Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Rebirth of the UDF

Hervé de Charette has quit the UMP in order to revive the flagging fortunes of the Giscardian party, the UDF, which had been all but absorbed by the UMP. The national identity debate seems to have been the last straw:

«Quand je vois qu’on en est à l’extrémité de se passionner pour cette affaire des minarets, j’ai honte», a-t-il dit. Selon lui, «on ne peut pas refuser de laisser leur place et leur libre-choix à ceux qui ont une religion, même si elle n’est pas la mienne ou la vôtre».

This comes on the same day that Sarkozy declared that instead of condemning the Swiss vote on minarets, one ought to try to understand what the Swiss people meant by voting as they did. His answer: they were rejecting "ostentation" in the display of difference and refusing a "denaturing" of their way of life by alien influences. Ostentation and denaturing: those are arguments that apply not only to minarets but also to McDonald's, Toyota, and Lady Gaga. Of course couscous-merguez, le canard laqué, and presidential appearances before the joint chambers of the legislature are as French as Obélix and Astérix. If nothing else, the Sarkozy presidency has made us accustomed to l'arbitraire in all domains.

Here is Sarkozy's full essay.

1 comment:

satchmo said...

Sarko's statement on the minaret vote seems to epitomize that most useful adage of the Shadoks (or was it Chamfort), "Il vaut mieux mobiliser son intelligence sur des conneries que mobiliser sa connerie sur des choses intelligentes."