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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
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