The French call it "ministerial reshuffling". Nicolas Sarkozy has removed some ministers, and moved others to new functions. Those removed from the government include two Muslim women - Fadela Amara and Rama Yade. The former, an Algerian, in charge of urban affairs, initiated various programs for the ghettos; the latter, of Senegalese origin, having been removed from her position in the Foreign Ministry and given a consolation prize as minister of Sports, had numerous disagreements with Sarkozy, and has finally been dismissed.Nicolas Sarkozy hired these women to show his devotion to diversity; he is now letting them go to show his devotion to getting re-elected.The indispensable Michelle Alliot-Marie began under Sarkozy as Interior Minister, went on to become Minister of Justice and now is Foreign Minister. (In the photo at the top she receives the keys to her new office from Bernard Kouchner.) Ex-Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has departed, having tendered his resignation before he could be fired. He claims he could no longer tolerate the humiliations from the president's advisers. Alain Juppé, who is also mayor of Bordeaux, returns to the government as Minister of Defense. He had been briefly in Sarkozy's first cabinet, but lost the legislative election in 2007, and withdrew from his ministry, under orders from Sarkozy. He now holds the two posts of mayor and minister and insists he can do both well.Both Alliot-Marie and Juppé have been given the honorary title of Minister of State.The new Minister of Justice is Michel Mercier, a "centrist" of whom I know nothing. In the photo below he receives the keys to the office of the Minister of Justice from Alliot-Marie.Brice Hortefeux retains his title of Interior Minister, and is also in charge of immigration, replacing Eric Besson.The position of Minister of Immigration and National Identity no longer exists, Immigration now being part of the Interior Ministry. As for National Identity... It looks as if Sarkozy has had enough of that thorny issue. And as for Eric Besson, he is now working in the Ministry of Finance under Christine Lagarde.Jean-Louis Borloo (photo below), ex-Minister of Ecology, has been removed, possibly because the whole green movement, including global warming, ran into some rough waters in recent months. When he left he was greeted and applauded by his supporters. Apparently he had been offered other posts by Sarkozy but turned them down.Several ministers will stay put, including Frédéric Mitterand, notorious for his pedophilia that was the talk of the websites last year. Christine Lagarde, who promoted Islamic finance, is still Minister of Finance.Roselyne Bachelot, who as Minister of Health made some disastrous decisions including the purchase of large quantities of vaccine that no one used, is now in charge of Solidarity and Social Cohesion (I still don't know what that means), while Nadine Morano, who was in charge of the Family, is now Minister of Apprenticeships and Professional Training in the Ministry of Labor and Health. The Catholic websites were quick to point out that there is no longer a minister in charge of the Family. I say it's just as well considering the leftist and often unethical positions that Morano adopted - promotion of gay marriage, gay parents, etc... The latest news on the French family is that the number of single-parent families has ballooned.François Fillon is still Prime Minister, despite rumors that would either walk out or be replaced.There are many other changes, but I would rather take them as they come in the daily events. Anyone living in France has access to this information. If you know a bit of French you can go to Les 4 Vérités for a complete list.There is also a series of articles in Le Figaro for those who read French.The real question is "What does it all mean?" My answer is "nothing", because for the next year and a half, Nicolas Sarkozy will work harder than ever to prove his credentials as a "conservative", as a man of the "Right". And while he is doing that he will also work at preventing anything resembling authentic conservative doctrines from gaining a foothold in the functioning of the government. Here is an editorial from Les 4 Vérités:The reshuffling promised long ago has at last happened. If the main figures from the policy of openness to the Left, such as Rama Yade, have paid the price, we still cannot speak of a movement to the Right.The truth is that those arriving and those returning, like Alain Juppé or Xavier Bertrand, have no particular commitments to the Right, nor do they have a culture oriented to the Right. This reshuffling is just a redistribution of roles to the obedient and politically correct members of the UMP party.There is no Gérard Longuet or Alain Madelin to remind us that the government parties can include activists of the national right. (...)Nor is there Philippe de Villiers who said he hoped to devote all his energies to national politics. As for the Front National, not even a whisper or a contact.Nicolas Sarkozy, therefore, will continue to act as if he were able to satisfy right-wing voters with a few words on immigration and chosen ministers who will never stand to the right of the president.Openness to the Right is not for now!Note: I'm almost relieved that Philippe de Villiers was not appointed. At least a window of possibility is still open for him.The message from the Front National is very similar:The reshuffling that has just been effectuated left the French people breathless. Six months of media talk and here we are with the same ministers and a continuation of policies that have been rejected by two-thirds of the French people. What nerve! What consistency in his tone-deaf perceptions of politics! (...)Happily going back on his promise to be a "full-time mayor of Bordeaux", like all promises made by the UMP, Alain Juppé enters a government in shreds, with nothing to show except unemployment, public debt, lower purchasing power, crime, immigration, etc...With these dinosaurs returning, the French have nothing to hope for.Only a real political change that turns its back on European technocracy and globalism, which are destroying our jobs, our economy and our sovereignty, can give back to the French people hope and control over their destiny.Only the Front National has the courage and the political will to implement such a program for the people.Note: I have written before about Alain Juppé, his tendency to accumulate important posts, and his close collaboration with the Muslims of Bordeaux. Juppé was instrumental in helping to build a mosque in Bordeaux, and claims to have good relations with the imam - a man known for his connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.Here are a few comments from Famille Chrétienne about the removal of Nadine Morano as Minister of the Family, and about the termination of the position itself:"We are delighted with this decision!" cried Georges Coste ironically, president of the Union of Families in Europe. "At least it clarifies the situation. The ministry of the Family never ceased tearing apart family policies in France. Now, we are going to have to fight, and we will fight!"The article goes on to say that Morano showed little enthusiasm for traditional family programs such as benefits for large families, but that she was favorable towards:(...) surrogate mothers, gay adoption. She was not really on the same wave length as the vast majority of family associations. "Nadine Morano constantly tried to please all kinds of lobbies, and especially the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Association" explains Béatrice Bourges, president of the Collectif pour l'enfant (an association for the protection of children.)Note: There is reason to fear that the Family portfolio will be revived as part of Social Cohesion, under Roselyne Bachelot, not known for her traditional views on anything. This would be a typical Sarkozy maneuver.
Update - November 20: In the original post I listed Nadine Morano as Minister of Health. Actually she is Minister of Apprenticeships and Professional Training, a post that comes under the Ministry of Labor and Health. The Minister in charge is Xavier Bertrand. Her role is that of "vice-minister", or, as the French say, "secretary of State." Individual portfolios are moved around like chess pieces. Health and Labor are two distinct functions, but now they are combined into one ministry.
Labels: Bernard Kouchner, Family Values, Jean-Louis Borloo, Michèle Alliot-Marie, Ministers, Nadine Morano, Roselyne Bachelot