January was draped in an impenetrable blanket of gray. And the politicians, they hatch a hell of a blues. The health crisis, which never ceases to last, cut them off from their fuel: the people, and the games, the heat of public meetings and the debates of ideas.
But now, all that is over. The Covid swallows everything – and this is sadly normal – but the elected officials no longer digest it. “We can’t talk about anything. The coronavirus is crushing everything. An atomic bomb would fall that we wouldn’t find five minutes to talk about, joking, bitter, Marine Le Pen in private. When you love politics, you are unhappy… ”.
Another RN executive, who was asked for the menu of the next political office: “I don’t know what we’re going to be able to talk about? Bah of sanitary… ”. Forced laugh. And those who trample in the pre-presidential starting blocks, chewing on the ideas they would like to see leap and bounce in the agora. “We are not audible”, we hear everywhere. “Any exit from a proposal would be useless today and would be lost,” says one of the most senior officials on the left. A phase of glaciation.
“I am no longer fed, I am dried up!”
This beginning of the year is also traditionally that of the vows, which the elected officials string together all month. The humidity of a village hall on a January evening for ceremonies sprinkled with pancakes and sparkling wine, which they flood with bursts of handshakes and a little well-felt speech. “We have a drink with the population, we discuss. We learn things, we know what is happening in a city, a village, list Fabien Roussel, boss of the PCF and deputy of the North. With the crisis, we no longer see people, associations, we are deprived of arrests, rants! I am no longer fed, I am dried up! “
“I’m not depressed! But I like to touch people, strike a kiss, have a drink. So there, I’m downright punished! », Bounces the president (LR) of the South region, Renaud Muselier.
“I will not take the 5 kilos that I usually take in January, especially because of the frangipane in general …”, philosopher the deputy (LR) of Lot, Aurélien Pradié, yet lacking, too. “What I miss the most is the bistro, the restaurant, the places where people meet. We never dig as much into a subject as when we see people “, continues Pradié, who despairs, like a good Chiraquian,” to shake hands with people “again.
Mayor of Saint-Vallier (Drôme), PS spokesperson Pierre Jouvet is also chomping at the bit. “Normally, every morning, it’s 30 minutes in the bistro to have my coffee, chat, listen to people. We can feel the subjects rising, before everyone else, ”he assures us.
Zinc has given way to … video
But now, the followers of zinc had to convert to the religion of videoconferencing. “It’s colder”, loose Jouvet, to whom it happens to chain whole days of these meetings by interposed screens. “We inflict the ugly table on you at the colleague’s, or the one who gets up to go take a piss thinking that no one is watching”, grumbles a deputy, who flees them as much as possible. When others find it interesting, despite everything.
“To the vows, people do not come for the speeches, but for the cocktail! While in video, whoever comes, he is there to listen, “tempers Renaud Muselier. It makes it possible to reach more people, more easily. “I would never have been able to tour 100 LR federations in physics”, is satisfied Christian Jacob, president of LR, even if his party has “the culture of the meeting”.
Without shying away from the video, some are looking for a solution. In the absence of wishes, the deputy (LR) for Aisne, Julien Dive, organizes meetings with the municipal councils of his constituency. “And in each city, I visit a company or an association. It’s different from usual, but I’m keeping my little riding road trip ”.
Among the Communists, “we are making resistance!” »Argues Fabien Roussel. “Clandestine” meetings with associations are organized “to prepare solidarity actions, for example”. But always, we certify the elected representative of the North, with respect for the barrier gestures, promised.