Tuesday, November 20, 2007

C'est clair!

Ségolène Royal, speaking with all the clarity that characterized her campaign for the presidency, simultaneously endorsed the university reforms and backed the protest against the reforms. The reform is a good one, she said, but then she called on the government not to "spoil a good reform" by failing to provide the funds necessary to see it through. But the protesters are of course claiming that autonomy is merely a cover for eventual withdrawal of government funding, so SR would appear to be wanting to have it both ways. To be sure, her position is as sensible as John Kerry's famous for-as-well-as-against-the-war votes in the Senate, and it will do her as little good as Kerry's effort to split the difference and preserve his candidacy. One longs for a Mendès France among the Socialists, who would have the courage to say, as Royal does, the reform is a good one, but who would then go on to say, "So put an end to this unproductive and costly protest and we will fight like hell to ensure both an increase in funding and a reasonable allocation of the money available."

2 comments:

Boz said...

It's really a shame that Kerry, who as you know from Boston is quite a competent politician and Francophile, has become the analogy of choice for political hedging/flip-flopping. The only reason I say that is becasue I was about to comment about him...until I saw you had already done so!!

Actually in all my time searching I've only ever found one small clip of Kerry speaking some French

Unknown said...

Boz,
I would say that Kerry has been an intermittently competent politician. He has also made some colossal blunders, such as his ambiguous remark about the intelligence of soldiers. No matter what he actually intended to say, alors, là, il a manqué une bonne occasion de se taire.