Sunday, June 05, 2005

Apocalypse Knight

On the morrow of the French "no" to the project for a European Constitution, the French president has reshuffled his whole cabinet. Months too late, he has sent his former prime minister back to his countryside. To lead the government until the next presidential elections, he has called Dominique de Villepin. It could have been far worse.

It could have been Nicolas Sarkozy.

It could have been I-know-it-all-the-social-model-of-Europe-is-doomed, ultra-liberalist, pro-US, populist, authoritarian Nicolas Sarkozy.

Nicolas Sarkozy would have been the daring, bright, extremely dangerous choice. Naming him prime minister might have weakened him, unmade him for the presidential election, but only if Jacques chirac could give him free reign to lead his destructive policies, and force him to remain as prime minister until the time of the election--to remain until his politics had time to show their terrible effects and the character of Sarkozy lost his hold on people held in thrall by the honeyed words of the populist he is. I doubt Jacques Chirac would have managed to force him to keep his post until the election. And if Nicolas Sarkozty had been allowed to leave his position of prime minister a year before the election, claiming he had no means to lead his policies, the situation would have left him a winner, and a virtual president for France.

The gods and goddesses know I NEVER want to see Nicolas Sarkozy in power. The man is everything I reject, all that revolts me. He would destroy our social model--or give anything to do it anyway.

But the dice have rolled, the advisors have spoken, and Dominique de Villepin is the new French prime minister.

A Knight in Shining Armor.



A striking figure, Dominique de Villepin is a perfect hero of shoujo manga. Slim and tall, eloquent, with a beautiful deep voice, he's also smart and the ideal herald for Europe. All of us felt our hearts beating with pride on the day he spoke out at the UN stronghold in New York city, refusing to go to war in Irak.

Of course, if Jacques Chirac had really wanted to show he understood the significance of his failure to get a "yes" in the referendum, he's simply have resigned from his post and called for presidential elections on the spot. Or he'd have dismissed the parliament and called for legislative elections on the spot. But then, he could hardly do that. No matter how he's been trying to say Europe is of the utmost importance, still Jacques Chirac, his party and others are just as bad as some voters: in truth they only focus on the domestic issues. Europe is a simple tool, a convenient scapegoat when things go wrong.

Sick of the unemployment rates?

Sick of taxes?

Sick of companies closing down and leaving for Poland or Roumania so they can hire wrokers for virtually nothing and quarduple their profits?

Well, blame Europe, of course. It's not their fault--no, how could it be? After all, they're the ones sitting at Europe's negociations tables, they're the ones bowing down to ultra-liberalist policies, or they're the one shaping them!

I find myself in a weird position right now. I am a left-wing union representative, and yet here I am, watching Dominique de Villepin, and dreaming of Knights in Shining Armor.

Of nobles in castles of old.

Of kings and princes of long ago.

I find myself hoping this brilliant figure can somehow stand strong and steady, and resist the irrepressible assaults that Nicolas Sarkozy is bound to make on his government. Nicolas Sarkozy, named minister of Interior and number two in the government, a virtual prime minister in the shadows.

A bitter enemy of Dominique de Villepin, who will stop to nothing to thwart whatever attempt Dominique de Villepin to salvage a hopeless situation. For, make no mistake, Nicolas Sarkozy will move, he will act and if he can, he will destroy everything we stand for.

Nicolas Sarkozy cares nothing for us, the only thing driving him is his all-devouring ambition. He will stoop as low as it takes, he will betray anyone and anything for power. In contrast, Dominique de Villepin has accepted the mission to lead a doomed government, a fact that will certainly bar him from the possibility of competing during the next presidential race.

So, while the political elite indeed seems oblivious to the landslide that had triggered the massive "no" to the project of European Constitution, while they seem oblivious to the primeval importance of that result and its significance--while they seem oblivious that this time it's not governments, prime ministers or presidents who say "no" to Europe but whole populations

Well, at least the proud silouhette of Dominique de Villepin is now leading the French government.

A Knight of Ancient Times...sigh.

I've always had a weak spot for noble figures, for kings and princes and knights. So I wish you good luck, Mr. De Villepin. May you stand steady and strong in the storm. May you find success on your path of opposition to Nicolas Sarkozy's rise in power.

I find some consolation in the knoweldge that Dominique de Villepin is fiercely attached to the European model and values. Some hate him because he belongs to the great, ancient families of France and to the intellectual elite, but I say enough with this stupid low-level thinking. Why hate and brand people as elite? Those who do so only need to work for it, to reach out. No, you can't become a billionaire with simple effort, but you can learn, and become a member of any intellectual elite, if only you condescend to use your mind and make it work.

Then, I find some measure of comfort and amusement at the thought of the temper tantrums and outbursts that must have taken place at the White House upon the nomination of Dominique de Villepin as prime minister. My, poor Bush administration, how that must rankle. I think I can even find a bit of compassion for you...

At least, Dominique de Villepin will fight for our values. Even if the question of Europe gets back to the shadows for a time, at least he won't start unmaking everything.

So, yeah, give me Dominique de Villepin. I'll choose him everytime over a greedy minion of the heartless, inhuman financial interests who are busy killing the blue planet we call earth.

Give me a Knight in Shining Armor.

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