• The Minister of National Education Jean-Michel Blanquer was in Ibiza at the time of revealing the new health protocol in schools on Sunday January 3, according to the revelations of Mediapart on Monday.

  • Information which did not fail to arouse controversy, the minister even assuring on Tuesday that he regretted the “symbolism” of these holidays on the Spanish island.

  • Even if he did nothing illegal, Jean-Michel Blanquer failed in his function and tarnished his image, says Ariane Ahmadi Kermanshahani, specialist in political communication and crisis communication.

On Monday, Médiapart revealed that the Minister of Education Jean-Michel Blanquer was in Ibiza on Sunday January 3, when revealing the change in protocol at school for the start of the next day. Holidays that go very badly when this last minute change had already sparked controversy among teachers and parents. This indignation owes everything to the “duty of exemplarity” that a public figure must fulfill and to the “feeling of contempt” felt by the French, in the words of Ariane Ahmadi Kermanshahani. With her language as flowery as it is sharp, the political communication and crisis communication adviser at the Only Conseil firm returns to the #IbizaGate.

The stay of Jean-Michel Blanquer in Ibiza arouses a lively controversy.

However, the Minister of Education did nothing illegal.

How to explain this indignation?

In terms of political communication, the question of legality is major but insufficient.

Indeed, Jean-Michel Blanquer has not committed any offense.

But beyond legality, there is the question of setting an example.

Any public person – singing star, athlete, journalist, politician, etc.

– must conform in its image to the function it occupies in society and to the idea that people have of it.

With this case, there is a break in this image.

Jean-Michel Blanquer failed in his duty to set an example

But doesn't Ibiza alone explain the controversy?

Ibiza, for everyone refers to the jet set, decadence, frivolity and indecent money.

For a minister, this is the worst place to choose.

In addition to having chosen this place with good connotations, Jean-Michel Blanquer chose to leave France in times of crisis.

This increases the idea of ​​a contemptuous politician.

This theme was already particularly embodied in Emmanuel Macron and his government, during the "yellow vests", with the small sentences in series or recently again when Emmanuel Macron declared his desire to "annoy" the non-vaccinated.

However, being disappointed by your rulers is tolerable, but not feeling despised.

All in a context of coronavirus and deprivation for the French…

What is the health crisis for the French?

It is the unwanted constraint.

The French believe that they have correctly applied the health instructions, to the point of making sacrifices for their private life.

We are talking about 92.8% of French people over the age of 12 vaccinated, highly respected confinements, an absence of riots, etc.

Meanwhile, a serving minister is said to have chosen a telecommuting arrangement in Ibiza.

However, in the collective image, Ibiza is vacation, not remote work!

This scandal also concerns the health protocol of schools, which was already at the heart of a controversy even before the revelation of Ibiza.

What inflate the controversy?

Let's face it, this scandal arose in parallel with a political blunder: Changing the health protocol at the last minute, moreover the day before the start of the school year, by announcing in addition the exclusivity in a paid newspaper.

Ibiza or not, there was already a fault there.

With the island added, the pre-existing blunder is aggravated.

When we work hard and we suffer, as is the case of teachers, school staff but also parents of students, we need to know that our decision maker is also suffering and is not flow soft.

There, with Ibiza, the reproach "Jean-Michel Blanquer did not work enough on the health protocol" is reinforced.

Ibiza, for everyone refers to the jet set, decadence, frivolity and indecent money.

For a minister, this is the worst place to choose.

»

Le Parisien

, which published the interview, chose a photo of Jean-Michel Blanquer installed in his ministry.

This dissonance between the published image and reality also shocked a lot…

There is a breach of trust and the feeling of having been cheated, both by the minister and by the media.

It's terrible in terms of crisis communication, because trust is broken in the media and politically.

Could the minister resign?

Jean-Michel Blanquer was already very unpopular and the main reproach made to him – being cut off from school staff and despising them – is reinforced by the Ibiza scandal and this feeling of variable geometry constraint.

He was also accused of being incompetent and careless with regard to the health of children or the health protocol.

This feeling also worsened after this case.

The Minister's position becomes extremely delicate.

But France is in crisis, there is a presidential election, it is unplayable to change a Minister of National Education.

In such a period, there is a premium for continuity and stability, people do not want a revolution.

And is Emmanuel Macron weakened by this affair?

Until then, Emmanuel Macron and his executive had more or less succeeded in ensuring that the action of a minister did not crystallize all the anger and bring out all that is wrong in his field of competence.

There, the teachers, exhausted, took to the streets, even before the Ibiza scandal.

For the first time in the five-year term, there is legitimate and visible anger from this profession.

The president already had to manage the sequence “fuck the non-vaccinated”.

The coconut tree had already been shaken, he didn't need that anymore.

We need to know that our decision-maker is also suffering and is not taking it easy.

»

In the imagination of the French, Emmanuel Macron had rather been a good crisis manager.

Of course, the population is aware that all has not been perfect, but there was the feeling that the country has escaped the worst and is not doing so badly, or not worse than with another.

Our file on Jean-Michel Blanquer

With this scandal, Emmanuel Macron finds himself attacked and weakened in his position as crisis manager and presidential candidate.

He returns the image of someone who does not know how to hold his ministers and who tenses the French.

The risk being, in addition, that the anger movement evolves in the next two weeks, while there is a political agenda to respect.

This could delay his plans to gradually make himself a candidate for the election.

Health

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  • Coronavirus

  • Jean-Michel Blanquer

  • Covid-19

  • National Education

  • Interview

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