"The Benalla affair has brought Emmanuel Macron to earth. His promise of a more moral and open system of governing is looking shaky"
Gallier shed some light on this "affair" that was most interesting. I found the Jupiter references... off. Also the use of the word affair was interesting in the headline? Was something other then an incident or an occurrence being hinted at?
"The first big public test of Emmanuel Macron’s presidency might have been expected to come over his reform measures, the French economy, Europe or his relationship with Donald Trump. Instead, 14 months after his election victory, it has emerged from an unexpected direction: one of his bodyguards, Alexandre Benalla, was caught on camera beating two leftwing protesters during a May Day rally while wearing police garb without authorisation"The news of the May beating broke, oddly enough, in the dog days of summer.
"The Elysée Palace may dismiss “l’affaire Benalla” as media hype, but the episode is shaping the way the French view their 40-year-old head of state and is likely to affect his prospects of pushing through his programme to shake up the way the country runs.
As is so often the case, it was not the event itself that caused the crisis but the way the administration reacted. It was slow to sanction Mr Benalla, the president’s most trusted security man, after the story first broke."Was it the news coverage, so curiously timed, that was the cause of the crisis ?
"Mr Macron campaigned on the promise of a new form of governance in contrast to the murky practices at the summit of the Fifth Republic. But given the quasi-monarchical nature of the presidency, the temptation for its occupants to regard themselves as above the law is strong. And it is heightened by court politics bred by the hothouse power system and the premium put on personal loyalty.
When he took office, Mr Macron promised a more moral, open system. He saw the presidency as occupying a “Jupiterian” role above the partisan squabbling that had bedevilled France for so long. Backed by a new party, La République en Marche, he would institute a new form of “exemplary” politics fit for 21st-century purpose."Jupiterian role- which is still mornarchical... considering Jupiter is the King of the Gods- And in my world the "king" is still a monarch. So, really nothing has changed.
"The protection given to Mr Benalla has blown a hole in that pledge. The president is now all too easily depicted as sitting at the hub of a tight web of power where self-protection is the main motive and arrogance reigns.
The succession of revelations and the cack-handed attempts at a cover-up is in sharp contrast to the extraordinary run of good fortune previously enjoyed by Mr Macron. This encouraged the idea that here was the providential political figure that France had needed for so long."fyi- cack is exactly that! It's defecation. Excrement.
"The direct association is with cack, another fine Old English term, for excrement or dung. Cachus was Old English for a privy, and both words come from Latin cacare, to defecate."
"But since the Benalla story broke on July 18, Jupiter has come down to Earth. Though the government easily survived two no-confidence motions on Tuesday, a YouGov poll later in the week put Mr Macron’s popularity at a meagre 27 per cent. He is accused of being out of touch with the concerns of the French at large, and faces criticism not only from the opposition but also from some of the economists who helped to write his election manifesto. They say he appears indifferent to social issues, echoing charges that he is a “president of the rich”.Jupiter has come down to earth? Did Mars come as well? (Read Gallier's comment & you'll get the mars reference)
The Macron system means that everything comes back to him, something he seems to revel in. “If they are looking for the person responsible, it’s me and me alone,” he told members of En Marche of the Benalla affair last month. Such defiance reflects the truth that he operates very much on his own, which can only risk aggravating the already dysfunctional nature of a largely unaccountable presidency.
His prime minister, Edouard Philippe, a little-known provincial politician before he was appointed to the Hôtel Matignon, is earnest and competent but cannot act as a fire guard for the president. Nor, it seems, would Mr Macron wish him — or any other member of the government — to do so. As he moves into a fresh round of reforms, the president may not have the nation’s affection, but he needs its respect and confidence that he is taking it on a fresh course. The Benalla affair has put this in jeopardy.Financial Times is a Brit publication- Are they having a bit of a wink and nudge at this 'affair'
Gallier's comments below: