Bayrou's Revolutionnary Centrism

At last a balanced portrait of Bayrou in the foreign press and it came from Germany's Der Spiegel. The other two portraits in the NYT and the Economist, the latter didn't see fit to print the interview in its entirety, were unfair and mostly depicting Bayrou from the usual global corporate interests and the US external perspectives on French politics.

I didn't develop my own perspective of Bayrou yet on this blog and I will do it sometimes before the first round but what strikes me in the man is his consistency and his coherence. He is not a shifter, 'quelqu'un qui retourne sa veste' as we say in French. He is a realist and a real centrist. He also had the gut to proclaim the end of partisan politics. We all know that, faced with huge challenges, nations could not afford partisan politics, that partisan politics exist only as a smokescreen to attract votes and to ensure power for old political formations incapable of self reformation.

At least Bayrou does not have to invent the third way he has been following it since he started his political carreer.


Wolfie said...

This man sounds a little too much like our Mr. Blair, a man whom I suspected of being a false prophet from the start.

Media savvy. Centrist left. Third way.

The reality is I think that no European politician can deliver a third way, the constraints of a globalized economy make it an impossibility and he probably knows it. This alone makes him a dangerous liar.

Social mobility in the UK is dead, the middle-classes are up to their ears in debt and state institutions such as the NHS are in a worse state than they ever were under a cost-cutting conservative leadership.

France should not be seduced by the Anglo-Saxon mirage of wealth; they would enjoy Blairism less than us I suspect.

Sophia said...


I agree with you on Blairism. However I think that of the three first candidates, Bayrou is the least close to blairism. Ségolène for instance has declared on many occasions her admiration for Tony Blair.
The difficulty I think in portraying Bayrou is that he is a purely French phenomenon. I will provide a protrait of him soon. I am going to vote for him and I think he is no liar like Blair.

Sophia said...

And to portray Bayrou as 'left' is a great mistake. The man comes from the party of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (VGD), even though his party, the UDF, moved more to the center than at the time of VGD when it was at the right of the Gaullist party, presently the party of Sarkozy, UMP.

Behemoth101 said...

on an unrelated subject:

Sophia, you are always welcome to correct my French when you can. I greatly appreciate your help in my expressing myself in "la belle langue". I only hope the task isn't too much of a burden on you...

Sophia said...

You are most welcome.

jij said...

Sophia, I share your horror towards Sarkozy. But I am really interested in your views of Bayrou. I don’t follow French politics too much, but I seem to remember from the last elections that Bayrou was just your typical right-wing candidate. In fact I recall very clearly that his poll numbers surged towards the end because he slapped a little kid who was misbehaving in a demonstration (Les Gignols sure had fun with that one :) ). But does he really have something to offer (a third way)?

Sophia said...


I opted for Bayrou for different reasons, the main one being the man more than the politician. There is some political correctness toward slapping kids. Sometimes, it is just a way of affirming physical authority. I am not excusing but I have my views on this which I developped on my other blog. I will send you by email the adress of the other blog. I don't wich to publish it here.

I will be writing on Bayrou soon.

jij said...

Ok Sophia, shall await your post on Bayrou.
Thanks for the link :)

Since March 29th 2006