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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Bye bye Delphine Batho and the end of government gender parity

Well wasn't that a brave decision by the French president François Hollande and his prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault?

Sacking the ecology and energy minister Delphine Batho, because she dared to criticise departmental cuts in next year's budget - seven per cent in a sector to which the governnment is supposedly politically committed.

Delphine Batho (screenshot from RTL interview)

Bravo M le President and M. le Prime Minister.

You've proven yourselves to be well in control of the situation

Just as you were when former budget minister Jérôme Cahuzac lied to you, parliament and the media about his financial holdings abroad and tax fraud allegations.

How long did it take you get rid of of him?

Weeks.

You were the masters of inaction.

Just as you were when the ever-effective and "maverick" minister for industrial renewal Arnaud Montebourg was quoted as having criticised Ayrault and accusing him of running the government as though it were a municipal council with that infamous, "Tu fais chier la terre entière avec ton aéroport de Notre-Dame-des-Landes, tu gères la France comme le conseil municipal de Nantes."

What happened?

Ayrault confirmed what had been said and then did...diddly squat.

Your interior minister Manuel Valls - not exactly reticent about his ambitions to replace Ayrault at some point - decided it was time to say what he thought, namely that if he had been prime minister he would have sacked Montebourg.

What was your reaction?

Silence.

And when housing minister (and leading Green party member) Cécile Duflot criticised Valls' treatment of the Roma, how did you react?

By doing nothing, apart from letting Ayrault call a meeting to smooth over differences.

Ah yes, but Montebourg and Valls both have some standing in the party don't they.?

And they were, M Hollande, your opponents in the first round of primaries to choose the Socialist party candidate in the 2012 presidential elections which you finally won.

Both men and Duflot are heavyweight "untouchables". You need them apparently.

Not so Batho, plucked from almost nowhere and with very few allies - not even her former mentor Ségolène Royal who had openly criticised her in recent weeks.

An easy target and one providing you with the opportunity to flex your presidential and prime ministerial muscles to show just how in charge you both are...NOT.

Oh yes and just to reinforce how unwavering you are to your professed principles, who did you appoint to replace Batho?

Philippe Martin - a man, just in case you needed reminding. Thereby ensuring there was no longer gender parity within the government.

But of course, there aren't enough women around to fill the post are there?

Bravo

Such consistent and firm leadership.


Delphine Batho : "Le budget 2014 est mauvais" par rtl-fr

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