After the Ball was Over….the European Elections


Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National
Marine Le Pen, leader of the Front National


Hello, Clement! Quiet evening, thank goodness.

Do you mean the European election results last night…..or the ruckus you had in here this afternoon?

Oh, that….! You think you’ve seen everything when you run a bar, but this beat the band! What can I get you?

Zizi tells me that you’ve managed to get something from Antoine….

Yes, I was lucky. He had a client who let him down….there you are……what do you think?

A good drop….you had a bit of luck getting his grolleau gris now it’s become fashionable!

Well, yes…fashionable…but the fashionable bastard from the fashionable Paris bistro who ordered it couldn’t pay up front and Antoine doesn’t do tick; well not to Parisians anyway…

Ah well, his loss our gain…’s getting to be something when you can’t get hold of decent wine because some blasted journalist comes down here on his holidays and puts his ‘friends’ in the know…

Well, as it turned out it was lucky for me…that’s a nice drop he makes.

So it is! Hang on…here’s Victor! The gendarmes let you out did they?

Hello, Victor! Glass of Antoine’s?

On the house I hope…all the custom I brought you today!

Custom! Don’t talk to me about custom! After his gorillas carted you lot off that obnoxious pest Malfrat was here sinking it as if there was no tomorrow!
Mark you, I gave him that stuff you offloaded onto me…your- what was it – biodynamite stuff that you were going to sell to the English…

Serve him right…enough to kill an ox, that stuff, even the English wouldn’t drink it….I don’t suppose he paid you….

Pay! He’s a gendarme! Don’t make me laugh!

Well,  all that will change once we get into power! No more swilling for Malfrat…and he can keep a civil tongue in  his head while he’s about it….I haven’t been called names like that since my time in the army!

Oh, no, Victor, please! That’s how it started this afternoon!

What do you mean…’when we get into power’….didn’t see your name on a ballot paper!

Of course you didn’t, Clement! I’m not standing for office at my age, and anyway I don’t want my tyres let down…let alone be forced to go to Belgium with all those foreigners…….No, our party, the Front National! And our lovely leader, Marine Le Pen, next President of France!

Oh, come on, Victor! Your lot only did so well because people couldn’t be bothered to go out to vote…come the real elections in 2017  it’ll be a different story! No one’s going to vote for a party that blames everything on immigrants!

Ho! Don’t you be so sure! That’s what Theo said this afternoon; typical know all communist that he is – always knows best. Well, as I said to him then and I say to you now, just you wait! People didn’t turn out this time because they know there’s nothing you can do about the European Union…the parliament members are just so much whitewash for the crooks and madmen running the place on our money…but the Presidential is the real one and all the people who are sick and tired of being taxed to the hilt to keep a bunch of freeloaders in foie gras will be out in force! Then you’ll see…which is what I said to Theo, but he wouldn’t have it.

That’s as may be, Victor, but you didn’t have to push his wheelchair outside and set it off down the hill…

Oh, he didn’t come to any harm…and it’s hardly a hill, just a slope down  to the Place d’Armes….and there’s no point trying to argue with him, he’s always right!

Well it’s hardly an advertisement for your party, is it…pushing old cripples down hills if they disagree with you! What about the rest of your party’s policies?

Unbeatable, mon pote! And a surefire election winner among them! Out of the Euro…just think about it! We’ll be able to use the francs we’ve been hiding in the mattresses all these years!

You haven’t still got francs in your mattress! Not even you, Victor….

Yes…I couldn’t work out a way of converting them all into euros at the changeover without the taxman getting wind of it or someone denouncing me and, anyway, I was sure the euro couldn’t last…and now I’ll be able to use them again! That’ll get the people out to vote, you see if it doesn’t!

But what about the racism…all the anti immigrant stuff…people won’t stand for that, you know…

What’s racist about saying that you can’t come to France and expect a free hand out? And you can’t say we’re prejudiced…if we pull out of the European Union all those English can go back where they came from too unless they can afford to pay their way…not just the Arabs and Africans from the colonies…

Bit much, that, Victor…having a go at the English because they wouldn’t buy your wine….

Look at them! Come over here, buy places you wouldn’t keep a respectable pig in and think they own the joint! Even stand for local councils! No more of that, I can tell you….France for the French!

But that’s absurd….and trying to get out of being called racist by lumping the English with Arabs just won’t wash!

See, I give you a reasoned argument and you come back with rubbish! Just like Theo when he came back this afternoon with his mates from the old peoples’ home. Mob handed they were…I told them it just showed the weakness of their arguments if they had to resort to violence…

Violence! Old boys in their eighties!

In their eighties they might be, Clement, and so’s Victor after all, but most of them were on the railways when we still had steam trains and they can handle themselves! It all started peaceably enough, having a go at Victor over a few glasses, but then he took offence when  Jerome called him a capitalist lackey and things got out of hand…

Capitalist lackey…better that than a lackey of Moscow and so I told him!

So you did, Victor, so you did…..and then Lionel whacked you in the shins with his crutch and you grabbed Jean-Michel’s zimmer frame and laid about you until you got it caught up in the coat rack and they were on to you! Pity the national rugby coach couldn’t have seen them…they’d do better in the scrum than the current lot…

And which spoil sport called the gendarmerie, I’d like to know! I was just getting my second wind when they burst in and trapped me behind the door! Nearly put the false teeth through the back of my neck! And as for being manhandled down to the paddy waggon…! No respect, that’s what! You’d think we were a bunch of Arabs in the Paris suburbs…though they’d never have dared come the old acid with them as there’d have been hell to pay! Half the bleeding hearts who live well away from the suburbs writing to the newspapers and looking disapproving on the television…

I tell you, come the revolution – I mean when we get into power –  there’ll be changes!




























61 thoughts on “After the Ball was Over….the European Elections”

    1. I used to wonder why it all felt so familiar…then remembered that I had read Clochemerle at an early age….one of these days I’ll do Clochemerle Babylone….

    1. The changes accordng to Victor…or the changes according to his party…?
      I suspect they diverge somewhat and that Mme. Le Pen lacks Victor’s intense interest in the future of gendarmerie boss Malfrat…against whom Victor would be the first in line to protect Theo, Lionel and Jean-Michel.

        1. Some of those elected to the European Parliament are members of the existing political class…but more representative seem to be the Poujadist group, infuriated by the inertia of France which they put down to rule by Brussels…ignoring the evidence of their own eyes as most of the nonsense of the EU is French in origin.

  1. Hello Helen,

    What is to become of us all, we ask. Here in Hungary the far right gain ground as we write. The European Parliament is going to be a rum old place with almost everyone there wishing that the very institution they are a part of did not exist!

    It all sounds as if it is from a rather silly play but the sad truth is that this is the new reality. We who normally snipe from the wings will have to stand up and be counted soon we fear!

    1. I doubt that any changes will be detected in the EU….the powers of the European Parliament are decidedly limited….
      What does worry me is that the growing dissatisfaction with the state of civil society will provide our masters with an excuse for violent repression….just what their masters of global finance require.

      I fear that you might be right about having to stand up….but don’t be under any illusions about the consequences.

  2. To be honest, none of this matters, except as a sign of things to come. The reality is that we are all just waiting until the banks and property markets implode again because there have been no proper reforms where it matters. Then the real action will start. It’s going to get much worse before it gets better. Until recently I could have contemplated running away back to Australia, but that’s gone now too.

    1. Agree about Australia…very worrying there too.
      Of course these elections are a side issue – but that is what all elections have become.
      France, fed up with the enarques has nowhere to go but to another party structured on traditional lines – and from what I see in Mediapart, traditional ways of raising funding…
      And no government has any intention of reforming the institutions that own them.
      Melenchon gave a good analysis…I’m not sure if it has made it on to Youtube, but his closing phrases, spoken with genuine emotion, summed up the tragedy of a society made hostage to forces which are inimical to democracy….and the need for action:
      Va la France. Va ma belle patrie. Allez les travailleurs, ressaisissez-vous. Ne laissez pas que tout ça soit fait en votre nom. Ne permettez pas que la France soit autre chose que ce qu’elle est dans le cœur du monde entier.»

  3. I could join in the fighting with my frame and crutches, although I couldn’t hop downstairs and up the street to vote.

    An odd election indeed. I think the slightly less unrespectable face of the UKIP compared with BNP is unlikely to go away. Europe is not going through its best period. I am waiting for a concise list of what the EU has achieved in recent years that has improved peoples’ lives without at the same implementing a counterbalancing damaging measure.

    1. You have the not so secret weapon…the Podenco!

      It is the great failure of the left that the mobilisation of the ‘left out’ takes the form it does….and that the centre right also plays the race and immigration card to mask its refusal to reform the financial institutions which have brought our society to ruin.

      I wouldn’t hold your breath while waiting for the list….

  4. There may indeed have been conversations like yours all over Europe.
    It’s weird how the far right struggles to get into a system they want to abolish. Perhaps they’d like to have a taste of the good life before they crawl back into their rat holes?

    Many many years ago wise men said that the hungry of the world were going to swamp the countries of the affluent, now it is happening, although ‘swamping’ is still an exaggeration.

    Europe is under siege, some would have us believe. But they are still only a quarter against three quarters of the saner population. As the madmen have no policies other than ‘bolt the doors’ to speak of, we may yet all come to our senses.

    I hope so.

    1. A false problem, used to keep the minds of the populace from the real one….the rampant greed of the financial institutions…and, thanks to the media, succeeding in so doing.
      If immigration is a problem, then look at redirecting aid from the pockets of dictators directly into the hands of those in need, a solution which has hands raised in horror because of the risk of ‘corruption’!

      1. Unfortunately, as they say, those who don’t study history are condemned to repeat it. I fear that is the case with so much of the voting populace around the world these days.

  5. Very entertaining! Love the biodynamite wine. 🙂

    I was having a tipsy afternoon (it being Mother’s Day) with some neighbours, and we suddenly realised it was 5.55pm, so had to stagger to the voting office to vote with seconds to spare!

    1. Ancient Egyptians the lot of you!
      It was their custom to deliberate twice…once while sober once while drunk…and if the two decisions were the same that was what they did!

      1. What a sound system, although from the state of France, I think most decisions taken in the last 40 years must have been taken when drunk!

  6. How many of the voters know what actually goes on in the European parliament? There’s scarcely a mention of it in the British media unless something sensational happens like an (alleged) ban on curved bananas. People were voting solely on the basis of politicians’ rhetoric or traditional party loyalties. And however they voted, no doubt the European parliament will carry on much as before, amid the same media blackout.

    1. I have a suspicion that people think that the European Parliament matters…and so when election time comes round it seems a chance to ‘get back’ at a European Union seen as remote and grasping….

      And as for media blackouts…what do we hear about the proposed U.S. E.U. trade treaty…sweet F.A., that’s what and it is a dangerous beast.

  7. I’d like to say it’s like living in a looking-glass world, except of course we aren’t. I’m pinning my hopes on it having been the usual EU election silliness, but in spades and at the next proper elections people will settle down and be sensible. Idealist – moi?

    1. Given the basic good in most people why should one not be idealist?

      Though I don’t see anything sensible in voting for the existing parties given their track record …

      There’s an excerpt from the Melenchon video on Art Goldhammer’s French Politics blog…it is worth seeing; his emotion gives one some hope in an age of spin and doubletalk.

    1. I’m doing just that…but it will never sell…people only want to read about sipping pink wine on a terrace overlooking sunflowers…not old Victor mixing it with a zimmer frame…

  8. Helen, I’ve read your post several times and have to admit to a failure of comprehension. I simply do not speak Euro. I am so ashamed of my provincialism that I am now going to key in and find something more my speed, perhaps a nice book about sipping pink wine on a terrace overlooking sunflowers.

    1. Don’t blame you!
      But if you’re thinking of reading something on France try Suzie Kelly’s books…One step forward three steps back, and the rest…she can write so well and, just from readiing her descriptions of places I know she is spot on for accuracy too.
      She’s cut above the rest…by a few miles…so do give her books a go.

        1. She’s a dog loving person too…other books include A perfect circle, Best foot forward, Travels with Tinkerbelle,Valley of Heaven and Hell (on the route of the attempted escape of Marie Antoinette) – and to my shame I got the first title wrong…it is Two steps backwards…and she has written a superb memoir of her childhood – I wish I could say I was sorry.
          You’re in for a good read with her stuff.

  9. France is busy posting comments on Facebook about how ashamed they are to be French. The only thing they should be ashamed of is the low turnout – theres no point pointing the finger at the National Front because their supporters turned out whilst everyone else found something better to do. If you calculate 25% of the 35% of voters who bothered to get their backsides the far right had much less success that the apathy party.

      1. We had all this when Jospin (one of whose aides was Hollande) miscalculated and decided he was sure to win the first round so hardly bothered to campaign…..don’t remember him saying he was ashamed to be a politician when people who normally wouldn’t have touched Chirac with a bargepole were forced to vote for him to keep out Le Pen pere….

        And as for the FN…nothing feeds success like success….it will worry me when people stop being ashamed to say they voted for them….which, the more the elite and their media bang on, the more the people who loathe where the elite has brought France will be emboldened to do.

        PS down the tubes, UMP blown sky high…where are the conformist French to turn? I don’t see any Pirates on the horizon as in Germany…

        Friends who’ve voted PS all their lives did not go out to vote…fed up with the nonentities parachuted into their circonscription…just as with national elections…
        The existing parties have to do a quick job of internal reform if they are going to gain more than the grudging acceptance of the voters – who don’t see that the FN is another traditional party structure with the same failings – and, given the inadequates with exorbitant egos who run the parties I don’t see it happening…at least, not in time.

  10. So glad to see the streets of France alive with student protest today. It is so frightening to think that those who didn’t mind the possibility of what they might have thought was wasting a vote in the European elections, may be emboldened and take herds of sheep with them when voting in national elections.

    1. Having sown the nationalistic ‘everything French is best’ wind all the main stream parties have reaped the electoral whirlwind….it builds on the same attitude in education…in culture…so no wonder that people who feel betrayed find refuge in promises of France for the French…of having primacy of French culture….it isn’t a solution to France’s ills, but it is the solution suggested by the context of French society.

  11. My goodness – there were elections!? Don’t think anybody told the various parties here in Larbert. Not a sign of canvasser, a leaflet…or even an election poster on a lamp post. There’s been a lot of talk about Europe vis-a-vis the coming independence referendum from all sides of the political debate but it would seem they couldn’t care less as to who was elected or from which party. Scotland apparently elected one far right UKIP candidate…although nobody is owning up to voting for him.

    1. That reminds me of when I was first in France…44 people voted for the FN in my commune – and the maire knew exactly who they were!
      So much for the secrecy of the ballot!

  12. Meant to say earlier, Helen…you will have gleaned from my recent post that my hillwalking days are over. This is a bit of a b****r as the great 2 year plan was to have “Reservoir Dugz” as the lead in to what would become (to all intents and purposes) “Where The Fatdog Walks 2″ when the pups were big enough to tackle the hills, As this has scuppered my devious scheme for global hillwalking blog domination I will now have to revert to Plan B.

    Having also discovered that young dogs have no newsworthy attributes (other than possibly driving me to post a collection of sweary words on a regular basis) “Reservoir Dugz” is a bit of a lame duck. As a result I have cleared out the old posts from what was to have been MY (not doggie based) blog “Falling Out The Ugly Tree” and have opened for “business”. What exactly the “business” will eventually be – I’m not entirely sure yet…but it’s not as if I’ve never made things up in the past. 😀

    1. The Fatdog was never designed to walk twice….these two young thugs have a life of their own, which will no doubt be revealed to us in due course…
      Take heart.. if I can write about a sheep then you can certainly write about these two monsters…

      I’m truly sorry about the end of your hill walking days and not just for you…they took me back not only to the days when my knees worked, but the days when my father took me walking, scrambling, climbing alongside of him…not to speak of guddling for trout…dear dead days that you revived for me.

      Still, I enjoyed the few episodes of the ‘ugly tree’ that you vouchsafed us earlier and look forward to the new canon forthcoming.

      Oh and there’s been a post on WordPress about Sicilian swear words which appeared recently which disappointed me by giving none of them in unexpurgated version.
      I trust you can beat this…

      1. That first line of your reply rather brought a tear to my eye Helen. You’re quite right The Fatdog was never designed to walk twice. It was a great story and should be left at that.

        Considering the sciatica actually began in 2007, only a few months after I began hillwalking, I reckon I had a decent run although the number of trips declined each year. I’m glad the “tails” brought back happy memories to you – just sorry I probably won’t be able to provide any more of that type in the future. has indeed kicked off…and yes…before you ask…there just might just be a bit of a sweary word in there.

        1. I came late to the Fatdog….but the personality was omnipresent.
          i can always look – i hope – at the archives to take me back to the days out walking.
          I’m off to hang from the ugly trree later today – now the computer has decided to work again!

  13. What is just as worrying, if not even more so, is that we are now a week on from the EU election results and the EU Commission seems to be carrying on regardless, telling the UK government to raise taxes!

  14. I think I’ve missed a few of your posts recently. My blog reading list seems to have stopped working, so I am gradually wading through the list of blogs I follow because I’ve clearly missed others as well. So just catching up with yours. xxx

  15. My blog reading list, like Ayak’s seems to have been playing up as I didn’t see this post until today when it was flagged as ‘new’ on my reading list!! Blinking blogger!!
    One tiny ray of light…but distinctly tiny… NL veered away from Gert Wilders but I won’t hold my breath……

    1. Sorry to be so late in replying…the rains brought about a landslide and took out the ‘phone lines…

      Yes, a ray of light, but not so much as to encourage the holding of breath.

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