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A bad week for ‘President Normal’ just got worse

14 January 2014

14 January 2014

So she’s been fired! We now know why Valérie Trierweiler, the established companion of the president of the republic is currently in hospital suffering from ‘a severe case of the blues’. That must surely be the clear implication of President Hollande’s refusal at his New Year’s press conference to confirm that Valérie is still First Lady of France.

This afternoon the most powerful man in France emerged from between the marble pillars and gorgeous tapestries of the Élysée Palace, a dapper little figure in a blue suit, wearing rimless designer specs and dyed brown hair.  His audience included the entire government and an international press corps and spoke for 45 minutes with his customary lack of fire about the economy, Europe, French troops in Africa and the need for social harmony. He also committed his government to the legalisation of medically-assisted suicide.

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But the first question was inevitably about the president’s private life.  Did he have anything to say to France and the World, following the allegations in Closer magazine that he had been sharing his breakfast croissants with a lovely actress in a nearby pied a terre?  His answer was, in summary ‘I understand why you asked that question… In the course of our lives we all pass through difficult times and Valerie and I are now in this situation.  But private life must remain private and I will make no further comment today. I will have more to say at a later date’. So that’s it.  She’s toast.

Twenty years ago President Mitterrand was still employing a squad of security police to conceal the existence of his secret lovechild, Mazarine. Ten years ago President Chirac was still cruising around Paris in his limo being dropped off at various addresses by his chauffeur, the faithful Jean-Claude, who nicknamed him ‘Monsieur Ten Minutes Maximum (including the shower)’. Five years ago President Sarkozy, one year after being elected, had survived divorcing his wife (who had complained to the police about physical mistreatment), and subsequent re-marriage with an Italian folk singer. None of them was in the slightest bit perturbed in their public duties by any of this.

So how has President Hollande managed to mishandle affairs to such an extent in the land of ‘Ooh la la!’? That traditional values still flourish in this country is confirmed by this week’s poll showing that 77 per cent of the French don’t give a damn where the president goes to on the back of his motor scooter. Ils s’en foutent complètement. But 94% are showing signs of what Le Monde calls ‘collective depression’ and 67%, when asked to describe the president in one word, have chosen ‘worrying’.

For the man who campaigned on the slogan of ‘a normal’ presidency and who only six months ago announced the establishment of a new ‘Commission for the Moralisation of Political Life’, it has been a catastrophic week.


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Show comments
  • Pixy Harris

    Someone calls Sarkozy a dwarf – the sort of attack I disapprove of since none of us can help our height – but Hollande is scarcely taller and has little short arms, which is why one of his nicknames is “Le Pingouin”. More important, Sarkozy was a better President; Hollande has been a disaster.

  • Fergus Pickering

    So he gives woman A the push in favour of woman B. And now woman B has got the push for woman C. It’s a gas. And so French!

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

    Why do politicians cheat on their wives? (Usually it’s wives, isn’t it.) The obvious answer is ‘because they can’. I love obvious answers — it’s the mark of an intellectual never to be satisfied with the obvious and seek for answers that are wronger but more interesting. So I’m going to accept the obvious but look behind it. Given that they can, why do they? (Hollande’s mother on the phone to him, in French: ‘I don’t care what all the other pols are up to. If the other boys told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?’). I think we have the fact that adoring or potentially adoring mistresses are plentiful in our age, when there’s a lot more than the secretarial pool to choose from. Big temptation — and when you’re Big Man on Campus the pickings are better than when you were Minor Squirt in the Party. Secondly and more important, I think politicians often find that when they finally get to be the Big Man, it’s not as fulfilling as they thought it would be. Power becomes routine, like most other things. The thrill fades, so they look for other thrills.

    I can feel a new ‘Famous dead people I wonder about’ blog post coming on….

    • Fergus Pickering

      But they don’t, any more than other people given the opportunity. What is amazing is that very ugly politicians like Robin Cook and John Prescott, manage … well you know. Why do the women do it?

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

        Perhaps they’re hoping to meet their more attractive pals and associates….

        • pedestrianblogger

          Kissinger famously said that power was the ultimate aphrodisiac. Which still doesn’t explain Prescott.

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Puss-in-sandals

            It isn’t, though. There must be something wrong with me: I like a man to have actual physical appeal and a charming bedside manner.

            • pedestrianblogger

              Well, that definitely rules out Prescott then.

              • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                Oh dear, what next? Affirmative action for uglies? Secks vouchers for sofa sloths?

                • Eddie

                  I thought we already had that, judging by the ‘good face for radio’ features of most of our female politicians (the vast majority of whom and robotic mediocrities these days anyway who’ve leapfrogged over better men to get where they are because of unofficial quotas).

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                  Personally I think that Hil. Clinton is hideous, but that’s the least of her vices….

                • Eddie

                  You should see some British female politicians! Many – not only but especially the women – are so uninteresting and robotic, with no real character or talent. They just repeat the party mantra – or they get on some feminist hobby horse, trying to arrest all men who have ever posted a rude email or tweet, or trying to ban gendered toy advertising. They are a waste of good air, in the most part.

                  Having said that, Bilary is scary.

                  One suspects most British female MPs would not have been selected as candidates if they were male. Many have clearly been promoted above their level of ability too, just because they are female (which also happens with some ethnic candidates).

                  Where are the Thatchers and Barbara Castles of now?

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  What about ‘Hilary Binton’ as an affectionate nickname?

  • http://hesspartacus.tumblr.com/ He’s Spartacus

    Of all the things Hollande could be taken to task over, industrial-scale larceny, discriminatory anti-prostitution laws etc. etc. etc., this is clearly the story that matters.

  • FrenchNewsonlin

    Mr Normal’s entire performance to date has been catastrophic!

  • Eddie

    The fact is, France is a deeply conservative country on the whole – far more so than Britain, which it has envied for centuries (as it continues to spew its out-dated never-true racist stereotypes about bad cooking and repressed bowler hatted men across La Manche).
    At least John Major kept his affair secret!

    • Fergus Pickering

      If he kept it secret why do we know about it?

      • Eddie

        Secret until well after he stopped being PM, bien sur, Monsieur!

  • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

    And he’s not even the least bit attractive! The man has all the secks appeal of a substitute typing teacher or a slightly tatty sponge.

    • Eddie

      Yes, but he has power and status – which, with cold hard cash, make up the holy trinity for ambitious women seeking ‘happiness’ (or ‘a-pi-ness’…)

      • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

        All the same, Eddie. My husband said ‘Women are less visual than men’. I said: ‘yerwot?’ or something along those lines. I’m very visual and I like a good looker as much as your Sports Illustrated reader. I do think, though, that if women held out for good looks, few of us would ever find a mate. What with charm, personal responsibility, and compatible views of life, asking for a hot bod and a beautiful face might be asking too much!

        • Eddie

          The equal and opposite is the same of course! One reason so many British and American men marry foreign women is the sad state of the native female breeding pool – many of whom are so fat they would have trouble fitting into the average pool no doubt…

          Then there’s the aggressive angry selfish feminism and the propensity for Brit/US women to divorce good husbands after popping a couple of sprogs out, and keeping 70% of assets despite not paying for any of them.

          When I was a college teacher I advised all the boys in my classes never to get married – unless they could find some rich bint who was interested in them. 50 or 60 years ago, I would have warned the girls to look after themselves and get an education and thus not get trapped in a marriage. Plus ca change…

          Women are slaves to their evolutionary instinct which is in every cell of their brain and being – ultimately they want the best man they can find to get em up the duff – a man who will provide for them and protect their offspring. So a man with status, power and money – probably older than them. Males by contrast want younger females – they make the best breeders, after all. We’re all just great apes, baby! And I don’t notice queues of pretty women forming by homeless poor men with no prospects on our streets…

          • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

            Your comment would have benefited if you had typed ‘to get em up the duff’ and then said to yourself: ‘probably best not’.

            • Eddie

              It takes two to tango, baby!

              I really do think that, in the name of equality and pure feminism (not the discrimination-promoting bigoted man-hating that passes for it these days amongst professional feminasties) that we should stop infantilising women. That means no excuses in the manner of ‘he made me do it’, my husband/boyfriend was nasty to me so that’s why I killed my baby’ etc etc etc – the standard pity party legal defence employed by lawyers in the UK and the US.

              Free will is your friend, sister!

              • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                I’m your baby and your sister now. Hubby will soon be jealous. As will my boyfriend.

                • Eddie

                  Alright alright – calm down, dear. It’s only an expression, love. Don’t worry your little head about it, sweetheart.

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/ Swanky

                  %^0

  • BoiledCabbage

    Will she sue for Unfair Dismissal? To go from First Lady to….nothing….?

    • Eddie

      She is not ‘First Lady’ – there is no such thing outside the USA.
      She is just the President’s partner. Wow. I don’t expect she would have gone for him if he’d been a minor civil servant either…
      She probably hoped for marriage and can see the Euros vanishing before her eyes, That’s why she’s so sad. Bless.

  • Lady Magdalene

    Why do the French like over-sexed, pint-sized leaders? It seems to be an obsession with them.

    • post_x_it

      If they want a president who is French and male, that’s what they’ll end up with.

  • MirthaTidville

    Dear God was Sarkozy so bad that they voted this clown in his place??

    • First L

      When Sarkozy was only a mayor, a madman took children hostage in a school. Sarkozy walked into the school, unarmed and as a replacement hostage and stayed in there without regard to his own life until all the children were saved.

      He might not have been the greatest President ever, but as a man he demands respect for that act and he makes Hollande look truly imbecilic.

    • Michael Schachter

      If you listened to the BBC or read the Guardian you would have concluded that Hollande would win by a colossal landslide. In fact it was 3%. Just some additional detail on the integrity of Hollande’s fans.

  • Samuel Johnson

    To him, ‘moralisation’ means having no values and loudly proclaiming it. Being immoral is putting forward positive values – marriage, care for the sick and elderly – in order to help others. It’s Alice in Wonderland stuff, and yet he is simply the purest expression so far of what most of our rulers believe.

  • Samuel Johnson

    Hollande is surely as far as the dictatorship of relativism – the dictatorship of ego – has yet got. He clearly thinks nothing of anyone except for himself. Marriage – giving yourself to another person – means nothing to him. Once people are past their sell-by-date they can murdered by doctors. Once people stop to be of personal value to you they can simply be dropped.

    • Colonel Mustard

      A thoughtful and interesting observation.

  • post_x_it

    Hollande is different from the philandering scoundrels who went before him on account of his clumsiness. He started out in office with a girfriend and a vindictive ex who tried to sabotage his campaign. Since then, all he’s managed to do is create a second vindictive ex, and a further bad omen for his presidency.

    • Andy

      And he arrives for his sh*g on a three wheel scooter. Suppose it could have been a Reliant Robin.

      • post_x_it

        Exactly. These things are supposed to happen with a bit of style and panache. Somehow, no matter how many wimmin he pulls, Hollande will always cut a pitiful figure.

        • Andy

          Thing is he is now becoming a laughing stock, and that is fatal to any political career.

      • Ridcully

        “New York, Paris, Peckham!”

    • Fergus Pickering

      You throw the word vindictive about. If I had had four children by a fat little dwarf who then traded me in for a younger model I’d feel a mite vindictive. I’d chew his little fat balls off.

  • judyk113

    Judging by the opinion polls, the French would actually prefer the President to be married to the woman he’s unfaithful to. Do give them credit.

  • NotYouNotSure

    Politics as usual for France. What would truly shock the French is if one day their president is found to be faithful to his wife and chooses to work long hard hours instead of spending them visiting his mistresses.

    • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

      Yes, that would TRULY be risqué!

    • Eddie

      Oh I dunno – the French seem all aflutter about this in a way the British aren’t. Maybe because France is so backwards it is only just entering the modern media age, so its response is over-excited like a toddler’s? American influence now doubt – I think Kevin is (or was) the most popular baby boy’s name in France these days? (after Coster and Sutherland).

      • Sue Ward

        Kevin Sutherland? Who he? I think you mean Keifer but valid point nonetheless.

        • Eddie

          Oh yes, well, it begins with a K.
          Lots of Kevins in La France though – grown up now, I expect. And Sharons, after Ms Stone.
          Still, every country has its chavs.

  • Andy

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer fellow. Another useless damn Socialist.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Agreed Hollande and the witless idiot Miliband make the perfect Tweedledee and Tweedledum of Marxist idiocy and ruination.

    • telemachus

      Interesting is it not that diminutive right wing dwarf Sarkosi, friend of the elite and press barons is lauded when he dumps a fine lady for a two bit singer

      While Hollande who tries to return France to its true roots ( Liberté, égalité, fraternité) is attacked for a simple dalliance by not only the Right Wing French Press Barons but also the Murdoch Press worldwide

      • Andy

        ‘Return France to its true roots’ ??
        The man pops out from the Presidential Palace for a sh*g on a three wheel scooter. Just watch him become a figure of fun and mirth. And that, you ignorant Fascist, will kill his political career.

        • telemachus

          There you go again
          Doing down the Left with tittle tattle
          See below

          • Colonel Mustard

            There you go again
            Doing down the right with tripe
            Thar she blow!

          • First L

            It’s not tittle tattle when a country’s youth unemployment is the highest in Europe – above Italy and Greece.

      • telemachus

        Meanwhile the Dacre Daily reports:

        Julie Gayet, 41 (above left), who is alleged to have been having an affair with the French President (centre), is four months pregnant, according to a post on the blog lereel.fr. The blog claims the information has come from a source close to Hollande and is said to have been confirmed by a journalist working for the M6 television news channel. At a press conference today Hollande refused to answer whether his long-term girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler (right) is still France’s First Lady.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Meanwhile the bore telemachus continues to tag his predictable and yawn inducing remora to the top comment in every thread because his ego is so huge that he really thinks the tripe he spews deserves more exposure than anyone else’s tripe.

          • David Booth.

            I see Telemachus (AKA Far Fighter?) has started answering his own comments, often the first sign that a person is away with the fairies.

      • NotYouNotSure

        Based on the opinion polls, the French clearly don’t seem to be that fond of what Hollande is trying though.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Whatever Sarkosi’s (sic) faults, I don’t believe he has been mocked by the Taiwanese in animated cartoon form.

        Hollandaise sauce is more bouffonnerie, idiotie and déconsidération than liberté, égalité and fraternité.

        Strange that with you every time some ridiculous communist crams his own foot into his mouth it is all the right wing press fault.

      • First L

        Liberty and Equality are mutually exclusive, or haven’t you noticed?

        It’s not who attacks you that matters. It’s who is prepared to defend you. I notice no one coming to Hollande’s defence.

        • telemachus

          Equality is a concept towards each society must strive
          Liberty of thought and action in a modern society implies responsibility
          I am aware that Keith Joseph tried to expunge these truths from the societal mind

          • Colonel Mustard

            Pomposity is a concept you have no trouble inflicting on this society.

            Threatening the liberty of thought and action by inferring an ambiguous “responsibility” is something we know well from the regime that peddled that in 1997-2010 and enforced the “responsibility” by coercive and oppressive legislation. It has very little to do with classical notions of liberty and more to do with Marcusean notions of slavery to a particular ideology. But here’s a clue, you muppet, you cannot limit liberty of thought only its expression.

            So you people will never win, ever. Like the national socialists before you and every other tyrant who has brought oppression under the banners of liberty, equality and fraternity the harder you push to control minds the more insurgents against your wretched creed you will create.

            • telemachus

              We must all toil tirelessly to wrest the levers of power from those who insist on sharing out the fruits of our industry with their friends in the city and them alone

              • Colonel Mustard

                Industry? You don’t know the meaning of the word. All you do is harass and heckle here with silly socialist propaganda.

                And all socialists ever do is steal from those who actually work for their money to pay for those who don’t.

                Your ideology is a sick joke, a failure everywhere it has been tried. And all you can do is tell lies about anything and anyone that might stop you getting power over people.

                • telemachus

                  Myself and my colleagues toil tirelessly with an industry not known in the Home Counties to ensure that the disadvantaged get a fair crack of the whip
                  Do likewise

                • Colonel Mustard

                  There you go with that power thing, your presumptions and lies again. I do not live in the Home Counties and I bet I survive on far less income than you do.

                  Your ‘toiling’ can’t be that tireless bearing in mind the amount of time you spend peddling propaganda here.

                  Your sanctimonious boasting is however relentless and gargantuan. You are an affront to truth and humility.

                  PS Don’t tell me what to do you impertinent little man and don’t presume that my acts of philanthropy are any less than yours.

                • David Booth.

                  Well said sir.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Good Colonel, you do not live in the Home Counties. Good for you. But if Kent is a Home County, I bloody do and I object to Tele’s foul slurs. It is our ceaseless industry keep the whole shooting-match on the road. Got it, you horrible little man. Not you, Colonel. Not you.

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                  All hail Kent! Fabulous county, esp. the Weald.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Good for you, Swanky. You’ll find a welcome in the marshes!

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                  : )

                • http://ajbrenchley.com/namaskar Swanky

                  Myself and my colleagues
                  Shouldn’t that be ‘My colleagues and I’? ‘Myself’ is reflexive; it’s not exchangeable with ‘I’.

          • First L

            Why must each society strive towards equality? Equality of opportunity by all means – but never equality of outcome. Most people cannot seem to separate the two.

            I say once again. Liberty and Equality are mutually exclusive. Maybe if you think about that for a moment you’ll work out why.

  • Philip Painter

    In passing he announced a public housing build increase from 300,00 to 500,000 per annum. Compare the low figure with UK’s total new build.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Yes, government by announcement. Like Miliband and that other socialist tw*t in No.10.

      • FrenchNewsonlin

        Exactly Colonel. The civil service enarques are already erecting the necessary barriers to derail all scooter man’s ex tempore fantasies.

    • Eddie

      France has the same population as the UK but twice the land.
      The answer for the UK is not building more homes, but chucking out more immigrants.

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