Sunday, October 10, 2010


Emma Jane Kirby on Sarkozy (*), with maybe the first reference in English media to "peoplisation", a term widely used in French to refer to the celebrity culture taking hold of political life. Derived from, but not to be confused with, the people (le peuple). This page contains most of the points made in the broadcast, but not the one about peoplisation. * Le News, C'est Moi, Wed 6 Oct 2010 20:45, BBC Radio 4

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Bernard Kouchner - "l'ouverture a vécu"

6 Oct 2010 - According to this evening's news on France Inter, Bernard Kouchner is on his way out. Le Nouvel Observateur is publishing a draft letter of resignation from August, in which Kouchner complains of being humiliated: he has been more and more sidelined, as Presidential advisers have been sent on "sensitive" missions (to Damascus, for example), without Kouchner even being informed.
As the report puts it, this example of ouverture, it seems, "a vécu" (has had its day). Kouchner is likely to be replaced in Sarkozy's upcoming reshuffle.

This morning, "a few lines" from the Quai d'Orsay, in which Kouchner affirms his loyalty to the government. But all on the French political scene seem to assume this is "la fin de l'ouverture".

Bernard Guetta comments (mp3 file)
Bernard Kouchner est une très grande figure du 20ième siècle, la sorte d’hommes dont l’Eglise fait des Saints...
Update (11 Oct.): I had noticed, even before this news, that Kouchner seemed to have been very much in the background for a while now. I had not heard him give a major interview for the last year or two. Maybe that was just a function of what I happen to hear. Or because France is so turned in on itself, or at least not much concerned with anything beyond Europe - occasionally some discussion about the Nato involvement in Afghanistan (vaguely hostile, as in Britain, though France is losing far fewer soldiers there).

Incidentally, looking back at the last time I blogged about Kouchner, it now seems there was a "double genocide" of Rwandan Hutus who fled the country (into Zaire / the DRC) being killed in the years that followed 1994.

Correction (13 Oct) : I was wrong to say ' "double genocide" in Rwanda, with Hutus being killed..'