The violent settlement of scores between the Chechen community and members of a popular Dijon neighborhood. The murder of a bus driver in the city of Bayonne, victim of a brutal beating for demanding that a group of young people wear their masks. The fist attack of the mayor of Chalifert by a disgruntled neighbor with a parking space. These are some of the events that, over the last few months, have featured on the covers and monopolized the ‘prime time’ of French televisions. From the media plane, violence has passed to the political arena, becoming the new macronista obsession.
“You have to stop the savagery of a part of society& rdquor ;, stated Gérald Darmanin in an interview with the newspaper ‘Le Figaro ‘on July 24, three weeks before becoming Minister of the Interior. Since then, security has become his ‘leitmotif’. To rescue France from its “savage & rdquor; drift – a term that raises blisters among his fellow ranks – Darmanin promised to publish, starting next October, the monthly violence figures. “The fight against drugs, the numbers of marital, intra-family and sexual violence, the hours of patrol […] immigration and asylum & rdquor ;, would constitute the main epigraphs of its security tool.
His language and his strategy are reminiscent of the person in charge of the same portfolio between 2005 and 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy, nicknamed at that time “Monsieur Seguridad & rdquor ;. In 2006, Sarkozy put in place a counting system similar to that promoted by Darmanin. Based on the figures, this device led to “a derives in the control of the registry of complaints& rdquor ;, estimated in 2013 the General Administration Inspectorate (IGA), pointing out that about 130,000 crimes were volatilized between 2007 and 2012 throughout the French territory.
Tested the ineffectiveness of this toolWhy take it up again? “If France is sick, we must take his temperature. I don’t know any other way to do it than by collecting the & rdquor; numbers, Darmanin justified himself.
But this is not the only question that questions the Executive’s strategy: To what extent has violence increased to become a priority in the midst of the health crisis? Is security an urgent issue or a strategic factor for 2022? “Insecurity will be a essential theme in the next presidential election & rdquor ;. Behind this phrase is neither Macron nor his Interior Minister, but Marine Le Pen. In recent weeks, the leader of the far-right formation Reagrupamiento Nacional (RN) has multiplied her attacks against the president, who is, in her opinion, “incapable of managing the situation […] allowing insecurity to install & rdquor ;.
The same discourse is repeated within the conservative party Los Republicanos (LR): “The black hole of the five-year period is that a general disorder has been installed in the country on security, immigration, secularism and, more generally, the crisis of authority& rdquor ;, launched in Twitter Bruno Retailleau, leader of the formation in the Senate, on August 22.
Is there such a mess? Between May and July, more than 69,000 cases of deliberate assault were registered, an increase of 21% compared to the previous quarter, according to the statistics service of the Interior Ministry. However, the figure could be misleading since the preceding months correspond to confinement. “There is no more interpersonal violence in today’s society than there was 20 or 30 years ago, there is even less […] There are little ups and downs […] but is globally stable& rdquor ;, warns over and over again in the French media Laurent Mucchielli, a sociologist specializing in security issues and urban violence.
Be that as it may, the reinforcement of security appears today at the center of the macronist strategy, to such an extent that the first government seminar after the summer break was dedicated to the matter, accompanied by the bill against separatism. A reform “to prevent certain groups from closing in on ethnic or religious affiliations & rdquor ;, as Prime Minister Jean Castex explained, which will require“ associations to create a compromise contract with secularism& rdquor ;, detailed the Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Marlène Schiappa.
Macronism thus recovers the vast agenda of the right and the extreme right. According a recent poll, 70% of French society would agree that acts of violence in the country are increasingly “savage”, a rate that rises to 83% among the voters of the National Regrouping and to 85% among the supporters of Los Republicanos and La República en Marcha. The project against separatism would have the approval of 76% of the French, receiving massive support from the conservative electorate.
In the midst of a health crisis and with a bleak economic outlook, Macron has managed to divert attention and quietly launch his campaign strategy. A new example of his expertise as a strategist for media seduction.