French President Emmanuel Macron’s state of mind has drawn stinging rebukes from his party and allies after he called snap parliamentary elections that his far-right nemesis Marine Le Pen of the National Rally is expected to win.

But there is a method to his madness. If the French are fed up enough to want radical change at the risk of worse public finances and a standoff with the European Union, better to do it now than in 2027, when the Elysee is up for grabs.

What is less understandable as Le Pen’s party strides ever closer to power is the position of the French elite. A strange silence has descended upon the chief executive class, caught like a deer in headlights as years of pro-business reforms and tax predictability threaten to turn into a Brexit-style atmosphere of "f--- business.”