The remaniement is one of the more tedious rituals of French government. It reminds me of the singing of the national anthem before American baseball games. One expects it to happen, one expects it to be all but meaningless, and one can't wait until it's over so that the players can get on with the game. Today's remaniement is a classic of the genre. Fabius is out (of his own volition, headed to the Conseil Constitutionnel and the irrelevance of immortality), Ayrault is in. Three--count them, three--ecologists have somehow been persuaded to lend their cover to a government that desperately needs to shore up its left flank. An énarque by the name of Audrey Azoulay replaces Fleur Pellerin at Culture. Who knows what offense Pellerin gave to be punished this way, or what service Azoulay performed to be so rewarded (she is said to be a friend of Julie Gayet, and perhaps that counts as service enough). Nothing changes in the regalian ministries or in the economic portfolios. Jean-Michel Baylet, a faithful old retainer, has been pressed into comforting service in the untranslatable office of aménagement du territoire--after the last major territorial reform has been fully consecrated by the regional elections.
Ho hum. Bottom line: all is well, stay the course, success is just ahead, but let us pay homage to the importance of the environment and kneel in reverence to the good works of Laurent Fabius, tel qu'en lui-même enfin son départ le change, by taking on board some Greens and thus strengthening, perhaps, the president's hand in the coming primary challenge from the left. As General de Gaulle is said to have remarked when France's "victory" in World War II was celebrated with a Te Deum at Notre-Dame, "quelle mascarade!"