Monday, January 12, 2009

Vallini Resigns

Reader MYOS calls my attention to an interesting little kerfuffle in the PS. Martine Aubry tried to discipline André Vallini, the PS national secretary for justice, because he expressed his views on the proposal to eliminate the juge d'instruction without her authorization, although she was careful to say she didn't disagree with him on the substance. Vallini then resigned in a huff.

Now, you can look at this in two ways. Aubry is behaving like an autocrat--a Sarkozy of the left, if you will. Or, if you're more sympathetic, you can say that Aubry is trying to impose some message discipline on a notoriously undisciplined party--which, one might argue, is long overdue. Still, there are right and wrong ways to impose discipline--or, rather, productive and counter-productive ways. Brusqueness is a leadership style, and Aubry may be able to make it work for her. Then again, she may wreak havoc.

No Remaniement, but One Demotion

So, Claude Guéant let it be known that there would be no remaniement announced at this week's meeting of the council of ministers, but Sarko has moved Martin Hirsch from Solidarité Actives (does this mean that the RSA needs no further attention?) to Youth, which used to be under the aegis of Sports and Youth, the responsibility of Bernard Laporte, who has not been in favor at the palace.

Tribunal révolutionnaire et culturiste


Well, this might be a hoot: La Princesse de Clèves goes on trial. Philippe Sollers has been released on his own recognizance. If I were in Paris, I would surely attend.

New News Site

A new international news site, GlobalPost, launches today. I mentioned this because I've agreed to allow them to repost articles from French Politics. They have feeds from many other global news blogs as well. Check it out.

Lycée Reform

After success retreats on the issue of lycée reform, President Sarkozy is trying to regain the initiative. He has assigned Sciences Po head Richard Descoings to embark on a fact-finding mission, or, as the Elysée rather more effusively puts it, "une mission "d'analyse, de compréhension, d'écoute et de proposition" sur la réforme du lycée."Although this has the feel of the time-honored practice of assigning a thorny and intractable issue to a "blue-ribbon commision" that will lay it safely to rest for another few years, it may turn out to be more than that, since Descoings is no neophyte at the political and media game. But don't expect action anytime soon.

Liberal Blogs Become Hack Target in US

Discussed here.