Friday, August 28, 2015

"Suffer the little children to come unto me": Hollande panders to big and small alike.

This has to be seen to be believed. I mean, shameless pandering is a necessity in the life of any politician, but aren't there laws against exploiting children? Watch the video.

Du rififi chez les Verts

Avec le réchauffement climatique, le réchauffement politique: François de Rugy, ex-co-president of EELV, has quit the party in a lather, all hot and bothered about its alleged radical turn and prospective alliance with the Front de Gauche. Mélenchon and Duflot may strike the world as an unlikely pair, but as the extreme right moves closer to the corridors of power and begins to attract the rising elite (see previous post), the extreme left is ever more determined to mark its difference from those time-servers in government. This, of course, means standing on principle, no matter how unpopular, while denouncing compromise as treason. Excess of principle drove Daniel Cohn-Bendit to distraction and out of the party years ago, and now de Rugy has followed, soon to be emulated (according to DCB) by another party leader, Jean-Vincent Placé. Leaving Mme Duflot in sole charge of her 2% of the electorate.

A fine prelude to upcoming Paris summit on climate change at the end of the year.

UPDATE: Placé is now gone.

The FN Comes to Sciences Po

No one ever accused Sciences Po students of lacking ambition. The institution may have a conservative reputation, but if something new comes along that promises a faster rise to the top and a way to break out of le peloton and reach for le maillot jaune, you can count on a contingent of enterprising Sciences Po-ers to avail themselves of the opportunity.

So it comes as no surprise that the rise and rise of the FN has attracted a nucleus of supporters at France's elite incubator. I mean, look where Florian Philippot has gotten in just a few years. Of course the énarquisation of the erstwhile anti-establishment party has Jean-Marie Le Pen turning in the grave he is not quite yet in. Another sign of the disintegration of the French party system is the diversity of recruitment of these fresh FN cadres. To go by the sample chosen by the journalist, they come in all stripes: former UMP, only to be expected, but also former PS and Front de Gauche. These are not ex-street brawlers of some extreme-right groupuscule. They are apparently young hotshots trying to find their political bearings and seemingly without firm moorings on what used to constitute the two shores of the political world.

Another depressing sign of the times.