So, Michel Rocard, ex-French prime minister and scurge of Mitterand and populist socialism, has died aged 85.
No Tony Blair, he tried to lug French socialism out of its dogmatic Marxism and into the nirvana of social democracy. He largely failed, but acolytes Manuel Valls and Emmanuel Macron today may bring forward bold fruit. At last. Enfin.
In any case, France, like Pandora’s box, has only hope left. It could have been so different.
And Corbynistas beware,
“Politics, he reflected last October, was a cruel world. “It’s like entering the jungle,” he told the FT. “It’s a job for savages” in which one “can get a beating”. Still, pondering Mr Macron’s political ambitions, he welcomed the fact that the economy minister as well as Mr Valls would seek to continue his work. The fight to transform the left was unfinished business, Rocard made clear.
“The unease created by the left is due to an excess of Marxism that has made it unable to understand what was going on,” he told the FT. “The battle is far from being won.”