French Far West: don’t let my kindness take you for weakness


The right has no intention that “after Covid” corrects “before” mistakes. Like Macron, he is eager to impose more of the same with just enough tweaks to get the word out. Gerard Larcher, the President of the Senate who is dominated by his The Republicans, the party that goes back to General de Gaulle, said: “We have to rethink the hospital … We have to bring together all the actors … public and private.”

He is quite willing, like Macron, to explore how to restore in France the production of things considered “strategic” as long as it does not go too far by constraining private enterprise. This approach is the reason why the French states continue to have stakes in certain companies like Renault, why Dassault sells a rival war plane to the Eurofighter Typhoon (sales subsidized by guaranteed French military contracts and loan guarantees for foreign buyers), why an Italian state shipbuilder buys half of the shares of a French military shipyard caused trouble a few years ago between Paris and Rome.

But now swinging before a frightened audience the idea that face masks could leak from a new production line in France is not the same as doing it in a year.

Industrial production in China will emerge from the post-Covid-19 starting blocks faster than anywhere else. What will happen in other Asian production areas is not yet clear. If the sun does not kill the virus, India and Bangladesh risk falling into deadly chaos, but those like Malaysia (60% of global production of medical rubber gloves) will fare better. Will the French or European markets be reorganized to the extent that companies and governments will abandon even more intoxicating shots of cheap imports, generating profits and favorable to austerity?

Martin Hirsch, director of the organization that runs hospitals in the capital, was back on the biggest breakfast hour radio show on Monday of week 4 in response to exciting calls from listeners for its role in the reduction of services during the “before”. “All those who lived very, very close are now vaccinated against dogma,” he said. “We have seen the risks of being immobile in a hypercompetitive economy. Yes, I am for leaving dogmas behind. Everyone has to do it. “

The catch is in its last sentence: everyone must give up their dogmas. The French public has already heard it. It was Macron’s mantra during his campaign for the presidency. Neither left nor right, but both.

Alerts, calls, anger and apathy

Personally, we have been very, very close to Covid-19 and the political consequences of Macron’s presence for eight years at the top of the French state. An emergency services ambulance team was in the building the other night. Efficient, precise in their work halfway through a long, long shift, reassuring in their professionalism, their protective equipment was in tatters. “We have not been tested, tests are not available. “

Or take a revealing statistic. In 2008, the French medical safety agency received 44 alerts of an imminent shortage of medicines or actual cut-offs in supplies. In 2018, there were 868. Last summer, a group of prominent doctors called for the preparation of stocks of key medicines and the creation of a non-profit production system across Europe.

The flaws in the wind are not encouraging for such a project. Philippe: “The worst thing when trying to restart the country is to raise taxes.” Maybe so for those who are at the checkouts of supermarkets, who drive long distance trucks with our food or this ambulance, but for those who are at the top? If not, where will the resources come from to achieve what needs to be done now? Then there is the draft plan for the health service of the future prepared at Macron’s request by the Fund deposits and Consignment, the financial and management structure at the heart of the French state. He leaked April Fool’s Day, full of suggestions for broader public-private partnerships in “after coronavirus”. Just like Gerard Larcher wants it.

It is not a one-way debate. Those who have criticized “before” express loudly their hopes for the future, especially those “very, very close” to the virus. Regardless of the party or organization to the left of those in power, the message has been the same. We cannot manage the crisis as we do now. And we cannot allow France to reproduce the mistakes of the past. This sentence comes from a joint call from Greenpeace, Oxfam France, the CGT trade union confederation, feminist groups and others: “Let’s build together a green, democratic, feminist and social future, which breaks with the policy followed until now and with neoconservative disorder. “

The problem for those who want this to happen is that this approach has, on a specific issue after a specific issue, often received overwhelming public support in opinion polls, but has failed to prevail in a way inconclusive to any French government in the past 40 years. . For example, the privatization of Paris airports has frozen the crisis of the virus. A deeply unpopular decision, the privatization law could have been overturned by an official referendum having collected 4,700,000 signatures, one tenth of the electorate. Sufficient support was gathered in Parliament to force the consultation, but after months of public campaigning, it only obtained 1,066,000 signatures by the March 12 closing date. It is on this difficulty for the left that Macron hopes to ward off the anger of the current public and win its bets on the future of France.

Social solidarity

Perhaps. When the air is clear and the temperature right, from the top of our building, you can sometimes see the plumes of steam from the giant incineration centers that serve Paris and its immediate suburbs. In Ivry, just to the east, in Issy-les-Moulineaux in the west and in Saint-Ouen in the northeast, the ovens were shut down for a fortnight on January 23 as part of strikes against the attempt de Macron to abolish the French pension system based on social solidarity. They work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, keeping this vast agglomeration clean. “Anyway, we will do our job,” said a CGT union representative in Issy. “But we can’t always be three feet apart when we handle garbage containers and we don’t have full protective gear.”

The tone of his voice would have said to Macron, if the president had deigned to listen: don’t let my kindness be taken for weakness.

A FINAL NOTE. Rafael Gomez Nieto is one of the victims of the virus. He died in Strasbourg at the end of March. On August 24, 1944, it was on a half-track, with the name Guernica painted on the side. Spanish republican who fought against Franco from the age of 17 and who was interned by French authorities in 1939 after Franco’s victory, he was a soldier in The Nueve, the ninth company of the second armored division of the French free forces. The Nueve, almost all Spanish Republican veterans, was the first unit of the Allied armies to reach the Hôtel de Ville, Paris’s city hall, already in the hands of the Resistance.

It is the prestigious seat of local government in France that Agnès Buzyn, Macron’s former health minister, had hoped to occupy after the elections, Macron forced France to hold in mid-March. She slipped to an ignominious third place. Where Rafael Gomez Nieto was greeted as a liberator, it is more likely to be remembered as an accomplice in the gang that has committed France’s biggest social crime in generations.


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