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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
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