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Jean-Michel Blanquer, a minister in turmoil

On this Monday, July 6, the good student Jean-Michel Blanquer experiences his first real failure. Gérald Darmanin put on the costume of Minister of the Interior in his place, which Emmanuel Macron had promised him two days earlier. The Head of State adores his Minister of National Education, who embodies the original promise of macronism: an apparent pragmatism, served by experts. The day after the school deconfinement, the former rector congratulated himself in front of his relatives: “We did gymkhana with an ocean liner. ” A way of saying he maneuvered well.

But Gérald Darmanin was able to be more skillful, more political, to go upstream and win his promotion. According to a macronist, some police unions went to plead his case at the Elysee Palace; he also left the threat of a withdrawal from his town hall in Tourcoing (North).

M. Blanquer concedes the point, but does not admit defeat. He decided to expand his system by recruiting Xavier Chinaud, former political advisor to Edouard Philippe in Matignon, in his cabinet. A man who has thirty years of politics on the clock, on the right. “I have ambitions”, lets go of the minister to the newcomer. The herald of civil society wants to operate his political change.

Monday 23 November. Jean-Michel Blanquer comes out of a week-end of media and political washing. Mediapart and Release questioned him for his support for the Avenir lycéen union, a pro-government structure, created in 2018, over which the Ministry of National Education oversaw by distributing public money; 65,000 euros of subsidies were paid in 2019. Amounts partly squandered, according to Mediapart, in fresh food and luxury hotels. The minister responded with a very political offensive. “There are media, in this case a whole sector of the ultra-left, which only thinks of creating controversy out of nothing. This story is nothing ”, he sweeps on BFM-TV.

Same tone, the next day, in the hemicycle of the National Assembly. “The UNL [Union nationale lycéenne], where M. [Jean-Luc] Mélenchon will be acclaimed, received 220,000 euros. Avenir lycéen, 65,000. And I can tell you that the links between Mr. Mélenchon and the UNL are much stronger than what I can have with Avenir lycéen ”, he says, not without having acknowledged meetings with union officials. His entourage shrugs. “People who come forward by saying ‘we think like you, we would like to give a helping hand’, you encourage them, that seems normal. From there to saying that he generated and constituted this union, it’s horny “, blows a loved one. For his part, the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, denounces “Assertions devoid of any foundation”.

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