current parliamentary elections. We have at times found ourselves at odds with mayors from either the left or the right as well as certain of the former government ministers, but none of them has ever stooped so low. Is this the "République exemplaire" demanded by the newly elected President of the French Republic, in fact a term used on the official website of the French Socialist Party ?

Version française

Didier Rykner, mardi 12 juin 2012


[1] It in fact had nothing to do with the Louvre-Lens.

[2] The law of 29 July 1881 concerning freedom of the press says : "Any outrageous expression, terms of contempt or abuse not based on a fact is an insult" [Toute expression outrageante, termes de mépris ou invective qui ne renferme l’imputation d’aucun fait est une injure].

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