Saturday, June 4, 2011

Hulot: Borloo mais pas Sarko

The "hypocritical unity" that Daniel Cohn-Bendit denounced and gave as his reason for avoiding the EELV convention, which just re-elected Cécile Duflot as partly leader, has been ruptured somewhat by Nicolas Hulot's admission that he has had discussions with Jean-Louis Borloo, whom rival Eva Joly immediately denounced as a man of the right and Sarkozyste. Hulot also said that Sarkozy had called him to set up a meeting but that he had demurred for now, during the Green primary season, although he did not rule out a meeting later, since important issues remain on the table and Sarkozy remains "chef de l'executif," a somewhat unusual locution to refer to the man who in France is generally known as "le chef de l'État." Perhaps Hulot is indulging some private political theory to justify this nuance. In any case, he has transgressed in the eyes of some Greens, and Joly insists that the first order of business in politics is to "know who you are enemies are." To tell the truth, although I don't have much faith in Hulot's prospects as a politician, I think it can be a rather adult self-indulgence to suspend the "friend-enemy" distinction from time to time. Politics might be a healthier place if it weren't ruled by petty Carl Schmitts. But he has given his opponent (enemy?) an opening, and she has seized it.


MYOS said...

In a binary primary election straddling the fence is the way to nowhere (there are lots of parties in France but it all falls down to "droite" et "gauche", with an added bonus this year that "droite sarkozysme" is very unpopular even with those on the right, which have created a loose, non-coalitioned set of 'traditional right' groups which call themselves "centrist", "social", "republican", etc).
The Greens affiliate with the left.* Their voters identify with the left and the center; their mistrust in anything linked to Sarkozy is strong.
More than anything, Hulot's sentence shows how little prepared for political fights he is. If he'd thought it through - if only for a few seconds - he'd seen that one strong criticism against him is that he's linked to "fake ecology" (his ties to EDF, Areva, etc) and isn't a true "opposant". A simple step for him would be to prove the opposite by making carefully calibrated statements disassociating him from anything sarkozyste. With such a statement, Hulot played right into the hands of his opponents and to those already bent on believing it, he "proved right" those accusing him of being a sarkozyst sleeper cell - even though, in all likelihood, he only showed how inexperienced he is.

* I find it interesting that Cohn-Bendit, whom many Greens suspected of being too "centrist", advocated an alliance with the dominant force of the left. This proposal was defeated, not because the greens don't feel on the left but because the "apparatchiks" prefer to stick to the idea they may win it alone; it's thus preferable for them to maintain the pretense they may become the dominant force on the left than to admit they can influence a major party and play their hand at that. In short, Europe Ecologie is dead.

Linca said...

Don't forget that a significant part of the Green base identifies itself with the left of the PS or farther left, and Borloo or Hulot are pretty far from this. A Bove voter is not ready to campaign for Hulot...