L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

12 December 2006 Blog Home : December 2006 : Permalink

A Royal Au Pair and other Election Tales

The French elections are, quelle surprise, heading for a Ségo-Sarko fight with a few outlying spoilers in the first round. I haven't blogged much about this because, to be honest, it is tediously predictable in the extreme. However for some masochistic reason EURSOC Two appears to read the Independent and points us to a fascinating tale in that rag today about Mlle Marie-Ségolène and her time as an au pair in Dublin. It doesn't really tell us much about the good lady but is a nice sort of "small world" human interest story well suited for the skateboading duck section of the news.

Ever so slightly more seriously the Wapping Liar's Charles Bremner is on the job of trying to explain the recent utterings from our candidates. Sarko had a "primary debate" with Michèle Alliot-Marie (MAM) who was floated by various people (possibly fronts for l'Escroc) as the non-Sarko choice for UMP candidate. Well, according to Mr Bremner, the debate was almost as interesting as the Independent and at the end of it the general feeling was that yes Sarko knows his stuff and MAM gets a prize for being token rival and making things look slightly more interesting than watching paint dry. Assuming nothing much happens the UMP looks like it will have Sarko as its main candidate with Le Pen (assuming he gets the signatures) over on the far right and probably no one else.

On the left the good news for Ségo is that the serious independant lefty challenger seems to have been bought off brought into line convinced to pool resources and the miscellaneous protest vote egotistical morons candidates couldn't agree on a single candidate and policy platform and so are likely to all end up with a 1.5% of the vote each.

The possibly bad news for Ségo is that she is now being forced to open her mouth and say things a little more concrete that the usual round of duck billed platitudes. Some of what she says (e.g. attacking America or the ECB) are probably popular but some of her other statements and actions such as her cozying up to Hizbollah are probably less so. Not so much because people disagree but because they make her look like a rabble rouser rather than a sober presidential candidate.

Both candidates are, it seems to me, attempting to claim the ground of radical outsider but yet at the same time proect the aura of experience and reliability. It is an interesting combination, clearly driven by focus groups, and one that both can make some genuine claim for, although not quite as much as they might like. On the whole I think Sarko has the better policies but, as David Rennie acutely observed, he ain't no Margaret Thatcher. In fact he seems to be about as good as Marie-Sögolène in extracting the pork for his constituents.

In other words despite what they say the election is between "Maman" and "Papa" with a nasty "Grandpère" over on the right

I despise l'Escroc and Vile Pin