Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jospin Speech

Lionel Jospin gavea brilliant speech last night at the University of Montreal: lucid, impassioned, well-organized, and without langue de bois. In it he gave his analysis of the origins of the economic crisis. I don't have time to go into detail, but one point that he made struck me as particularly noteworthy. In comparing the current crisis with that of '29, he noted that the earlier collapse emerged out of disequilibria created by a destructive world war, whereas today's debacle is the result of disequilibria generated by the economic system itself.

I must say that the former prime minister was also quite witty. I had always thought of him as an intelligent man, but wit never seemed uppermost among his qualities. But when a questioner tried to draw him out on a point by suggesting that he was close to Ségolène Royal, a "member of the same political family," Jospin observed that the young man, who had previously identified himself as "un concitoyen," clearly was French and not Canadian, as evidenced by his intimate knowledge of French politics and thoroughly Gallic "subtlety."