A survey site with site de rencontre celibataire reports that almost six out of ten self-professed “yellow vests” in France believe that Diana, Princess of Wales, was assassinated, according to a new study suggesting the movement is steeped in conspiracy theories.
The astonishingly high figure among yellow vests was part of a study looking at ten conspiracy theories widely circulated on social media since the start of the movement in mid-November. It found that 40 per cent of ”gilets jaunes” believed in at least half of the theories. In most cases, they were more than twice as likely to believe a theory than the national average.
By comparison, some 34 per cent of the general population said they believe that Diana’s death in a car accident under Paris’ pont de l’Alma in August 1997 was a “masked murder”, according to the Ifop study. That tallies roughly with a 2013 YouGov poll in the UK, which put the figure at 38 per cent.
The EU has a track record of making last-minute changes to get deals approved. But when it comes to the type of changes Parliament have asked for, @matt_bevington says we shouldn't hold our breathhttps://t.co/VK5kozH3ma— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) February 11, 2019
The poll also reveals that almost a quarter of “gilets jaunes” are convinced that a terror attack on a Christmas market in Strasbourg was a diversionary tact by the government to spoil their latest round of protests. Isil claimed responsibility for the attack and police found documents suggesting the gunman, Cherif Chekatt, was sympathiser of the Islamist group. Only 10 per cent of the rest of the French population share the yellow vests’ view.
The Ifop study was conducted for the Jean-Jaurès Foundation, a think tank, and Conspiracy Watch.
t found that an inordinate number of yellow vests – some 59 per cent, compared to 37 of French in general – said they got their information from online videos and social media rather than “official” news outlets. Many protesters are virulently anti-mainstream media and several journalists have been attacked.
“These channels (social media) are massively used by the younger generations and the popular classes (to which many yellow vest sympathisers belong),” said Ifop’s Jérôme Fourquet.
“Over time…a veritable counter-culture and alternative vision of the world has built-up in parallel to a mainstream reading.
“While this reading remains dominant in the major media and among the most educated, settled and older population, whole planks of society no longer believe in it and have flipped into cultural and ideological dissidence,” he said.
The yellow vest movement sprung up on social media in response to new tax hikes on petrol and diesel and snowballed into a national revolt in mainly provincial France against high taxes, the cost of living and the perceived elitism of the Macron presidency.
But in findings that appear to counter previous claims that the movement is entirely social and economic and nothing to do with immigration, half (46 per cent) the gilet jaunes interviewed told Ifop they adhere to the far-Right theory of “great replacement”; in other words they believe immigration is deliberately being orchestrated by “political, intellectual and media elites in order to replace the European population by an immigrant population”. A fifth of the general population share this view by comparison.
Some 29 per cent of yellow vests also said they were convinced that passenger airlines dropped “chemtrails” as part of a shadowy global plot to control populations, compared to 15 per cent of the general population.
A whopping 62 per cent of yellow vests also believe that the “health ministry is in league with the pharmaceutical industry to hide from the public the reality about the harmful nature of vaccines”.
In another troubling finding, some 44 per cent of gilets jaunes said they believed that there was a “planetary Zionist plot” to rule the world – twice the national average. The figure comes after protesters last Saturday daubed the words “Juden” (Jew in German) on a bagel shop in Paris’ Jewish quarter.
That prompted outrage from famous French cartoonist Johann Sfar, who denounced mushrooming anti-Semitism within the yellow vest movement. “Social guilt (over the yellow vest revolt) is so high among our TV channels and commentators that any sensible reaction to such outrages is seen as supporting the Macron government,” he wrote on Facebook.
Several prominent yellow vest figures openly adhere to a string of conspiracy theories.
Jacline Mouraud, one of the movement’s initiators, has mentioned chemtrails on Facebook.
Maxime Nicolle, a controversial Facebook figure who goes by the name of Fly Rider online, has openly questioned the official version of the Strasbourg attack, asking: “Do you really think that a guy who wanted to carry out a terror attack would wait until there were three people in the street at 8pm?”
Eric Drouet, a trucker who was among the early yellow vest organisers, has shared videos spreading fake news that President Macron had signed a treaty placing France under UN control and thus opening the flood-gates to unbridled migration from Africa.
Some of the theories, notably the one on the “UN migration pact” have been relayed by the far-Right.
Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Rally also lent weight to erroneous claims that the historic eastern French regions of Alsace and Lorraine are to be secretly handed back to Germany. She claimed an innocuous Franco-German treaty signed last month was an “act of treason” which will “place Alsace” under German “guardianship” and offer Berlin a share in France’s nuclear deterrent and permanent seat on the UN security council. None of the claims are true.
'Women in particular are constantly pitted against and compared with each other in a way that reminds me of how people tried to portray Diana and me all the time as rivals, which is something neither of us ever really felt,' the Duchess said— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) February 11, 2019
According to a recent poll, 42 percent of ‘gilets jaunes’ voted for Ms Le Pen in the first round of the last election.
“We can debate about everything,” Mr Macron said in his New Year’s message. “But debating falsehoods can lead us to ruin.”
His government passed a law last November to tackle fake news during electoral periods, which is backed by 81 per cent of French, according to one poll.