Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel

Martine Aubry has lost it. Stunned by her party's loss in the European elections, unable to unite warring factions, she is now threatening to expel those most impatient of her leadership and ambitious to strike out in a new direction. She sent a letter to Manuel Valls, in which she invited him to "draw the full conclusions" from his criticisms and either step back in line or leave the party.

The stupidity of this move cannot be overstated. It is a confession of impotence by the party leader and yet another sign that the much-awaited "renovation" of the party is never going to happen. Perhaps Aubry is right, though: maybe it is time for the party to admit defeat and see if something new emerges from the rubble.

8 comments:

kirkmc said...

"Accepting the consequences" (not conclusions) is a nice euphemism for quitting. I always find it a bit snarky; I mean, why can't they just ask people to resign. They do that for ministers, but never for their own ilk.

As for the future of the party, blame it all on Ségolene. She's the one who started all this dissent.

gregory brown said...

Whats most interesting to me is that what provoked her statement was his proposal to rename the party to better reflect its platform. This seems to me a basic political tactic -- when you're not popular, try another way of talking about yourself. Its not as if the party retains a strong "socialist" platform from which Valls proposed deviation.

James Conran said...

Changing the name of the Party would seem to be unnecessarily provocative towards the left and generally divisive to no great end. Does anyone think the name is a handicap? The problem is elsewhere. It does seem characteristic of the PS squabbles that the only specific change and of the squabblers can come up with is a name-change!

kirkmc said...

I for one think the name is a problem. Socialism, like communism, is something from the 20th century, a super-annuated idea that never really worked. Let them change to a more centrist social-democratic platform and set of ideals, and I'd bet more people would vote for them. Let them also stop discussing alliances with the leftists extremists, and that would probably help as well.

Anonymous said...

they should call themselves the "Nouveau Parti Anti-Libéral Mais Pas Trop".


Chris P.

MYOS said...

Let's blame it on Segolene, let us all unite and burn the witch!!!! Plus, let's stone Valls, too!!!!
.....
Ey, it has worked before.

Unknown said...

Aubry is a strange mixture of traditional catholic aspirations and left-oriented aspirations. As far back as I can remember - say the early eighties, when she was just a technical person in the labour department -, she has always been 100% intolerant of anyone holding a different opinion on any subject. Which was why I was vastly amused by her elevation in the PS last fall, supposedly to find party unity. Not that I like Valls, actually, but still...

James Conran said...

The platform, ideals and alliance strategy are all important kirkmc but the claim that "socialism" never really worked probably depends on an overly narrow definition of the term - my understanding is that until relatively recently most European Social Democratic parties would have considered their appelation interchangeable with "socialist". Perhaps you consider all forms of social democracy to have "never worked"?

In any case I would say that socialism's vintage (like liberalism, nationalism and perhaps even conservatism) is more 19th than 20th century - but then this is still at least a century better than republicanism, and "republican" doesn't seem to be a political handicap in France!