At The Financial Times: Gideon Rachman postulates an unmerciful Macron. A comment by Political Observer

The political present and the immediate future look bleak for the Mrs. May, her only allies being those Northern Ireland political romantics, who think they can turn back time, and their belief in the benighted erosions that rule the modern world. Mrs. May’s backward looking politics is founded first on bourgeois respectable politics, that masks the ugly Oakshottian dimension of the loathing of The Political/Moral Other as utterly unworthy. Mr. Rachman chooses to ignore this part of the present reality and focuses on the one bright light in the political present: Macron and his En Marche.

We now have strong and stable leadership — but in France, not Britain. Theresa May, Britain’s prime minister, will enter the Brexit negotiations gravely weakened after the UK general election. By contrast, Emmanuel Macron, France’s president, is poised to emerge from legislative elections with the huge parliamentary majority that Mrs May once dreamt of.

‘We now have strong and stable leadership — but in France, not Britain.‘: now substitute ‘we now have stable Neo-Liberal leadership’ in the above sentence and Mr. Rachman’s assertion would be a better reflection of his actual loyalties. Although the ‘Speed and Shock’ of Fillon would be Rachman’s actual choice, but he will settle for the Neo-Liberalism Lite of the Reformer, or is that Political Redeemer?

Those ‘legislative elections’ are about to cement the political victory of En Marche, at least according to The Financial Times. The Political Reform of Macron cannot happen without  legislative power. But what of the Streets? Those pesky ‘Leftists’ will fight Macron’s ‘Reforms’ with ferocity, if the political past is an indicator of the future.

What follows is a long and unsurprising apologetic for the EU comes this pronouncement:

Mr Macron needs to show French voters that leaving the EU will bring only pain. If, at the same time, he can rebuild the Franco-German partnership at the heart of the EU, he might be able to restore the popularity of the European project in France.

But the question remains will the Merkel/Schäuble alliance make way for a ‘real partner’ whose faith is invested in ‘more Europe’ : in a revitalized EU without Britain? Will Macron’s well deserved reputation as a personal and political opportunist eventually sour, a now, merely potential French power sharing  with the Merkel/Schäuble alliance? On the question of Macron’s opportunism, Simon Kuper provides valuable insights that answers some of the pressing questions:

Mr. Rachman’s penultimate paragraph is instructive as to his near trivialization of the possibility of a lasting French/German alliance that references  a book ‘That Sweet Enemy’:

Mr Macron is undoubtedly an internationalist. But he is also a president of France and therefore heir to an ancient rivalry with Britain, documented by Robert and Isabelle Tombs (an Anglo-French academic couple), in their 2006 book, That Sweet Enemy. As the Tombs tell it, the histories of both France and Britain have been profoundly influenced by their “love-hate relationship”

I will reference an comment by historian J.G.A. Pocock published in  The London Review of Books that addresses the actual nature of the EU:

Profoundly anti-democratic and anti-constitutional, the EU obliges you to leave by the only act it recognises: the referendum, which can be ignored as a snap decision you didn’t really mean. If you are to go ahead, it must be by your own constitutional machinery: crown, parliament and people; election, debate and statute. This will take time and deliberation, which is the way decisions of any magnitude should be taken.

The Scots will come along, or not, deciding to live in their own history, which is not what the global market wants us to do. Avoid further referendums and act for yourselves as you know how to act and be.

Political Observer



About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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