[eng] Manuel Valls and the assembly of dissidents

Article published on May 10, 2014
Article published on May 10, 2014

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Dissident or not? The saving of 50 billion euros  that Manuel Valls asked the assembly to vote has revealed dissonances within the party in power as 41 of the socialists did not align themselves with the newly appointed Prime Minister. Let us see how dissidence takes place in Europe.

Who were those so­cial­ist MPs who did not con­form with Manuel Valls on Tues­day, May 29? Who were those ab­stain­ers who seized the op­por­tu­nity to air their op­po­si­tion? Let us seize the op­por­tu­nity too and have a closer look at dis­si­dence around Eu­rope. 

Ma­nuel Valls "takes on" his pol­icy. The "dis­si­dents" does not.

Al­most every other lan­guage of our old world has a word to name those who defy the ideas within their own party, with more or less strength . First, the Ital­ians, who are highly ex­pe­ri­enced in deal­ing with dis­si­dent politi­cians,  also call them "frondisti". Even if they can be eas­ily un­destood, two of Sil­vio Berlus­coni's sup­port­ers let him down when he was still prime Min­is­ter to cre­ate their own party, or to rally oth­ers. A good ex­am­ple can be Gi­an­franco Fini, a dis­si­dent within the Peo­ple of Lib­erty party, he ral­lied the Fu­ture and Lib­erty move­ment (barely alive today), and thus be­tray­ing the Cav­a­liere party, which gladly re­tal­i­ated with in­crim­i­nat­ing press cam­paigns.

 An­ge­lino Al­fano too be­trayed his men­tor by re­fus­ing to be a mem­ber of the new party "Forza Italia" be­fore form­ing a coali­tion with politi­cians on the left . An op­por­tunist? Maybe. « Fron­disti » ? No doubt. 

More pic­turesquely, in Eng­land, they change sides. The dis­si­dents are called "turn­coats" and Prime Min­is­ter David Ca­me­ron saw quite a few changes of sides es­pe­cially in Au­gust 2013 when he wished to take ac­tion in Syria.

While the Spaniards, who are log­i­cal, use the word « contes­ta­ta­rio », the Ger­mans use the word« devia­tio­nist», « Ab­wei­chler ». It is a very good syn­ony­mous for "dis­si­dent" , but tinged with a slight Stal­in­ist con­no­ta­tion, the« devia­tionists » ini­tially being those who op­posed the com­mu­nist regime. When you know what happened to them, we are deeply re­lieved that Manuel Valls's plan has passed, even with a nar­row mar­gin.