Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Call Center Controversy

The "optics" aren't good, as the saying goes: Ile-de-France Transport outsources its call center work to Morocco. One might have expected this from the efficiency-minded Right, but the Left? If the government can't keep government jobs at home, what jobs can it keep? I'm a wet social liberal, but this decision is a bit startling and seems a tad on the penny wise, pound foolish side.

I see Montebourg is on the case, but then again, what case hasn't he been on since he took office. His ubiquity reminds me of Sarkozy's as interior minister.

Well, at least this flap takes people's minds off Ségolène Royal's gaffe--or was it speaking truth to power--in saying that Najat Vallaud-Belkacem owed her job to her ethnic background. It would have been more gracious to say she owed her job to her good looks, but perhaps Royal had reasons for not going there.


Mitch Guthman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mitch Guthman said...

I don’t understand Royal having said something this monumentally stupid. The articles on made very little sense to me. How did all this start? How can you be so high up in government and yet be so childish (applicable to both women)?

There is one odd thing about this cat-fight. I don’t have the background nor do I pay as nearly as much attention to who has what government job as most of the people who visit this website. Then, too, my memory isn’t what it once was. Nevertheless, I do tend to remember very attractive young women and Najat Vallaud-Belkacem is very, very memorable, to say the least.

Unless I’m badly mistaken, wasn’t this supposedly “not very competent woman who got her job only because of her ethnicity” given the identical job as spokeswoman by none other than Ségolène Royal during her presidential campaign? I remember a lot of pictures of the two of them together in 2007.

(As an aside, if I were François Hollande, I would order everybody in my government, in the PS and in my immediate family to immediately close all social media accounts, most especially Twitter accounts. These people are like children playing with a loaded gun. Getting everybody in his life off of Twitter should be Hollande’s absolute top priority).

Anonymous said...

This comment by Royal makes no sense whatsoever as coming from her. She's championed Vallaud Belkacem through and through in the same way that she championed Batho and Filipetti and other young women. It just doesn't fit.
I wouldn't be surprised if Le Point kind of made those quotes up to stir things up, or picked apart a quote here and there and "reconstructed" it creatively. They've done that before.
According to Le Canard Enchainé, current ministers are betting that Montebourg won't last more than 3 months and will do a "che", that is, leave rather than say what he thinks (then say it).
That decision was colossally stupid. One reason I heard was "we have trouble finding people who work nights". Err.. seriously? Or could it be "we don't feel like paying overtime pay to people in France?"

payermek said...

Great blog, I have just bookmarked it

Mitch Guthman said...

A quick and hopefully final update on Royal’s alleged difficulties with Najat Vallaud-Belkacem. HuffPo updates here Vallaud-Belkacem herself directs people here I gather that Vallaud-Belkacem accepts that Royal was misquoted by Le Point (although Le Point stands by its reporting). I’m not following this controversy very well and I suspect that I’m now out of touch in two languages and two cultures instead of one.

I retract my previous criticism of Vallaud-Belkacem (who seems to be acting admirably and as an adult) but reiterate that these people all need to stop using Twitter immediately. Ministers in the government of Charles de Gaulle would not have “tweeted” and did not behave like teenagers in public, their private foibles notwithstanding. This would be a good model for Hollande.

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