Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vite, vite, vite ...

Thanks to the Internet, I watched the speech. Thanks to the Internet, I have the instant summaries. Thanks to the Internet, I can tell you that Xavier Bertrand sucked his index finger during a portion of the talk; Martin Hirsch seemed a tad uncomfortable; and the gaggle of staffers standing in one corner of the room, to the president's right, made the scene look just like a White House press conference, no doubt by design. The production values were a bit off: the blank blue background matched too closely the blue of the bleu-blanc-rouge, the EU flag seemed to be hiding in Marianne's skirts, and the inexplicable failure of the French to discover the teleprompter ill-served the president, who otherwise works the invisible TV audience well, including a pause to straighten his tie just before launching into the section on the reform of the special retirement regimes--a rather stagy touch, so stagy, in fact, that the actor himself made a self-conscious little joke about the contrived nature of the gesture.

I will be writing about the rhetoric of the speech when I have a moment to read the text, because the rhetoric was its most striking feature. In substance there was really nothing new. We need to reform this, we need to reform that. "Everyone knows" that change is needed. "I want" this to happen. "I have asked" such-and-such a minister to make sure that it does happen. "I shall be keeping an eye" on the discussions. "Discussions there will be," because one doesn't reform without discussion, but one doesn't discuss without reforming, not on my watch. Et cetera. It was another campaign speech: long on will, short on specifics.

Which is as it should be, since the details must emerge from the discussions. So we wait again, assured again that the will to change is there, impressed again by the vigor of the performance, and wondering again exactly what will happen when, if ever. Except for the merger of UNEDIC and ANPE: we'll have a "report" on that in under two weeks. Promis. This is not exactly the stuff of the Appel du 18 juin, but it's not Sarkozy's fault that what needs to be done isn't as thrilling as the impresario in him might wish.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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