On the radio at lunch time today there was a discussion about the morals of the French President, Francois Hollande. “Zut et scare bleu”! I hear you cry, an immoral politician? – “pas possible!”.
My mind runs overtime with the thought of Hollande trundling along the boulevards of Paris in the early hours of the morning on a scooter, to rendezvous with his latest lover. Did he have the name “Francois” emblazoned across the front of his crash helmet, as is the fashion? Maybe not… And France (or more importantly the rest of the world, who seem to be more amused by this scandal) is left with the question of who is the “First Lady”? Valerie Trierweiler, actually “second lady”, (known as Rottweiler apparently for the pushy way in which she became pack leader over his last partner) is his present official partner, his first one being Segalene Royal, who stood against him for the same party in the last elections, with whom he has four children (obviously a scooter with some power…) and now the “third lady” is a second rate actress who is first rate at tempting him away from sorting out the absolute mess that France is in. (I hope you are keeping up with this!). He hasn’t married any of them. Nobody seems to have asked the question that if he cannot commit to a relationship, can he commit to serious political reform for a country that is lagging behind the rest of Europe in digging its way out of recession? He is the most unpopular President on record, but obviously not with the ladies – or is it a case of power made his chest swell, among other things!
What tickles us is the French attitude to immorality. In the village we have our next door neighbour who was single until last year and, at the age of 57, fell desperately in love with his late father’s nurse, a grandmother of mature years. Unfortunately she was married to someone else. However she is now divorced and they wander along the lanes with his flocks of sheep, arms around each other or hand in hand. The Mayor’s wife has told us of her disapproval. “Such behaviour at their age!” she tutted at the last village social gathering. In France it would seem that you are forgiven if you behave immorally but manage to keep it quiet, as it is nobody else’s business. In the UK politicians are asked, or forced, to resign if any hint of scandal seeps into the press. I am undecided as to which fence I sit on but can’t wait to read the next edition of “Bonjour”, the village edition of “Hello”…
Ah well, l’entente cordial et vive la difference!