Thursday, July 14, 2016

Only His Hairdresser Knows For Sure

Will Hollande boot Macron? Only his hairdresser knows for sure.

OK, it's a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist. With #coiffeurgate à défrayer la chronique, who needs Bastille Day? But the president, in the traditional 14 juillet interview, availed himself of the opportunity to lay down the law to his wayward Minister of the Economy, the ubiquitous M. Macron, whose Bastille Day Eve rally saw him bellowing "On to victory in 2017" without actually declaring his candidacy or specifying whose victory he had in mind--a fair sample of the political ambidexterity that has become Macron's trademark. Ni droite ni gauche, ni candidat ni ministre, ni loyal ni déloyal ... To which Hollande's response was less crisp than Chirac's famous rebuke to the young Turk Sarkozy when he was similarly straining in his traces: "Je décide, il exécute." Hollande instead meekly suggested that there might be limits to his patience without actually naming the person who is trying it.

All this is very amusing, but in the meantime the European left seems to be in utter disarray everywhere. Labour is on the verge of collapse, Renzi is facing a banking crisis in Italy, the Spanish left failed to meet expectations (h/t Sofia Perez), the German left is comatose, Tsipras has lost his luster in Greece ... I can't remember a more dismal scene.