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That's the thing. I think (actually I hope) that he may be at the end of his breakneck "reformist" period.

He's already done a lot of damage, dumbing down and mutilating everything that is different or better about France, in order that its unemployed may be competitive with those of Bulgaria...

No doubt he always knew he would hit a wall somewhere, that's why he's in such a hurry.

Significantly, Parliament stonewalled on his constitutional reform bill (which would give more power to the President and less to Parliament, hey hey) when the Benalla story broke. With a bit of luck, it will never get through.

Bearing in mind that he still has a big parliamentary majority... and that various of his MPs have expressed doubt or disgust at various measures but none have ever voted against him...
Now they are going to have to deal with the habitual situation of French governments : how to reform with public opinion against you? Surely they will put the brakes on?

But then again...

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 at 09:36:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Parliament, both the Assembly and the Senate, have been humiliated by Macron since the beginning: relegated to the sideline while the government was "reforming by decrees" and then invited to come to Versailles every year for a joint Assembly + Senate session, so that Macron can lecture them. By the Constitution, the President is only allowed to appear before the Parliament during those joint sessions, and Macon is using and abusing this mechanism.

For the opposition, this affair is a good opportunity to exact revenge on Macron and his government: they've smelled blood and they will drag it on as much as they can.

Most of the LREM MPs are political novices, many have never hold an elected office before and, lacking a political base, organization support and a strong recognition among their constituents, they are even more dependent on the Macron organization (surely a coincidence). At the moment, they are stunned and sort of paralyzed having never lived this kind of major crisis before. How long will it last? How many will distance themselves from the LREM lifeline? We'll see.

by Bernard on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 at 06:21:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This being the silly season where real news is scarce, it's easy to see why Macron's opponents will fan the flames of this controversy and keep it burning for as long as possible.

But looked at from afar, it looks like a minor controversy which is only gaining currency because of inept management and the fact that it plays into a pre-existing narrative of Macron arrogance and aloofness.

A self-important security chief uses his position to abuse police privileges and loses self-control at a demonstration he had no business being at. Thinking they had gotten away with it his superiors covered it up and re-instate him after only 15 days suspension.

Whether Macron himself was party to this cover up is unclear, but he bears overall responsibility and needs to make a public admission of a failure of due process - at the very least. His judgement in promoting someone like Benalla is also open to question.

Other than that it seems like one of those scandals which is hyped up but is soon forgotten unless there is a repetition of similar malfeasance. Politically Macron will have paid a heavy price if this stalls the momentum of already unpopular "reforms".

But it is also uncomfortably reminiscent of US Police brutality which only ever comes to public consciousness if someone with a camera phone happens to be nearby. It raises awkward questions about the quality of personnel and management in Macron's team.

Macron will try to change the narrative quickly to some grand initiative he is pursuing elsewhere. It is the oppositions job to keep his feet to the fire.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 at 07:37:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Frank:
Whether Macron himself was party to this cover up is unclear, but he bears overall responsibility and needs to make a public admission of a failure of due process - at the very least.

Public admission: does a speech in a closed session with the LREM MPs count?

Macron : «S'ils cherchent un responsable, le seul responsable c'est moi, et moi seul»

Emmanuel Macron était ce mardi soir à la Maison de l'Amérique latine, à Paris, pour le pot de fin de session parlementaire des députés LREM. Un rassemblement auquel participaient plusieurs membres du gouvernement.

Emmanuel Macron a évidemment profité de l'occasion pour mobiliser ses troupes, en pleine affaire Benalla.

Macron: "If they look for someone to take responsibility, the only responsible party is me, and me alone"

Macron should say that publicly indeed. But here's the rub: his alpha-male temper has led him to delay this moment of perceived humiliation; he may come to it ultimately, buy only after having let the whole brouhaha balloon out of control. He only has his own hubris to blame.

And don't forget there's a criminal investigation started; more shenanigans could surface in the future.

In any case, Macron's aura of invincibility has been shattered; politically this could be a turning point, but it's too early to tell of course.

by Bernard on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 at 08:01:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It was bound to happen, sooner or later, about something or other...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 24th, 2018 at 08:23:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Here's the thing : it's about separation of powers, and abuse of executive privilege.

It's clear that Benalla's only qualification for the mass of honours and responsibilities he had accumulated, is his closeness to the "presidential couple" (some have greatness thrust upon them, as Shakespeare would say). His cowboy approach incensed many in the police and in the civil service, but none dared point out that he was breaking rules left right and centre, because he was untouchable.

So how many other intimates, how many ticking bombs?

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 25th, 2018 at 12:51:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Decentralized government proffers fairly new constitutional authority. L'état, c'est moi lingers: Is it this habit of deference to the state personified by the man to which you allude?

There is a lot of that going around.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jul 25th, 2018 at 11:59:09 PM EST
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But France has never been decentralized. The 80s decentralisation measures were superficial, and are being rolled back by stealth (exemption from municipal taxes, no right to establish taxes for regional assemblies, legal battles against universal competencies for the non-national strata...)

Sadly, France is decades away from any meaningful decentralisation. Macron is a Bonapartist, but the Constitution is Bonapartist anyway.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jul 26th, 2018 at 08:25:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
so, that's a yes?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Thu Jul 26th, 2018 at 06:37:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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