Friday, March 25, 2016

He's Baaaaaack!

Aranud Montebourg, of course, the irrepressible Arnaud. Apparently he wants to "uberize" politics. By that I suppose he means that he wants to "disrupt" things, to use a fashionable word, or to turn things upside down (rather than stand them on their head, as Marx used to say). I doubt that he has in mind distributing an app for your phone that you can use to call up any policy mix you want 24/7.

It sounds hip and modern, perhaps, but it doesn't mean anything, which makes it a perfect Montebourgian vehicle, I guess. But with Hollande's chance of even being a candidate, let alone being re-elected, sinking like a stone, Arnaud's candidacy has to be taken seriously. Who will he have against him? Valls? Aubry? Macron? Hamon? Royal? At this point I can imagine just about anyone who is left in the PS getting into the race: Moscovici, Rebsamen, Cambadélis ... They've got to scrape the bottom of the barrel, because that's where they find themselves. Nicolas Hulot, anyone? Thomas Piketty? Mélenchon? Poutou? Besancenot? It's going to be a free-for-all on the left, and Arnaud's just the first out of the box. Let's hope it doesn't turn out to be Pandora's box.


Alexandra Marshall said...

I cannot believe anyone from the left would use "uberization" of anything and mean it as a compliment. Arnaud, Arnaud... sigh. Did he go further with his "analysis"? (Because I just can't read the primary source, I feel the banging my head on the table would take years off my life.) Is he really in favor of a decentralisation of politics that makes entrenched actors, ie, himself, obsolete? I don't expect a lot of serious from Arnaud but this is making me think he's just an airhead.

Mitch Guthman said...


You will be pleased to know that I have actually spent the money for a subscription on the ground that Le Monde is an irreplaceable national treasure that must be supported even though, in my case, it's well above my level of reading comprehension. But, having spent the money, I'll have a go at explaining the bits that you can't see for free.

Turns out the part that's reserved for subscribers isn't more clarifying. Montebourg says that France is changing. The old slogans and buzzwords will no longer do. France must have new slogans and buzzwords!

Montebourg probably means "Uberize" pretty much as Art describes but anybody's guess is as good as mine because there's no elaboration. If he'd given it any thought (which I doubt) what he means is that the "gig economy" is the way forward for France because it would relieve the PS of the obligation to make even token gestures at helping the people and would allow the party to focus its energy on meeting the needs of bankers and property developers. But the focus on a new buzzword instead of on meaningful policy analysis is so perfectly Montebourg that I just have to be impressed by the sheer vapidity of his intellect.

bert said...

That transcription of Arnaud Montebourg farting in the bath may not be the best return on your investment, Mitch.
Last time he came up on the blog I looked up "mountebank" to see if the word was used in French ("saltimbanque" meaning something different). The translation suggested was "charlatan".

Massilian said...

I love Aranud ! It is so much better than the old fashioned Arnaud. It smells Dungeon and Dragons or the Lord of the Rings. Aranud Montebourg, über king of Gondor.....

Mitch Guthman said...


I wouldn't pay tuppence-ha'penny for a compendium of every word Montebourg has ever uttered,particularly since I doubt whether it would contain any good ideas or even a single lucid thought . But I actually feel pretty good about paying for a Le Monde subscription. It's a great institution and if we want it to be there for future generations (or when I can read it without help, whichever comes first), we need to support it now.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually considering the Le Monde subscription too! :)
Anyway, I wouldn't mind Royal running, she's done a good job at Environment/Ecologie, and she seems quite different from Hollande.
However, she's now embroiled in a nasty financial problem in her former region - apparently she had région elected officials sign off on a fake buget and there are millions in arrears. If it turns out to be as egregious as it sounds and traced to her (rather than her financial officer or whatever), it'd shoot any opportunity she'd have. But personally it'd make me happy to have her run again and be treated with respect. A Royal Juppé match would be interesting.