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Obituary: Cédric Mauduit  

2015-11-26 16:50:13|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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The bureaucrat’s secret
Cédric Mauduit, management consultant and civil servant, was one of 129 people killed in the Paris attacks on November 13th. He was 41
Obituary: Cédric Mauduit - 坚尼仔 - 人在风中
 

THE word “civil servant” hardly carries the oomph of its French cousin, fonctionnaire. A civil servant shuffles papers; a fonctionnaire is the man or woman who, though deskbound, makes the wheels of government turn at levels high and low. The French make an art and science of bureaucracy; and in this venerated culture, Cédric Mauduit was tipped for higher things.

His CV was impressive, if in a provincial way: Lycée Le Verrier at Saint-L? in Normandy, economics degree at Caen University, then Sciences Po Rennes, where he was near the top of his class. He did a longish stint as a management consultant, rising to senior manager at Kurt Salmon; then worked for the town council in Rouen, advising on strategy, management and evaluation of public policy. All this nicely positioned him to become, in January this year, director of modernisation and performance for the department of Calvados, also in Normandy.

By this time, having spent several years in Paris, he relished the chance to move back closer to his roots. That meant the village of Rouxeville (Manche), where his father had been an agricultural technician and his mother ran the school, and where he was remembered—when they gathered on Sunday, in shock, to remember him—as a bundle of energy and fun. He now lived, not so far away, with his wife Fabienne and two small children at Lion-sur-Mer, with its row of faded but elegant grey hotels overlooking the English Channel, its beach of fine, gritty sand and its museum of fossils found thereabouts.

His new job, based in Caen, came with a big office and an enormous remit, covering almost everything the department did. Granted, his first experience was a bit downbeat. When the president of the departmental council, Jean-Léonce Dupont, introduced him at a general staff meeting in November 2014, he did so only after a long dutiful eulogy and a minute’s silence for an ancient former councillor-general in the canton of Thury-Harcourt. Mr Mauduit, who liked any meeting to be short and sweet, would have felt awkward, commemorating a man he didn’t know. Still less did he know that, not a year later, his colleagues would be commemorating him; and Mr Dupont would be crying.   

Behind the Gare Sud

The whiz from Sciences Po Rennes made an immediate impression on the governance of Calvados. His door was always open, his tie tugged off, and ideas bursting in his head. Times were hard; the French economy was in the doldrums, with scant growth and unemployment high; government funding was being cut back, causing severe budget crises at department level. Mr Dupont’s presentation at la rentrée in September was gloomy in the extreme, with much talk of “our sombre autumn” and “heavy clouds”. On top of everything else, Calvados had taken in 200 young migrants; he expected that to cost more than 5m euros in 2015. One bright spot was tourism, up 20% since 2013 because of British visitors coming to the D-Day beaches. The other was Mr Mauduit’s office, where his team thrived under a man who seemed less a boss than a coach and friend, un vrai leader and un chouette type (great guy) all round. Soon enough, he was tipped to be vice-president.

Some colleagues knew about his secret other side. If they visited his house, it sang out from the posters on the walls and the books on the shelves. He was, said his younger brother Mathieu, possibly the greatest fan ever of David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. The passion for rock had seized him at school, when he discovered, and helped organise, the ?cran Sonique concerts in Saint-L?. But it took him over entirely at Rennes, where—despite the aptitude for local public-policy evaluation that marked him out in the class of 1991—he was remembered mostly for the wild ear-splitting parties in his digs behind the Gare Sud, his Ramones T-shirts and his attempt to drag his whole year to Nirvana’s concert at Transmusicales, which passed into rock-music legend.

Among the audience in the Bataclan on November 13th—with Chileans, Romanians, Tunisians, young people from all over—he was on the old side. But when he and his 40-something friends went to such gigs, they forgot their age and the relentless office round. He was there with four mates, one of whom, David Perchirin, had shared his digs in Rennes. He was a Gaullist, Mr Perchirin an anarchist; so what? Together they whooped and waved as the Eagles of Death Metal opened their set. And there it ended, for both of them.

In the offices in Caen the entrance hall was transformed into a shrine to him, with his picture on an easel just in front of the information leaflets and beside the leatherette sofas. His colleagues left candles there. More gathered at the Caen Memorial on the Esplanade Général Eisenhower, by an outsize bronze revolver with a knotted barrel and the inscription “Non-violence”. At Lion-sur-Mer, old soldiers joined a minute’s silence at the war memorial. His brother Mathieu, though, had the best idea: he appealed to the Rolling Stones and David Bowie to come and sing at Cédric’s burial. Yes, he said in his Facebook message, it was a bit mad, but how better to say what Cédric would have wanted: “F**k terrorism” and “Rock and roll!”

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