This is the day J. After the appointment, the first major interview, the choice of ministers, the general policy speech. The journey of a new Prime minister is made up of choke points : this presentation in front of the mps is part of it. Jean Castex, thus, passes his oral examination this Wednesday. How do you build a speech of this type ? What are the messages ? How to attract the attention while the president of the Republic has expressed at length the night before ? Michael Moreau, author of the great Feathers of power, back to The Point on this important sequence of the Fifth Republic. Who knows, Jean Castex will be able to draw some tips...
The Point : what is a general policy speech successful ?
Michael Moreau : This speech is very difficult, it is an exercise that was missed by a lot of First ministers and with which it is conversely very unlikely to shine. One of the feathers of Manuel Valls, Benjamin Djiane, even says that it is " the Everest of the pen policy ". He should not omit anything, but to stay synthetic. A good general policy speech is not too long, where in reality it exceeds very often the 1: 30... This was the case, for example, in 1995, Alain Juppé, which recognizes, according to his own expression, have " pedal in the sauerkraut ". Each minister is pushing for its projects to be found in the text, but it is necessary to avoid the catalogue. In 1981, the first version of the speech of Pierre Mauroy, was the hundred pages ! Exceeded, Mauroy had been taken over and shortened to two hours before delivery, and will be removed in particular the whole passage dedicated to the rights of women...
there's a paradox in this exercise : it's time for the PM, but the president has his word to say – except when it takes the floor before...
This speech is always written in close relationship with the Elysée palace, with tensions more or less vivid according to the periods. It is the Prime minister who occupies formally in front of the stage, but under the gaze often suspicious of the president of the Republic. Emmanuelle Mignon, head of cabinet of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007, tells the story of how when the first general policy speech by François Fillon, the head of the State was not calm and was even lambasted his own team, which, that very morning, had still not received the text. François Fillon had decided what speech to introduce a large panel on foreign policy, encroaching on the reserved domain of the president. The two men looked at each other already staring at each other. A few years earlier, Jean-Pierre Raffarin was invited to a great session replay of his speech in the green room of the Elysée palace, to verify that the text would stick sufficiently to the presidential program of Jacques Chirac. And in 2014, Manuel Valls gave two talks at five-month intervals. For the first, that of April 8, Aquilino Morelle, still advisor of François Hollande at the Elysée palace, took part. And François Hollande himself the recorrigea word-for-word into the night, until they change formulas with his writing in the form of legs of a fly ! For the second, on 16 September, Manuel Valls had more freedom.
also Read Castex : "Let's say that I am the towel holder of the chair ! "
This type of discourse has there been a true challenge for the further work of the Prime minister ?
A bad speech can sustainably pursue the Prime minister... The most remarkable case was that of Pierre Bérégovoy. Among the points of his speech : the fight against "crazy money" and " corruption ", who will leave power at the time of revelations compromising. The socialist rule was already splashed by business Lurking or Casc. The opposition was unleashed. And the sinking of Pierre Bérégovoy happened at the moment when he holds up a sheet of paper in front of members of parliament : "I have here a list of persons I could talk to you," he threatened. The pen of the speech, Denis Olivennes, was found to have collapsed. This fake list was not a very good last-minute idea suggested by Michel Charasse. It was difficult then to catch up with the disaster.
But on the merits, this speech can also "print" the politics to come. Thus, the second speech of general policy of Manuel Valls clearly announces its new line, more to the right economically and more regal, just after the departure of Arnaud Montebourg in the government. The issue was such that Manuel Valls repeated a lot of his general policy speech in a loud voice, behind a desk, in the blue room on the ground floor of the prime minister, coached by his advisers in communication. Dominique de Villepin, himself, devoted nearly half of his speech in 2005 to the employment, in which the policy will break with the record of youth work and the protests against the contrat première embauche (CPE).
A speech to League 1 delivered by someone still in League 2
What is the most successful ? He completely missed ?
there was a speech, which for more than fifty years as a model, and which could yet not be reproduced : that of Jacques Chaban-Delmas on September 16, 1969, which advocates for a "New society" in the France of the post-May ' 68. It is the general policy speech the most famous, the one that is still talked about today and that all the Premiers arriving at Matignon replay, with a new policy, an outstretched hand to the social partners and a promise of the democratization of the television. It was totally innovative. Except that this speech was breaking as wished to Georges Pompidou. He is angry, the gaullists and the Élysée, which had barely the time to read the text before the delivery. Jean-Pierre Raffarin has a formula : "It is a speech of the president, and that is the biggest fault of Jacques Chaban-Delmas. It is a speech of Ligue 1 delivered by someone still in League 2. "This speech had had a lot of editors : Yves Cannac, Simon Nora, Jacques Delors, and even Ernest-Antoine Seillière, the future boss of the Medef, who, in the first version, much more fouillie, exclaimed :" This is the shit ! "In contrast, many of the general policy speech remain infamous in the annals to have been failures. The greatest setback was, therefore, one of Pierre Bérégovoy, since even creating an incident in the Chamber. The speech of Edith Cresson in may 1991 on the "new impetus" was too technical, but, more importantly, she forgot to greet her predecessor, Michel Rocard, and the bench of ministers. Mitterrand had reread the text and had informed her that it was not packed, but it was too late for any rewrite.
Michael Moreau, the Feathers of The power. Ed. Plon. 350 p.