Emperors clothes lost in translation

macron pilote

Presiedent Macron of France visits his decidedly unimpressed troops.

As usual he has dressed up for the occasion, this time taking from the toy box a uniform with insignia showing him to be a pilot….

Previously he had had  himself lowered from a helicopter to visit a nuclear submarine…wearing naval uniform….

As President, he is head of the armed forces which entitles him to wear appropriate uniforms, but in a man who had not undergone military service – normal for someone of his age when there was no compulsory conscription – it is a bit rich to assume a qualification – as pilot – which was certainly not awarded during his stint at the Ecole Nationale d`Administration.

No doubt some devotee of the ancient art of Arslikhan issued him with said uniform…but as head of the armed forces he should have recognised and declined the pilots`badge: the armed forces are notoriously chary of those who flaunt what they have not earned.

In the wake of a row with the chief of the general staff  over fiddles in the defence budget to make Peter pay Paul, Macron had proclaimed to a gathering of senior officers that he was the head of the armed forces and that any question as to his care for their interests was out of order.

Tell that to the poor buggers sent to fight in Mali in obsolete personnel carriers…

Needless to say, Macron`s uniform fetishism has formed the subject of exchanges with French friends…none of whom had or would have voted for him even against Le Pen.

For all of us he is the product of a media campaign supported by the proprietors whom he helped into their positions when a minister in Hollande`s government…a creature of the banks and big business.

So, as always, the consolation of the downtrodden is to extract the urine.

We imagined all the situations in which Macron could dress up…..

He could visit a creche wearing a nappy…

He could visit the Pope dressed as a choirboy…fine for this Pope but with his predeccessors better to go dressed as a nun…

He could make a state visit to Russia stripped to the waist and mounted on a horse a la Putin…

Or what about his arrival to salute the winner of the Tour de France…clad in head to toe lycra? No, forget that…the winner was not French.

Having taken President Trump for a meal  in a restaurant  in the Eiffel Tower perhaps he would follow that up by inviting another head of state to the Crazy Horse…clad in a G string with feathers sprouting from his posterior…

And just imagine his costume to receive the organisers of the Gay Pride March!

Come to that, what would Madame Macron, who would have been a worthy winner of a Butlins Knobbly Knees competition in her time,  be wearing?

brigitte macron

Given what she has been wearing to date, the mind boggles….and surmises…but French gallantry negates further speculation.

But then it occurred to me…we were laughing at Macron in a particular context…the context of French history and culture: we were comparing Macron with de Gaulle, with Giscard d`Estaing…we were laughing at a reference from one of Audiard`s films…Un Taxi pour Tobrouk… where one of the protagonists whose father worked for the Vichy government proclaimed that his father respected the law so much that if the Chinese took power he would become a mandarin and that if the Africans took over he would put a  bone in hs nose – while best not to contemplate what he would have to do if the Greeks took over..

How the blazes do you translate the sense of all that?

I know that I cannot…and have every respect for professional translators who manage to convey not only the sense but the nuances of the message of the speaker.

No nuances necessary, though, for Macron`s  speech at the Vel d`Hiv on the 75th anniversary of the round up of 13,000 Jews, including some 4,000 children, by the French police. They were crammed into the stadium for days without food or water before being shipped out to concentration camps whence but few returned.

He proclaimed that France was responsible for this atrocity…echoing Chirac, the first French President to acknowledge state responsibility: he criticised earlier Presidents…Mitterand, de Gaulle, for their refusal to do likewise.

For Macron, Vichy France was France: while one can understand the reticence of Mitterand given his associations with Vichy one can also understand the refusal of de Gaulle to accept that the Vichy regime was a legitimate government given his position as leader of those who opposed it tooth and nail.

Either Macron has no sense of history, or wrongly believes that the scars of the defeat of 1940 and its consequences are healed: in any case, he took the opportunity to condemn anti semitism in round terms in the presence of his guest, Netenyahu, President of Israel, and to agree with the latter that anti-Zionism was but another manifestation of anti semitism.

Which is where another serpent raised its head.

You can be Jewish without being a supporter of Zionism and to conflate the two is either a remarkable feat of ignorance…or a sop to his guest before calling on him to soften his policy towards the displaced Palestinians.

While those who are in fact anti semitic will take the opportunity to call Macron the Rochschild candidate once more those who are not will have further doubts about his ability to master any part of his role other than that of issuing soundbites……and wearing uniforms.








Solis swallowing wasp


37 thoughts on “Emperors clothes lost in translation”

        1. What worries me is that he has a large majority, many of whom have no political experience. Yes, refreshing, but the danger is that they can be led by the nose very easily.

    1. Just look at the emergency measures he is installing in permanence as part of general law…with hardly a squawk from the mainstream press. First turn of the screw.

  1. Bravo for calling him out on all this. I thought that once he was elected he would stop campaigning but no. That thing with him in military uniform also struck me as odd. To me he respects his soldiers by not pretending to be one of them. It takes more than a uniform, Manny. Plus the autocratic move of making the “emergency” loss of civil liberties permanent. Plus, though it’s not strictly his fault, the anorexic wife. That Louis Vuitton suit that you show her in is not only completely unaffordable for most of us, it uses the old anorexic trick of being a little oversize, to disguise her truly bony frame. And the oversize hair, to cover the wrinkles, etc. I wish they would just be who they are. I supported Macron because France’s employment laws are in such dire need of reform. I don’t know that he has even addressed that, yet, not in any serious way. Oy. Politicians. Same as they ever were.

    1. French employent law is in sore need of reform…it is fine (well, sort of) for huge state owned enterprises, but not for the three men and a boy firms who can never take the risk of growth.
      But Macron is not the man to do it: his agenda is to make France a low wage economy, playing on the general view that things are too rigid as they are in order to bring about the loss of aquired rights.
      His friends in the press brought about the downfall of Fillon, and from then on it was a certainty that he would win against Le Pen. Even Hollande second time round would win against Le Pen.
      He has played on the general discontent with politics and politicians…has achieved a sound power base in the National Assembly….he can get through whatever programme he wishes.
      He is a dangerous man.

      1. I agree. There is a big difference between allowing layoffs and lowering wages. For all my gripes, I would never say the French are overpaid. The social charges are insane but that’s something different. So you, too, think the Fillon scandal was a case of selective enforcement. I thought the timing was suspicious, for sure, and you have to wonder whether no-show jobs aren’t considered one of the perks. You’ll notice there has been no follow-up with Fillon, while LePen, whose equivalent scandal was soft-pedaled during the campaign, is only now being brought in for questioning. I’m always slow to see political motivations but in this case they are unmissable.

        1. The social charges are insane…and that is a system which is in urgent need of overhaul…but no one wants to touch the insurance companies who offer the top up, let alone some of the more outlandish schemes of cover such as that enjoyed by the acting profession.

          I thought that the campaign against Fillon had to be politically motivated: everyone knows the FN cannot win a presidential run off, so no need to do more than the usual slurs….Hollande torpedoed the PS….but Fillon had to be nobbled.
          After all, when has anyone in France thought it odd to find jobs for the boys…especially their own boys.

          And then the pure party of Macron comes up with the would be minister with his hands all over a dodgy property deal in Brittany using public funds. What happens? He is sidetracked into leading the party in the NA and no more said in the press

          1. It will be interesting to see how things play out. With the mandate Macron has, there is no excuse for not making the reforms he promised. Right now he mainly seems intent on cementing control.

          2. And yet even with the purification of political life that was promised things are already going awry…no, you can`t employ your wife, but your colleague can while you employ his…and not all the expenses of the politicians will have to be supported by bills: the politicians themselves will decide which have to be and which have not – and the public will not be able to inspect them.
            Not encouraging…

          3. And we haven’t even started on the US. How are they ever going to clean up that mess? Do they even want to? All you and I can do is watch and wait.

  2. France draws little attention here, being,as Australia is, all but the 51st star on America’s flag.
    But thank you for the images you flashed across my pre-coffee brain…the lycra would have be parfait, n’est-ce pas?

    1. I wish that idea had never been raised…I am haunted by ther vision of him in lycra riding down the Champs Elysees in a command car…
      Enough to blind half of Paris

  3. I think it’s a question of trying to hard. Learn the lesson M’sieur Macaroon… less will always be more and attention to detail is vital in high office. As for Madame …. Lollipop is never an attractive look particularly when the sugar is so clearly past it’s sell-by

    1. De Gaulle had certain idea of France`. France has a certain idea of its presidents….and that does not include attempts to try the common touch.
      Do you remember Giscard d`Estaing and his accordion? And his visits to òrdinary folk`? Being bright he soon gave that up.
      Henry Vth may have got away with a little touch of Harry in the night, but Emmanuel is only a paper warrior…and it shows.

      Mme. Macron…where does one start…?
      With that hairdo she reminds me of a rat peering from a ball of oakum.
      There are so many smart older women about: who on earth is advising her to wear clothes that make her look like a cinema usher from the sixties?

      1. As the undoubted power behind the common throne, I rather think these are her own confections. I suspect she may also be responsible for his attempts at being a living ‘Action Man’ dolly. And yes, I do remember the accordion 😂

  4. Ha ha I had some great images flash before my eyes here, thanks so much for being the trigger.
    More importantly though how is Leo? Is he still at home with you waiting to go in for the op?
    Take care and hope that you both have a good week Diane

    1. The lycra haunts me….

      Leo goes back to the main hospital on 3rd August: the fracture blisters have healed thanks to super treatment at the local hosptial but from what I gather from his specialist they are reluctant to operate given all his other problems.
      However, he is in good form so that may change once they take the next load of X rays.
      He is tired of sitting in a wheelchair…but at least he is mobile!
      I am very grateful for the high standard of treatment he has received…and is receiving. Nothing is too much trouble for the staff of the CAJA (NHS) to make him comfortable both physically and mentally.

  5. 1. George Bush the Least was also fond of wearing uniforms. It was, I think, one of the few things vaguely politically related that he understood.

    2. Israel has a long history of conflating anti-Zionism and antisemitism. It was not helped make the world a better place.

    1. Wasn`t Bush in some sort of boy scout air service when young? Not that he would have been drafted, of course, despite his flying experience. That only happens to other people`s kids…

      Seems to me that Israel has learned all too much from the Nazis…

  6. I cannot imagine wearing a uniform without having done the hard work involved with earning that honor. Even more, I cannot imagine facing those who did do the work while wearing the same uniform. I understand that in many, if not most, nations, the head of state is also the commander in chief, but if you want to keep the respect of those you command, don’t denigrate their achievement by donning their uniform like it’s a stage costume. Pure hubris.

      1. Compare the armchair military heroes with Admiral Jeremy Boorda, who was US Chief of Naval Operations.

        Boorda was the first American sailor to have risen through the enlisted ranks to become the Chief of Naval Operations, the highest-ranking billet in the U.S. Navy, and he was a Vietnam veteran.

        He committed suicide in 1996 because he was reportedly upset about a media investigation into the legitimacy of his having worn on his uniform two service ribbons with bronze “V” (valor) devices which were generally perceived to indicate heroism in combat. Boorda had earned the two medals during the war represented by the ribbons, but there were questions about whether the two very small devices on the decorations were authorized. Boorda had participated in combat situations off the coast of Vietnam and had been given permission to wear the devices, it was determined before and after he died, that he did not meet the Navy’s combat requirements to wear the devices.

        Boorda had removed the two ribbon devices on his uniform almost a year before he died and was generally perceived as having made a good faith error in believing he was authorized to wear the devices, rather than trying to be deceptive.

        However, his shame over even an unintentional mistake and his concern about bringing disrepute on the Navy was such that he took his own life.


  7. ‘Green on! We’re airborne and we know we are the best . .’ and god help anyone who tries to pretend they are what they are not!!

    1. I suspect that he would need industrial supplies of underpants if he tried to qualify as airborne instead of posturing on the end of a rope from a helicopter.

      Can you just imagine the temptation to dunk him, though…

    1. It gives a bad impression….if you must send out troops to support the dictator of the month in Africa at least do them the courtesy of appearing in civilian dress. You don\t share their hardships, don`t borrow their uniforms.

  8. First the US gave us Trump.
    Then Cameron gave us May.
    Now the French have given us Marcon.
    Glory be for the Germans!

  9. Indeed, what’s the point of wearing military uniforms except to pretend he has some military experience? What a fraud. Even Tony Blair didn’t go that far. I love your suggestions of appropriate uniforms for other state occasions. I shall be amused for days by the prospect of his meeting the Gay Pride organisers. Full drag perhaps with big hair, six inch stilettos, Spanx and a skintight mini-dress?

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