Tuesday 23 March 2010
Not Waving but Drowning
Nicholas Sarkozy really is sinking, the president of France, the president of bling. He seems to be as bad news for his own Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) as Barack Obama is for the Democrats. In the regional elections his name wasn't even mentioned in party literature, just in case voters took the 'ump (groan; sorry!) The man, quite simply, is an embarrassment, a major electoral liability.
The poor man has desperately been trying to distance himself from the predicted outcome, saying that this will have a purely local significance. At the same time he has complained that, to use his own words, "The French don't like me, they've never liked me." Oh, poor mouse, but where, one has to ask, does he think he is from? He obviously does not want to think of himself as French, no, just a case apart, a unique thing, a Sarkozian, from some distant planet, one assumes.
Alas, this is a man fighting a war on two fronts; on the one blaming the voters for his own dismal political performance, on the other blaming the virtual world for the "idiotic" rumours that Carla, his twitter-headed wife, was seeing someone else, was treating him in the same fashion as other French wives are, by tradition and literature, said to treat their husbands.
Is it true? Oh, who knows? There is no definite confirmation of the story which grew as an internet bush fire, but these things have a way of coming true. After all, Carla is a woman who produces such super bons mots as "I guess marriage should be for ever, but who knows what happens?" The super model's super mouth has been kept firmly shut since that particular piece of wisdom was produced earlier this month. I rather suspect this will remain the case. I find it difficult to imagine a person less fitted to be a first lady than Carla, whose head is as empty as her bra. Oh, but she looks so good beside Sarko, a mirror to his absurd personal vanity.
On the political front the problems really arise from Sarko's intellectual confusion, as much as his confusion over his nationality. He stood in 2007 on a right-wing ticket and if I were French I would have voted on the platform he presented, no matter my reservations over the man. Anything is better than a socialist, after all, even a Sarkozian. But France did not get a right-wing president; it got one who moves with the tides of political fashion, active for the sake of being active, with no direction, no principle no guiding set of doctrines. Even the people of Alsace, traditionally a bastion of the right, have had enough. I read a report of one retired bank manager, living in Strasbourg, saying that voters had had it "up to here" with the muddle-headed president, a man who appointed Bernard Koucher, a leading left-winger, to the key post of foreign Minister.
But there are other woes, even more fundamental for Alsace and France beyond, with unemployment now running at 10% and more and more jobs vanishing abroad. I suspect that a great many voters will be hoping that the Sarko, platform shoes and all, will vanish back at warp speed to the distant galaxy from which he emerged.
Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.
Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.