Member of the Lot and Secretary General of the Republicans, Aurélien Pradié is sounding the alarm. He calls on the presidential candidates on the right not to be mistaken in target and to “make the social pact a question as important as the regal”.
LR deputies open their parliamentary days in Nîmes this Thursday. All the presidential candidates on the right are expected there, including Valérie Pécresse and Xavier Bertrand who are no longer members of the party. Aurélien Pradié, deputy of Lot and secretary general of the Republicans, urges them not to abandon “the social question”.
You called on the candidates on the right to “come to an agreement during the summer”. Not only has that not been the case, the polls are tightening. Can LR still escape a primary?
You would have to be crazy or completely irresponsible to maintain a candidacy at the risk of being two on the starting line. Among all the candidates with whom I spoke this summer, I did not find any crazy, nor any irresponsible. The option of suicide does not exist. When the time comes, we will only have one candidate. I can say that without being naive. Compared to past presidential elections, where the right was supposed to be strong enough to divide, this is a novelty. As for the primary, I have not changed my position even if I will rely on the opinion of the members of the movement: I am hostile to it.
For what reasons ?
Because I consider that the primary is a way of relying on a system and no longer taking individual responsibilities. It is a pathology of our time: wanting to organize everything by protocols. Politics, the presidential election in particular, is anything but a matter of protocol. The second reason is that the primary leads to shrinkage. As long as we have the specter of the primary, the putative candidates tend, for tactical reasons, to address only the electorate of the primary, therefore to reduce their speech. It is a funnel that we would take upside down.
That is to say ?
During primary school, we talk about ourselves, only us. But to win, you have to go to the French. This worries me all the more that, during this time, Emmanuel Macron tries to talk to them again. The French are not fooled by his imposture, but we must not give him this space. Jacques Chirac, in 1995, and Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2007, first addressed the French, then their political family.
Are you worried about the outbid right on the regalian?
By dint of emergencies, sovereign and health, we forget the social question. It has almost disappeared from the political field, while it is at the heart of the concerns of the French and particularly of young people. Candidates on the right must make the social pact an issue as important as the regal. For the republican promise is not just a promise of order; it is also a promise of justice and, in particular, of social justice. Between the abandonment of the republican promise by the left in favor of communitarianism and the poisoning contempt of Emmanuel Macron, there is considerable political space. Refounding the social pact is a source of hope for all French people, wherever they come from and wherever they live.
Concretely, what proposals would you like to see carried out?
For me, the first subject is the social lift, which involves a real revolution in the school in order to break social reproduction. The second priority is wages, not just their increase, which I see is now shared by everyone, including the most liberal. The real question is that of fair remuneration for work, of the balance between remuneration, social utility and merit. Nothing has been settled for the nurses or the cashiers, these invisible people of society on the front line in the Covid crisis. As for the uberized trades, they have fabricated a form of modern slavery. Meaning must be given again, in particular through profit-sharing and participation, which should no longer remain at the stage of adjustments. Finally, let’s find our way back to the great causes capable of mobilizing an entire nation: disability, violence against women and children, the environment … The right must rediscover the taste for great causes which has made it proud in the past and can make it successful for the future. The history of the French right is a history of conquests and daring. A story of political adventurers.
Which candidate do you prefer?
The one who had my preference was François Baroin. Today, I made no choice. Like the French, I need time to understand who will be the one or the most able to bring hope. This is why I am pleading that we give all the candidates time to prove themselves by the end of the year with the French. Rush is often fatal in politics.
What do you think of the words of Eric Ciotti, who would rather vote Eric Zemmour than Emmanuel Macron?
The immense challenge of the Republican right is to unite. Like Emmanuel Macron, Eric Zemmour divides the French. There is no question for me to have the slightest kindness towards him. I go further: the sadness that Eric Zemmour carries in his vision of our society does not correspond to the idea that I have of the Republican right. Televangelists never made a great president. In this case, the right of General de Gaulle is not there to be the backroom of one or the other. It can only be the locomotive.
Emmanuel Macron seems tempted to move forward on pension reform, starting with special schemes and the minimum pension. Can you be against it?
Emmanuel Macron is like Matamore, this character from the Commedia dell’arte who spends his time recounting his exploits but who is in reality only a coward. What he is considering are measures that would neither resolve the sustainability of the system nor the injustices. It is political marketing that says everything about what Emmanuel Macron is.