Same old elite? Macron’s ‘revolution’ fails with fed up French
Jean-Baptiste Moreau, a farmer who splits his time between parliament and his cow sheds, thought he would be part of the solution to France’s political problems when he was elected.
The 41-year-old won a seat in parliament in June 2017 in what some commentators termed a “velvet revolution” led by President Emmanuel Macron, which saw grumpy voters turf out a whole generation of MPs from the country’s main political parties.
Macron’s victorious centrist movement filled half its parliamentary seats with people who had never held political office before, including Moreau, who posted a picture on Twitter of himself delivering a calf on Christmas Day.
But less than two years after the biggest turnover in political personnel in 60 years, France has faced another anti-elite revolt led by “yellow vest” protesters commanding widespread public support.
“Given the weight of the legislative agenda, we’ve been very busy in the parliament and in Paris and not on the ground enough explaining how we want to do politics differently,” Moreau said in an interview.
“And perhaps we’ve not been different enough from our predecessors,” the MP from the central Creuse region told AFP in what he called a “mea culpa”.
The failure of Macron’s bid to restore faith in politicians in France could have repercussions in a country where anti-establishment far-right and far-left parties have never been so popular.
Research published last week by the Cevipof political institute at Sciences Po university found more than two thirds of the French people still had overwhelmingly negative views of politicians.