Quelle suprise! Edouard Philippe ‘warns of high hopes’ over national debate . Old Socialist yawns

Headline: French PM hails 2-month national debate but warns of high hopes

Sub-headline: Edouard Philippe says 500,000 took part in exercise held in response to ‘gilets jaunes’ protests

Its easy to see that Macron is a complete political amateur, a canny pol would have led with the Great Debate proposal in his initial campaign, allied to the notion of necessary reforms: the usual Neo-Liberal gambit of platitudes in service to political obfuscation. Reform is a term of art for Neo-Liberalization. But the manipulation must be carefully disguised: Obama is the perfect example of this genre of political manipulation. He passed himself off as a ‘Progressive’, with the help of fellow traveler Arianna Huffington and her platform of The Huffington Post.

What got in the way of Macron was his arrogance: Jupertarian Politics and his initial rule by decree. The 36.5 % of voters, who rendered their ballots spoiled or otherwise uncountable, didn’t register as potential threat to his reform agenda. Another politically clueless énarque? The thought occurs , how would Thatcherite François Fillon have waged his campaign?

As reported in the pages of The Financial Times, Macron’s English language propaganda headquarters. A selection of quotations:

But Mr Philippe admitted it would be hard to meet popular expectations after the debate, which was launched by President Emmanuel Macron in January as a response to weeks of gilets jaunes demonstrations in towns across France.

Mr Macron said the debate would allow the creation of a “new contract for the nation”, and guide the policies of the government and legislators at home and abroad.

Although derided by some gilets jaunes as a pointless distraction, the national debate has so far been a political success for Mr Macron, whose standing in the opinion polls has recovered to about where it stood before the first protest in November.

Mr Philippe said the proposals centred on four main issues: “an immense exasperation over taxation”; a sense of isolation and abandonment in parts of France with less access to public services; a demand for more democracy; and a realisation of a global “climate emergency”, for which people were prepared to change their behaviour.

“We must lower taxes and we must lower them quicker,” Mr Philippe said.


The central dogma of Neo-Liberalism is the destruction of the Welfare Sate by means of Austerity. The expression of a political nihilism, that places the welfare of The Market, as the sine qua non of a redefined State Capitalism.

Old Socialist



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.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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