Compass and stammerings

A stammering ambition, literally. It was the other evening live on France 2. Faced with a teasing question from Laurent Delahousse, Édouard Philippe seemed to lose his means. “We lend you these words”, launches the star presenter: “I will not be a candidate, unless perhaps Emmanuel Macron was not. ” Silence, hesitation. “I, I… I…” The mayor of Le Havre stammers, his gaze goes out of the frame. And then finally: “I often read this stuff. I do not have the feeling to pronounce these sentences… I do not express myself on this subject. I don’t believe I said it, in any case not sure I said it publicly… ” Useless to mobilize battalions of psychoanalysts on the underlying elements of this muddled response. This is the clear sign of a conflict between the two lines he has set for himself: “total” loyalty to Emmanuel Macron and “total” freedom in public debate. We cannot even exclude that this mess is not in part voluntary. In Édouard Philippe’s favorite series, To the White House, the screenwriter imagines a blunder of the American president captured by an indiscreet microphone. This causes a media stir and saddens his advisers, until he confides in them having done it on purpose, in order to appear genuine and to stir up trouble on his opponent. At this level of sophistication, political communication reaches the rank of major arts. You will tell me that this is all fiction. After all, nothing says that Édouard Philippe was inspired by it. Though. A clue. That same evening, we also heard this in his mouth: “Fiction is a way of describing reality that is more precise than reality itself. “

In the essential fight against discrimination, part of the left is sorely lacking a compass. Bernard Cazeneuve is working to give a new direction, in a column published this week on the site of The cross. Former prime minister worried about the odd “Ideological head-to-tail” which we have been witnessing for a few years: the concept of race, formerly used almost exclusively by the extreme right, is now widely found on the left. We talk about “People of color”, we defend minorities according to the color of skin, against a majority by nature oppressive and unaware of its privileges. Now, writes Bernard Cazeneuve, “The refusal to essentialize people and peoples” is constitutive of the French left, as well as universalism. It is the DNA of a whole family of thought that is in question here. “We do not fight racism and discrimination by separating individuals but by bringing them together. “ That such evidence can be debated today in the ranks of the French left will undoubtedly condemn it for a long time to remain in the opposition.

Life, death, suffering, suicide. Faced with such issues, can we be satisfied with a parliamentary niche Euthanasia has returned this week in the news on the occasion of the examination of a bill brought by the group Freedoms and Territories. By obtaining a majority in the Social Affairs Committee, this formation of 18 elected officials imposed, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, a debate in the hemicycle on active assistance in dying for “Any capable and adult person, in the advanced or terminal phase of a serious and incurable disease”. Ahead of the vote, 272 deputies gave their support, by co-signing a platform in the JDD (1). This is 17 less than the absolute majority in the Assembly. Opponents are reduced to playing the clock: they respond to this lightning war with a battle of amendments, to prevent a vote from being held. Nothing glorious on either side. But could it be otherwise? What should we expect when, without an impact study, against the opinion of the National Consultative Ethics Committee (2), against the opinion of part of the medical profession, the elected representatives of the nation find themselves summoned to settle in one afternoon a case that is the result of an anthropological and civilizational rupture? We don’t debate these things that way. And even less at that time. Whatever the result of the vote – unknown at the time of closing this column – honesty should lead everyone to recognize that such a subject deserves better than a break-in adoption, in a country disoriented by a year of epidemic.


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