l’essentiel Sans filtre, la chronique de Mémona Hintermann, grand reporter, ancienne membre du Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel.
Honesty, which country other than France can afford to say goodbye to the king of England and hello to the pope, in the same week… on the same day? And which other country, let’s say renowned instead of great to avoid offending post-colonial sensitivities, can face so many contradictions in its history, while keeping its eyes on the immense challenges that the future presents? Starting with the dangers that threaten its cohesion…
This week, France’s film set scenery was showcased on the global stage. A carousel of France enjoying blue lobster at Louis XIV’s mirror during Clovis’ baptism, which made her the eldest daughter of the Catholic Church. Ouch, clichés! Reducing Charles III’s visit to a story of crazy carriages and bling bling twirling in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles would be foolish in the face of complexity. The same goes for François’ choice of Marseille. Well, the pontiff caused some controversy – not just among traditional Catholics – by presenting himself in his role as head of state, daring to say that he came to Marseille, not France. More political than this statement…
A touch of optimism, however, helps to seize an opportunity from this double visit: the chance to send a unique postcard to the whole world or almost, a golden opportunity embroidered with the old-fashioned glamour of the British crown and the unchanging splendor of France. But at the same time, it is a card full of emoticons echoing the threatening times – fiery red ecology, endless streams of immigrants fleeing poverty, and rampant inflation – all conscious messages of our commitments since 1789 in terms of human dignity.
Without underestimating these worrying subjects, it is not forbidden to consider a positive aspect. To restore the French reputation after the tons of furious images and sounds, fires, and hatred that have tarnished our reputation in the first six months of the year, both Charles III and Pope Francis are great sales representatives. Not only for their influence in the diplomatic circle but also as useful messengers for an increase in cash.
Is it a vulgar subject? Not really. Is the tourism industry in France insignificant? At least 3% of the GDP. The communists and their affiliates are aware of this, just like other schools of thought. They were in the minority when they believed that it was an offense to the national memory to « have a king speak – in the Senate – on September 21st », the anniversary of the decree by the Convention abolishing the monarchy in 1792.
The son of Elizabeth II has had the opportunity to understand the challenges faced by his contemporaries, becoming more attentive than many other leaders of unstable democracies. Let’s not go as far as to believe that Charles III, the Pope, and the Republic are joining hands to fight with one voice. The fact that they stand side by side, proclaiming to act in their respective positions, on behalf of the commoners and others, is already quite good.
Emmanuel Macron et ses émissaires ne manqueront pas de souligner la réussite de cette semaine de septembre. À juste titre sur plus d’un point. D’autant que les gros sujets qui fâchent n’ont pas disparu par miracle.