Thursday, November 8, 2012

Hollande-Netanyahu Imbroglio

President Obama has had his difficulties with Benjamin Netanyahu. Sarkozy found him insupportable. Now it's François Hollande's turn: in what was supposed to be an "off the record" conversation with journalists aboard his plane (so what happened?), Hollande acknowledged that he was irritated with Netanyahu for allegedly transforming the memorial service for the victims of Mohammed Merah into a "campaign rally."

Elie Cohen Analyzes the Gallois Report and Its Aftermath

Here. A shrewd if somewhat jaundiced reading of the Gallois report and the government's response.

Nissa rebela

I confess to a faible for the city of Nice: the curve of the coastline, the old market, the feel of the streets, the loveliness of the Mediterranean--what's not to like? The politics, perhaps. Now it emerges that the Front National is flirting with the Bloc identitaire of Philippe Vardon, the leader of Nissa rebela, a regionalist/separatist movement. The marriage has not been consummated, however:
"Il n'y a pas d'accord avec le Bloc identitaire, nous avons trop de différences de fond". Ajoutant que si "certains considèrent qu'ils sont plus proches de nos options, ils peuvent nous rejoindre", excluant ainsi toute double appartenance. Ce qui veut dire concrètement que la condition posée par le FN a toute adhésion de M. Vardon au FN est l'abandon de ses engagements à Nissa Rebela (dont Philippe Vardon est président) et du Bloc identitaire qu'il dirige avec Fabrice Robert.

"La Comm'"

In my previous post, I dissed "le storytelling de Hollande." Now, if you want an example of a successful coup de comm', you have no farther to look than to this article in Le Monde. Here, Manuel Valls manages to take credit for the "social VAT" while at the same time modestly--and no doubt quite accurately--eschewing any actual role in bringing it about. Clearly, the consensus behind the revamping of social-security financing in France is far broader than any single politician's campaign position on the VAT. But Valls effortlessly manages to take credit for the change while denying any responsibility for its details. Hollande's people should study this act of remarkable finesse.

"Le Storytelling"

Hollande attempts to burnish his image. Harrumph. Somehow I don't think that dragging a bunch of ministers to provincial venues to sign "contracts for tomorrow" is really going to arrest the slide in Hollande's popularity. If this is what the Left thinks "le storytelling" is, they're in trouble.