"Give me a cheer, come on give me a cheer, I need to hear you say Vive La France!"
The besuited young man at the front of the crowd at the assembly hall was pretty leisurely for a warm-up guy -- "ah now let's have some cheering, eh?" -- but that wasn't really a problem. The crowd of what six, seven, eight thousand didn't need much prompting. Waving hundreds of tricolour flags, yelling, blustering, chattering, they were filling the hall with noise. In front a giant picture on the screen behind the podium, Marine Le Pen, that heavy, blank, face, set in an expression of naive lack of guile, staring out at the audience, like she was a Nantes housewife who'd just won two tickets to Les Mis. The image is towering, bizarre. How much white is there in that? She beams out over the assembled masses.