Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Cabinet and other Government posts accepted 

Yes it has happened – shock offers of government places for people outside the governing party. And they have been taken up. Result – possible disruption for the opposition parties and movements involved.

The Government of France of course, not Irn Broon’s still-fantasy front bench.

President Sarkovsky appointed François Fillon as Prime Minister and they have announced 33 ‘Government Appointments’. The oddities are:

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner (previously a Socialist party member). Founder of two NGOs : Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde)

In favour of military interventions – he backed the Iraq invasion of 2003. So just as Blair stands down France finally gets a Foreign Minister who thinks Bush and Blair were right… what does this mean for Brown’s upcoming foreign policy wriggle room?

Apparently Koucher left MSF and founded MDM because MSF finally couldn’t stomach his repeated manipulations in favour of whatever side France supported in various wars.

He was head of the UN Administration in Kosovo ( so Paddy may have had dealings with him during his stint as Bosnia proconsul)

Minister of Defence Hervé Morin (The New Centre Party). Former supporter of Bayrou who abandoned him and set up a ‘centre within the government majority’ party.

Secretary of State to Ministry of Foreign and European affairs Jean-Marie Bockel (up to now a ‘Socialist’, current Mayor of Mulhouse). The entire government foreign policy team therefore is made up of former ‘Left party’ members, but of course under the 5th Republic setup Foreign Affairs are very much the prerogative of the President.

Secretary of State to Prime Ministers Office Eric Besson (Former socialist, quit PS when Royale became Presidential candidate and published hatched job book on her).

Secretary of State to Urban Affairs ministry Fadela Amara ( Formerly a Socialist local councillor. Founder of the organisation Ni Putes ni Soumisesneither whores nor doormats). She is campaigner for the rights of women of foreign origin. Her Cabinet Minister is a raving homophobe who literally brandishes a Bible in parliamentary debates. Should be interesting.

High Commissioner for anti-Poverty initiatives Martin Hirsch (President of the Emmaus Organisation) What this job involves only time will tell.

Minister of Environment. Jean-Louis Borloo (party –a regional ‘radical’ one from the Ventois) Minister of State for the environment, development and ‘sustainable strategies’. An emergency appointment as the governing party member (Juppé) expected to take this on lost his seat and resigned). May be sacrificial lamb for fights on Green issues. This ministry was set up specifically for Juppé to be a super-department on the Deputy Prime Minister lines so like the home life of our own dear Prescott, crossed with the power trade-off from the original Blair-Brown deal. So Borloo may have been selected as expendable when this ministry is gutted. May not be good news for effective global warming policies despite Sarkovsky's verbal commitments to these.

Quite a mash here! The President's own party may not be entirely pleased, so many big jobs going down the wrong pans. More, much more on Eurotrib.

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