Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Out with the New, In with the Old

Two names one had thought definitively removed from the news have resurfaced in the past two days. First, François Hollande, who had imposed a decorous silence on himself following his ignominious ejection from the presidency, apparently felt that the opportunity for vengeance had come. His "spiritual son" is in trouble, the negotiations over the labor code reform are coming to a head, and the time for mischief was maximally ripe. The ex-president's perfidious side could not resist, so he issued a "warning" to Macron that ... he must not go too far. And there you have Hollande in a nutshell: both the perfidy and the paralyzing caution, the penchant for saying too much and the penchant for not saying enough. He reminded everyone why they were glad to be rid of him. Perhaps in the end he will have helped Macron.

And then François Fillon, who has thrown in his lot with a new group of financial buccaneers, Tikehau Capital. Now he can buy his own suits (unless the state decides to buy him one by sending him to prison). The hedge funders hope to rely on his "international expertise." Can an overture to Russia, whose leader expressed admiration for Fillon during the campaign, be far behind?


Philippe said...

Perhaps the president who never was a president should learn to shut up! He behaved with the country as he did with his women unreliable and unsatisfying! As far as Fillon is concerned he just confirmed his tropism for money and power (or his fear not to have enough money to be a little more that a "petit bourgeois de province qui veut péter plus haut que son cul!". Alas for him he hates risks (Sarkozy says "il n'a pas de couilles") and was unable to manage real big deals "a la Sarkozy" or "a la Pasqua".
Good ridance to both!

bert said...

On the subject of couples who belong in the past, the furore about that Charlottesville statute reminded me of a surprising discovery on Broadway in New York:
- Not Only
- But Also

It's apparently commemorating tickertape parades they were given in the 30s, part of a tourist-focussed project called 'Canyon of Heroes'.

♫ If I can make it there, tomorrow belongs to me ♫

Anonymous said...

Wow! Back-stabbing and FRENCH POLITICS! Who would've expected that?

On the other hand, looking at the bright side: Prof. Goldhammer won't have to live in terror of not having enough material.

As for the Kennedyesqe Manny, I will repeat once again: Wake me when he bests the Unions.

Philippe said...

Bert, that is amazing! Where on Broadway?

bert said...

You know the Charging Bull sculpture?
Right near there.

bert said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Although I'm happy to be rid of the odiously hypocritical Fillion, the manner in which his scandal unrolled was troubling and deserves the sort of investigation that it would get in an Anglo-Saxon country. The Fillion candidacy did not collapse simply because of his (relatively small-scale) corruption, or even because of his hypocrisy. It collapsed because some high level French civil servants revealed compromising information about him in order to inflict political damage. Did they do this because they were close to Hollande? Because they saw Fillion as too close to Russia? Who knows. It wasn't because they were shocked by his penny-ante corruption, and the precedent this action set was a bad one.

Philippe said...

I tend to agree that somebody informed the Canard (Note nevertheless that all these information were legally published for transparency in the records of the Assembly and publicly available to any researcher). But his defense was so damn stupid! It took him weeks to answer, he argued (net against brut)on points of no interest and he could have saved the situation with one simple sentence: " I have done nothing wrong nor illegal but I understand the frustration of all these French people without a job, or living from day to day on a miserable salary and.... I will refund to the assembly all the monies received as "assistant parlementaire" by members of my family. The drama would have been over, he would have found without problem a donor or a loaner for the million Euro necessary. The presidency was worth it! He was just too much of a "petit bourgeois catholique provincial bien propre de sa personne" to dare the appropriate act of political leadership! Tough luck!

Anonymous said...

@Philippe: I mostly agree with you, although don't know if Fillion could have survived the scandal even with a French version of the Checkers Speech. He had spent so much of the campaign hypocritically attacking the ethics of his rivals!

I should add that I meant the leaks against Fillion ought to be investigated by the press, not by some official body.

Anonymous said...

Proper investigation would likely result in pointing to N.Sarkozy, or, as Macron put it, "anthropophagy".