Madeleine, a 71-year-old activist from Nice, is radiant in the gardens of the Bishop’s Palace where the activists’ drink is held, on the last day of the summer campus. “I’m happy, we haven’t disappeared”, sums up the one who has had her card at the PS “for more than 20 years”.
With her friend Magali, 78 years old and also two decades of activism on the clock, she admits: “we were afraid of Jean-Luc Mélenchon”, the leader of the Insoumis, who had “hate against the PS”.
But “he watered down his wine, he knew he needed the whole left to try to win, she said, and we, anyway, were dead”, after the pitiful 1, 7% of the socialist candidate Anne Hidalgo in the presidential election.
– “snakes” –
Even “if in the agreement, we swallowed snakes”, the two comrades say they are not “afraid of being absorbed by LFI. We still have the right to speak, we have not signed for everything”, say -they, rejoicing that “young people are returning to the PS”.
This is the case of Benjamin Soissons, 27, looking for a job in tourism. After leaving the PS to study in Canada, he had not taken the step of rejoining, “unconvinced”.
Finally, “I took my card back on May 7, a few days before the Nupes agreement. I heard Olivier Faure, the first secretary of the PS and Pierre Jouvet (one of the negotiators of the agreement, editor’s note) , and they were saying exactly what I was hoping for,” he explains.
The Loir-et-Cher activist understands his “comrades who are afraid of being subjected to Mélenchon, but it is not by hitting the union that the PS will survive”.
“We just have to assert ourselves in the Nupes and defend our convictions,” he believes.
Victor Lauriau, a 24-year-old doctoral student in laser physics, has not yet taken the step of joining the PS, which he came to discover in Blois.
“Before coming, I was a little pessimistic”, explains the one who first saw Nupes as “a kind of conglomeration of people”.
“There, after listening to all the speeches and seeing all the energy that emanates from it, I say to myself but it’s obvious, in fact, it will stay”, he confides.
– “a form of joy” –
“As they all say, there’s going to be some divisiveness. There are times when it might not go well, but actually it’s the right way,” he said.
Dorine Bregman, member since 2013 and deputy mayor in Paris-center, is also “convinced that this is the right strategy”.
“We don’t overplay unity, we try to find what brings us together,” she slips behind her sunglasses.
She herself campaigned for EELV deputy Julien Bayou. “It was very interesting to campaign with environmentalists, the rebellious,” she admits. “There was a form of joy”, after a presidential election “where we came out groggy”.
She also sees the arrival of new members with pleasure, like certain members of the Taubira collectives: “They shake the mammoth a little”.
Leanie Buaillon, one of the spokespersons for these collectives, remains a little unsatisfied for the time being, in an “ultra-codified” party, where it would be necessary to “simplify certain practices”.
But the one who came to the PS for “its history, its fights and its internal democracy”, however underlines “the feeling of sincerity to give a new turn” to the left, faced with the risk of a victory for the extreme right in 2027.
For his comrade Lotfi Moussa, “this union is vague, under construction”, and too disconnected from collective citizens, working-class neighborhoods and peripheral areas. But for him, “Nupes is like Nutella, it’s good despite the ingredients”.