Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Le Style Hollandais

I like Hollande's understated style on the international scene. When David Cameron went out of his way to insult France by inviting tax scofflaws to flee to England, Hollande, rather than put up his fists and lead with his mouth, as Sarkozy would have done, simply said that he wouldn't be dragged into any exchange of low blows because he had too much noblesse d'âme. I'm sure Cameron felt the blow more than he would have felt a less subtle verbal blast.

Hollande's proposals on propping up Spanish banks also seem to have made some headway with Mrs. Merkel. I remain pessimistic, but perhaps le style hollandais will have what it takes to cut through the Gordian knot.

The UMP Contest

Xavier Bertrand wants to replace Christian Jacob, Copé's right-hand man, as head of the UMP group in the AN. This will be the first skirmish in the war between Copé and Fillon. A quick glance at the line-up of forces on either side is revealing: Fillon's lot is the more savory of the two by a long shot. It will be interesting to see how the folks listed by Le Monde as "aribters" play their hands. Juppé, Baroin, Lemaire, Alliot-Marie, Accoyer, Hortefeux: some nursing ambitions, others grudges, still others both. One could write a novel.

Le Perchoir

Suddenly, everybody wants to be president of the National Assembly. Ségolène Royal thought the position belonged to her, but voters got in the way. Now, Claude Bartolone, Jean Glavany, and Elisabeth Guigou are all after the spot. The Elysée and Matignon are said to want a woman, but there is "no consensus" around Guigou, whatever that means, so the name of Marylise Lebranchu has been floated, but she says she doesn't want it. It's a bit of a mystery why anybody wants the job. Does anyone remember who had it last? (Ans. Bernard Accoyer. Who's he? Right, that's the point.) Here's a radical idea: how about letting the deputies vote?