Culture – La Mutuelle writes its history –


La Mutuelle writes its history

Culture - La Mutuelle writes its history -

Beyond the communication operation, the book by journalist Manuel Marsetti published for the 20 years of the Mutual, Chronicle of a running utopia, is an excellent book on the recent history of motorcycles in France.

At the end of the 1970s, in a France still numb with giscardism, "the black jacket has the double advantage of scaring the bourgeoisie and putting up with the sludge", writes Manuel Marsetti, 31, paraphrasing Renaud (Why first, album Walk in the shade, 1980)…

Many of us still wisely swallow their snack in front of Grendizer when the greatest political fights in French motorcycle history are being prepared in the shadows: the sticker of course, which will ignite the powder a few years later. late, but also the reform of the license, the lack of circuits, the motorway tariffs, the inadequacy of the infrastructures and especially the staggering increase of the insurance premiums, which can reach 10 or 12,000 francs – more than five months of minimum wage ! – to lead most often to barely correct compensation in case of cardboard.

"Two choices are available to the rebels, sums up the author: return to the margins of a world that they had previously only observed through the visor of their helmets, or pass, in the street, from the status of users to that of citizens". And while many bikers, rather than giving up the motorcycle, decide to ride without insurance, a completely crazy idea begins to circulate: to create an independent insurance. On October 23, 1981 in the Bastille, the FFMC officially launches its first Two years later, at the end of a race against time which seemed lost in advance, 10 million francs were collected. On September 15, 1983, the government granted its approval to the Mutual Solidarity of Road Users ( SMUR), which became Insurance Mutual for Motorcyclists on May 19, 1991, which today provides 160,000 members with 300 employees.

It is all this turbulent history, against a backdrop of busy political and social news, market learning and personal rivalries, that Chronicle of a running utopia. "I was not under any pressure of any kind, swears Manuel Marsetti. It was part of the starting pact sealed with Patrick Jacquot, the boss of the Mutual: not to do communication, but real investigative work. I had carte blanche to cover all the subjects and interview all the players".

While controlling their image is the primary concern of all large modern corporations, this declaration of honor comes as a surprise … "I know it seems unlikely, recognizes the journalist, who was able to measure the opacity of large boxes when he worked for The new factory or The gallery, but we really worked with the greatest transparency on both sides. La Mutuelle is now reaching maturity, at the end of a chaotic history which is above all a human adventure. And of course, as in any human adventure, there have necessarily been deaths … figuratively of course !".

"We chose to entrust this work to Manuel because he was not part of the seraglio and we wanted a fresh look at our history", adds Patrick Jacquot:"We had forbidden any censorship on his work. There was no review on the board. Only two people reread it, but it was only to check the facts".

Since the death of Carole Lefol on September 23, 1977 in Rungis, which gave its name to the Parisian circuit, until the advent of the Mutuelle-FFMC-Motomag trilogy, through the creation of the Association of independent motards, the The kidnapping of Giscard from the Grévin Museum, the commando exfiltration operation carried out in Corsica to illegally transfer the headquarters of the Mutual, the first financial difficulties, the delicate democratic structuring of the biker movement or the first victories of the GMT 94, it is also a whole section of the recent history of motorcycling in France as recounted by Manuel Marsetti, numerous photos in support, at the end of an impressive work of documentation. And this is precisely his interest.

"But why, first, should the bourgeoisie scare them? If there would be really dangerous, we would be afraid of them", Renaud quipped in 1980 … Answer in 20 years ?


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