Sunday, May 8, 2011


Stuff is happening in the Center. Hervé Morin hugged Jean-Louis Borloo. Then he predicted that the Right would divide after 2012: in the place of the UMP there would be two parties of the Right, as in the good old days of the Chirac-Giscard mano a mano. Jean-Louis Copé, who has schemed and plotted all these years to get where he is now, at the head of the UMP, is loath to think that all that effort was for naught, so he has issued a warning to Morin: Qué sera sera. Indeed.

Morin is right, however, that it's difficult to see what will hold the UMP together once its historic mission of fulfilling the ambitions of Nicolas Sarkozy comes to an end. For a brief moment, Sarkozy managed to invest the party with an ideology that made it seem to stand for something more than his libido dominandi, but that ideology is now so blurred that it's difficult to piece back together. He has purged the last vestiges of Gaullism by rejoining NATO and investing France's identity in Europe (with his EU presidency and enthusiastic advocacy of the Lisbon treaty). For a while he tried to elevate the place of religion in French conservative ideology, a move that never appeared to the "Orleanist" right. His recent "Lepenization" has been fitful, opportunistic, and inept, and, worst of all, it hasn't worked: pire qu'un crime, c'est une faute. His neoliberalism, always tentative and ad hoc, has been rendered nonsensical by the crisis. So he leaves the Right increasingly divided and with no clear path forward. If the Left weren't equally disunited, the situation would be catastrophic; as it is, it is merely fraught.

I just watched a docudrama about the Mitterrand years put together by Serge Moati (who rather glorifies his own role in the rise of the Sphinx). At one point, Mitterrand, newly elected, meets with Giscard and is made to say, "--Vous n'avez fait qu'une erreur. --Qu'est-ce que c'est? demande Giscard. --Vous représenter, répond Mitterrand." I doubt that these words were ever spoken, but it occurred to me that Mitterrand's ghost would have a rather different admonition for Sarkozy: "Vous représenter n'était que la dernière de vos erreurs." Although Sarkozy tutoie tout le monde, Mitterrand's ghost would of course be far too wily to be lured into the trap of such false intimacy and would insist on vous, as any self-respecting spirit would.


Anonymous said...

Can a person be charged for shouting "your policies are a disgrace"? (Real question, I don't know French law)
"L'homme a été rapidement pris en charge par une demi-douzaine de membres du service d'ordre et évacué des lieux. Aucune précision n'était disponible dans l'immédiat sur son identité, ni sur une éventuelle interpellation par la police."
It's weird this guy got in, usually only UMP members are allowed to listen to the President's speeches.
The downside is that we couldn't enjoy the seaside as it'd been totally cordoned off for the big event, and had to go elsewhere enjoy the very sunny day.

Anonymous said...

if you're interested in Sarkozy's visit to Brittany, as seen by the guy who shouted (he's a local opposition official)

Anonymous said...

In the meanwhile, Laurent Wauquiez stated that the unemployed are society's cancer. And they should work for free each week in order to get their €400/month.
If there's work, even 5h, why not pay them for it, in order to supplement the €400 and reaccustom them to work? Some RSA-getters simply can't work, others are single moms with small children, most have no work qualification (this is a country where you need a diploma to work a cash register 12hrs a week at a supermarket.) Those who do have qualifications are (often desperately) looking for a job.
Wauquiez apparently suggested "sweeping leaves" as an occupation.
Roselyne Bachelot issued an official letter stating that the plan was totally unpractical. No that it's ever stopped President Sarkozy and his Sarkoboys. :)

Anonymous said...

"Wauquiez: la nouvelle droite sociale nationale populaire"
a post by a formerly highly paid computer specialist, now piad the "rsa", comments by various engineers