Pensions and 49.3: the Elisabeth Borne method, compromise in defiance of conviction

Pensions and 493 the Elisabeth Borne method compromise in defiance

Once, twice, three times… Then we stopped counting. “Compromise”, the word seemed to clutter the words of Elisabeth Borne, dispatched this Thursday evening on TF1, to try to extinguish the fire lit by the (almost) unexpected recourse to article 49.3 of the Constitution. Above all, show, shout, that this government is capable of negotiating, of composing. Avoid at all costs the pitfall of Jupiterism: the solitary decision, the one that throws the crowds into the street, for lack of dialogue. But the compromise is not performative, it is not enough to summon it in a speech or a conversation for it to happen and soothe the heated spirits. Above all, the too often invoked compromise has an unflattering side: the collapse of convictions.

By repeating that “the text is the result of a compromise”, by recalling the long “months of consultations with the trade unions”, by expressing its certainty “that it is by finding compromises [décidément] that we can offer the best solutions for the French”, Elisabeth Borne forgot to tell those who this evening had their eyes glued to their television screen, eager to know if they will really have to work until they are 64, the reasons for his deep belief in this pension reform.

Why pushing back the starting age is, according to her, an absolute necessity? What dark future awaits the French if the reform is not passed? So many questions which for months seem to remain unanswered, for lack of political and philosophical reflection on the evolution of the world of work. The pension reform could have been an opportunity for Emmanuel Macron and his government to take up the debates that run through our society, the digital and climate challenges, the new working conditions… Instead, the executive wanted to start with the technique, the figures, to approach, in a second time, which seems more and more distant, this world of work in full upheaval.

A confession that speaks volumes

Join my white plume! But who would have had the folly to follow Henri IV if he had not encouraged his troops by persuading them of his intimate faith in victory? How to support a reform in which the Prime Minister herself forgets to remind that she believes?

During this funny speech, the current tenant of Matignon did not have the audacity to contradict the sometimes utopian speeches of the opposition either. Faced with the dream of a return to retirement at 60 that the left likes to dangle, isn’t there a principle of reality that it could have recalled? “We have moved a lot,” she preferred to testify, and too bad if the supposed LR ally to whom we gave up a lot only did as she pleased. Just Elisabeth Borne dared to be shy: “Some wanted to play a personal card.”

No, now is not the time to stand tall and trust in its reform, otherwise why conclude with this admission: “There are even measures with which I do not necessarily agree”? There is no doubt that the Prime Minister was keen to prove that this government is capable of listening and being malleable. But that’s forgetting a little too quickly that success in politics is always achieved because one has been able to convince.