Not Much Bread……..But Plenty of Circuses

hollande on scooter
Hello, Clement! You look a bit fed up! A glass of Claude’s rose?

Thanks….it needs something. I’ve been up to my ears all day: Plouc’s never in the office so I have to deal with all the old biddies…and if they’re not in the office they’re on the ‘phone.

I hear he’s standing for maire in the elections….so I suppose he’s out pressing the flesh.

Tell me about it! I just wish he’d find a bit of time to do his job as a notaire! I’m sick and tired of forging his signature.

What’re his chances?

Pretty good…mark you there’s not much opposition given old Georges’ antics – he won’t be re elected and people are none too keen to join his list.

Not surprised when you think of that water tax he dreamt up!

Well, there’s not much you could do about your yard, was there….you could hardly take up the tarmac with people parking and deliveries and all…

They get you all ways with water!
First it was ‘Cut down your usage…be responsible….buy water butts’.
So you do that and then the water bill goes up all the same because they don’t have enough money to keep the system going. Or so they say!
Then along comes Georges with his bright scheme to avoid paying for a new sewage works….wants the rainwater to soak into the ground instead of going into the drains….so he charges you an arm and a leg for every square metre on your property that is covered by roofs or tarmac!

Yes, even Plouc pulled out that old outhouse when he saw the bill for the tax.
Old Georges couldn’t care less if Plouc is going to be the next deputy……he reckoned that Plouc would have to splash out round here as it’s his own backyard so he didn’t have to worry about keeping in with him.

Yes, but why’s Plouc standing for maire if he’s going to be the deputy? I thought they were going to stop politicians having two jobs….

Well they haven’t…and there’s not much chance of getting it through the parliament any time soon. The turkeys won’t vote for Christmas, so Plouc reckons it’s safe to stand for maire and that it will help him when it comes round to the general election….you know, planning permissions and whatnot.

So you’ll be seeing even less of him, then?

Not really…they don’t stay up in Paris all week….they clear off on Wednesday night to spend time in their constituencies….so I suppose he’ll he in the office about as much as he is now…
Oh, hello Victor!

Victor! We’re just talking about the elections! Claude’s rose?

Ah yes…he made a nice drop this year. Elections? Well, I’m voting for Georges!

For Georges! After what he got up to!

Oh, that water tax…didn’t bother me…us farmers were exempt…
But you talk about old Georges…what about our beloved President? Now that’s one who’s really been up to something!

Well, no more than others before him. They’re all at it….always have been.
Look at Chirac – yes, thanks, another glass…the night Princess Diana died he was off with some woman and no one knew where he was until he turned up in the early hours.

And Giscard d’Estaing..colliding with a milk tanker…

Not to speak of Mitterand! Though that was more of a settled sort of thing – a whole other family rather than tarts – he had female ministers for all that.
No, Victor he’s not the first and he won’t be the last!

And anyway, it’s his private life…he has a right to privacy.

Oh, does he? And if he does why don’t we?

But we do, Victor…people can’t take photographs of us without our permission,, so why should they take them of Hollande without his?

It’s not photographs I’m talking about! Young Laurent’s been telling me that now the taxman and the police can bug our ‘phones and monitor anything we do over the internet without even having to get a judge to agree to it!

That won’t bother you Victor! You’re too mean to sign up for the internet anyway!

That’s where you’re wrong! It does bother me!
They go on about terrorism and security – but you watch! One mention of where you keep your money and there’ll be a posse of gendarmes carving up your mattress before you can blink!

Yes but that’s different….Hollande wants what everyone has – the right to do what he wants in his own time.

What own time! He wanted to be President, didn’t he? Wasn’t too bothered about having Strauss-Kahn’s private life splashed all over the papers when that knocked out one of his rivals!

Yes, but you can’t confuse his public life with his private life…

No? Well just tell me how it is then that some young policeman who works as a security guard on the Ministry of the Interior can be suspended because he does what he wants in his free time?

It must have been something illegal…

No! Perfectly legal! He worked at the Ministry in the daytime and was a rent boy at night.
And how did they find out? Snooping on his bank account.
And they want him suspended because being a rent boy isn’t compatible with being a policeman.
So if they can ‘confuse’ his public and private life then why should Hollande be exempt?

Well, he’s the President, not some young kid doing something on the side….and even you aren’t going to say that Hollande is a rent boy!

No of course he isn’t, but you can’t say what he’s up to is very savoury.
And what’s more, aren’t they bringing in a law to make criminals of men who visit prostitutes?
Doesn’t that apply if you’re the President either?

But she’s not a prostitute, Victor! She’s an actress!

Takes off her clothes for money doesn’t she? Same thing!

But that doesn’t make her a tart, Victor! Hollande’s not paying her!

No, I don’t suppose he is – doesn’t pay for anything himself – but you want to look at who owns that flat in the rue du Cirque!
Some bint married to an actor who’s well up in the Corsican mafia.
Now you tell me what’s worse…some kid trying to make a bit of extra on the side, or a President of the French Republic who, with all the snoopers in the country at his service, gets himself mixed up with bandits!

Here, Alain, lets have another. A whisky this time…and none of your Clan Campbell!

Right you are! A Johnny Walker – a double – and on the house!
Go easy Victor! One free drink and you’re anyone’s rent boy!
What’s that, Clement?

Well, I tell you what….private life or not, Hollande’s not much of a man is he?

What do you mean?

Think about it.
He was living with Valerie Trierweiler when he was elected.
He doesn’t marry her, so that puts her at the sharp end of a lot of nastiness about being or not being First Lady.
Then he installs her in the Elysee Palace with a staff….making it as public as possible that married or not she has a status as far as he is concerned.
She goes with him on State visits. Except the Vatican, of course.
And then he has this affair – which he’s not denying – and leaves her twisting in the wind, a target for anyone who pleases.
You can’t live with someone and then treat them like this. Not if you have any decency.

Yes, I see what you mean. He could have told her what was going on…given her the chance to leave with a bit of dignity.

What! Him!
If he’d been straight with us, the electors, about what he was going to do he’d never have made President, nomatter how much everyone hated Sarkozy.
No, with his women he’s like he is with power….sits on his arse and waits for better times….

The way things are he’d better watch out that performing in the rue du Cirque doesn’t lead him to performing against the lions in the Circus Maximus…

I tell you what!

Yes, Victor?

When they cut out his prostate they should have been a bit more radical.

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50 thoughts on “Not Much Bread……..But Plenty of Circuses”

  1. Hllande as a rent boy? Brrr. Desn’t bear (or “bare?:-) ) thinking about. What irritates me is the flagrant hypocrisy of the man – when DSK’s life was bring smeared all over the media, it was apparently Vlérie who awoke her (then time) Prince Charming so that he would know. His reaction? To “organize his TV interview for the next day – his priority was “to evaluate the political consequences of the affair”…. no shit, Sherlock.

      1. Dog eat dog. He had not problems with it when it worked in his favor… Now that the media are chatting about the Corsican money-laundering side of the equation it sounds a lot less innocent… Sarah linked to a blog that details the origin of the rue du cirque property, it’s absolutely gobsmacking.

          1. Yes, Guy put me on to it last night (my time) in another newspaper.
            What’s the matter with the man?
            So besotted he doesn’t care, or thinks he can touch hands with the Corsican mafia and escape untouched?
            Or set up by Valls…always a possibility….

  2. Ah yes, I wondered if you had noticed the new French snooping law. It’s like they took a look at the NSA and thought “That’s a good idea”

  3. I’m just bemused by the whole affair (pun intended). He seems to have no judgement whatsoever about actions and consequences. If he weren’t so unpopular I’m sure it would be passed off as an allowable bit of stress relief, but as he is failing miserably as a leader it will be yet another stick to beat him with. I’m a bit uncomfortable with the hypocrasy of that, and on balance inclined to agree with him that it’s his business. I’m surprised by Valérie’s reaction though. I thought she had more backbone, but who knows what the dynamics of their relationship really is.

    1. Yes, of course it is his private life…but how does he expect to get away with it when his unpopularity outweighs even the bribe of tax free income he gave to journalists…..
      I’m not keen on his first lady…..but his treatment of her is interesting – as is her reaction. So typical of the French bourgeoisie – cling on to the perks by your fingernails…

  4. Brilliant, Fly. The whole business stinks as much as usual despite Hollande’s promises to behave in an exemplary fashion and declare on Paris Match that Valoche is the woman of his life. The man is one big piss-take.

    1. I can’t think one would be trembling with lust seeing that shambling figure in a crash helmet clumping up the stairs of the love nest…….so what is Mme. Julie interested in?

  5. Beautifully written. Lancer le pavé dans la mare. Not sure if that is quite right but he has certainly stirred thing up!! Hope this one does not take a rip to spam!! Diane

  6. Thanks for this Helen. I’d really prefer to get my news this way – so very much better than the broadsheet front pages. Or even beloved BBC Radio 4…
    Hollande is -and always has been (in my view)- despicable. A hypocrite. A phony. Unprincipled. In it for himself. As well as being a man who opens his flies and lets his brains fall out.
    I never did expect much from him.
    Misogynistic arrogant… argh!
    I just never stop being disappointed that there are women who entertain (in all senses) men like that.
    Power, eh? Because it’s certainly not his personality or scintillating good looks.
    I can imagine that this debacle will make many smile – Strauss-Kahn et al will be laughing up their cuffs.

    1. He is all too typical of his type….the men who run France and regard women as something to be bought and sold on the eBay that is the caste system of Paris.
      And as for the usual suspects saying the French don’t care about what these men get up to…how false can that be!
      The Paris based news media and those men and women of the ruing caste certainly don’t care. It is how they behave themselves….covering their shallow degeneracy with the word ‘mature’…
      I know from friends out in the sticks…and from my own time there…that people jolly well do care, and don’t approve.

  7. Politicians seem to have an absolutely rapacious appetite for sex. Not just the French ones, although the French public is more understanding than, say, the British, German or US electorate. It must take a very particular kind of person to go in for politics; somebody devious, greedy, power mad, economical with the truth, and self-delusional.

    No wonder the man on the Clapham Omnibus has become more of a bore than he’s ever been and the thinking voter totally disenchanted.

    Is there any way of making sure that a politician can also be a decent person? Do you know one?

    1. Sociopaths, that’s what they are and nothing about our society is going to improve while they run things…..or rather, front up for global business interests.

      I didn’t have the pleasure of knowing Enoch Powell, but those that did told me that he was a very upright man….Tony Benn was another…I can’t think of anything more recent…

      I don’t think we can look for a sea green incorruptible anywhere in the modern party system….they are rigorously excluded.

      Looks like we’ll have to wait for the revolution….

  8. Wonderful, Helen! I think the words ‘hit’, ‘nail’ & ‘head’ are appropriate here. Not just on the ‘Mr. Flanbie’ affaire (stripped of his power & status you just wouldn’t look twice at him would you? Never mind let him into your pants!) but on the posturings & manoeuvrings in the run up to mayoral elections here. You have it off to a ‘T’. Witness a very recent incident here. I organised a small ‘show’ (animations), some singing, some dancing, some storytelling by people of the village for the annual ‘Voeux du Maire’ & his distribution of the obligatory ‘galette des rois’ cake. I took an innocent photo of one of the potential & first time, candidates on the mayor’s list, opening a bottle of wine, as one of the girls couldn’t pop the cork. I sent said photos plus others, all, equally innocent, to all participants by way of a ‘didn’t you do well & here’s some photos to prove it’, only to receive a huge diatribe from said candidate that these photos (of him opening a bottle of wine, FGS) should not under any circumstances be circulated anywhere as they may jeopardise his chances in the mayoral election & he could be seen as a drunk!! (Bear in mind, for the last 20 years, everyone, but everyone in the village knows that he is a particular patron of said Pastis/Ricard tipple or 40 & that this particular leopard would be hard pressed to change his spots. He, however, quite clearly thinks he has no problem). Hit a nerve did I? Methinks he protesteth too much! Keep up the wonderful posts, Helen.

    1. What a nutcase! I can only suppose he might think that people would regard him as a weakling, turning from Ricard to wine….

      But it’s why one of my favourite blogs – Sapristi Balthazar – has so many photographs of peoples’ feet….

  9. Is this ‘Private Eye?’

    I am so glad we have happily married leaders, men who concentrate on serving the public good rather than chasing floosies……

    1. If it is then I’ll invite you to the regular lunch….

      Yes indeed, Britain is very lucky that its Prime Minister only goes as far as kitchen suppers with any flame haired temptresses who should throw themselves across his path……

  10. Funny, riding helmeted on a scooter clutching a bag of croissants isn’t at all how I had imagined the fabled French Lothario. But to his credit, he has wiped that smug smirk from the Rottweiler’s face.

    1. No….not quite the boulevardier, was it!

      I don’t have any brief for the rottweiler…but equally he has treated her disgracefully – worthy of any capricious monarch of the ancien regime.

      1. Not a dog person? That’s what you call a “rotter”, isn’t it? If not we should call that person a rotter, just because. Rotter, rotter, rotter. Not a dog person? Hmpf.

        1. I’ve always thought his mistress misnamed as the Rottweiler…easy because of the name, but she resembles more one of the big cats.
          However, you are right…he is a rotter, through and through.
          He’s now gambling with her desire to go the the U.S as First Lady….

          We are seeing before our eyes what the Parisian elite life amounts to…prostitution and exploitation.
          And Hollande is well part of it.

  11. If this sordid little story turned up on the stage as a Whitehall Farce we’d say it was far-fetched. But what else can one expect from a political elite which refuses to get rid of pluralism of office? I can promise you that my rural French neighbours won’t be impressed by Hollande’s shenanigans, not that they will have voted for him in the first place.

    1. I’ve just been reading the blog of an American journalist in Paris which says how much ‘everyone’ now admires Hollande for being tough with his women and tough with the economy by his U turn on perks for business.
      Well ‘everyone’ doesn’t include my friends and neighbours in rural France…like yours they are far from impressed and I do wonder if this woman has ever ventured outside the expensive quarters of Paris.

      But then for the Parisien elite the rest of the population of France count for diddly squat.

  12. A lot of oozing hypocrisy here and one suspects a huge amount that nobody’s being told. I’m told French journalists are too scared to challenge those in power, although I am not sure that things would be any better here, but perhaps not about sex. Had to laugh when a Frenchwoman on Radio 4 today rightly criticised all the fuss that is being made of a high up in the lib dems who has NOT been found guilty of sexually assaulting women and won’t apologise for it, (not surprisingly IMO.) She said “We’ve listened to a discussion about this for 8 minutes and I don’t even know what this man is supposed to have done!” A different world over the channel. Interesting, though, and you write very amusingly about it.

    1. Given the subsidies to the French printed press and favourable VAT rates, plus the huge tax exonerations on journalists’ earnings it is easy to see why biting the hand with the goodies is not seen as a good idea. A recent re-evaluation (upwards) of the VAT rate for the online journal ‘Mediapart’ – which does go in for biting hands – is an object lesson to the others.
      The U.K. newspapers seem to be using the usual suspects to comment, who inevitably repeat the drivel of the Paris elite….no one is bothered.

      I know what my friends in France think…..and ‘Victor’ is based on someone I knew whose views are reported with much glee by those who hear them in the bar!

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