The catastrophe now upon us

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After he was slapped earlier this week in a town in south-east France by a man shouting a medieval royalist battle cry, President Emmanuel Macron described the assault as an “incident” that should be “relativised”, and that “all is well”. On the contrary, writes Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this opinion article, all is going badly, and the slap illustrates the far-right violence that has been set loose by the cynicism and irresponsibility of the Macron presidency.

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Jean de La Fontaine, the author of fables about human pretensions and the blindness of the powerful, and whose birth four centuries ago will be precisely marked on July 8th, was inspired by the fables credited to the ancient Greek storyteller Aesop. One of them, The child who cried ‘wolf’, was the origin of the idiom “to cry wolf”, meaning to raise a false alarm so often that when the real danger is present the alarm is not believed.