Le grand snark

by Maria on November 23, 2006

Well worth reading; Alex Harrowell at Fistful of Euros dissects the difficulties of the French right following the left’s decision to run Sego in next year’s presidential election;

‘The problem being, of course, that De Villepin is damaged goods, Juppé is a rush-job and a crook, having just returned from trouble with the law, and Chirac is old, unpopular and has scandals like a dog has fleas. Sarkozy, for his part, represents the heritage of the non-Gaullist “droite classique” and, more importantly, appeals to the cult of America. His argument (everything is terrible and only I, the new young US-style leader, know what to do) and his prescription (free markets and mass surveillance) bear a far closer resemblance to Tony Blair than anything found on Ségolene Royal.’



a 11.23.06 at 7:07 am

That doesn’t seem to be the problem of the French right. The problem is that Sarko is going to run as the right-wing candidate, but both de Villepin and Chirac hate him enough that they may just try to throw the election to Sego out of spite.


John Emerson 11.23.06 at 8:26 am

My brief crush on Ségolene, the hottest national leader since Queen Christina, ended the minute I read her biography. Being a Blairite or wanting to be one is bad enough, but apparently she belongs to a state-terrorist family.

Sorry, Ségolene, you ain’t up to my quality standards. Eat your heart out, bitch.


nick s 11.23.06 at 8:57 am

The American perspective on French politics is all the more amusing, given Sarko’s proclivities.

Is the left going to unite behind Ségo, after the Jospin mess last time?


Glorious Godfrey 11.23.06 at 9:05 am

It’s quite likely that the hopes placed by what we may call the Anglo-Saxon press on Sarko will be sorely disappointed. Reforms he may well implement, but he’s above all a political animal, and the American or British models (or caricatures thereof, if you will) are in France for the most part a repoussoir.

I’m reminded of that article in “the Economist”, right after the last German elections, in which a comparison was made that was spectacularly inept even for the magazine’s recent (sub)standards. The anonymous scribe, smart-alecky but verrrry concerned as is their wont, likened Schröder to de Gaulle (possibly because of the alleged moving-away-from-Amerika bit, gotta pander to the target readership) and Merkel to Maggie. One year later, the great coalition continues the softly-softly approach to economic reforms of Schröder’s chancellorship, and the sugary reconciliation with Washington is only the icing that covers the social-democrats’ assertiveness in foreign policy and the CDU-CSU’s unwillingness to get scalded, as they got with their ambivalence towards the whole Iraqi misadventure.

God, I hate the Economist’s reporting on Europe. Pure Tory wank, it is.


Z 11.23.06 at 10:15 am

but apparently she belongs to a state-terrorist family.

She does. What does the fact that her estranged brother was a terrorist tell you about her though?

Is the left going to unite behind Ségo, after the Jospin mess last time?

The political forces left of the Socialist party will certainly not unite behind her. I doubt they will manage to unite under anyone from their ranks either. It is in my opinion too soon to tell if the left-leaning electorate will unite under her but there is palpable fear that Le Pen will again make it to the second round so it is possible that voters will be more cautious this time.


Antoni Jaume 11.23.06 at 3:59 pm

John Emerson,

At European tribune they had some critical discussion on Ségolène Royal involvement in the Rainbow Warrior sinking. It may interest you.




P O'Neill 11.23.06 at 6:24 pm

My understanding is that the left is likely to have at least 2 candidates — Sego, and a supposed unity candidate from the other left-wing parties. However since the Communists seem to be going into the discussions with the smaller leftwing parties with the presumption that their candidate should be the unity candidate, those negotiations look doomed. But the 500 elected official signature requirement to get on the ballot may do in those candidates anyway.


John Emerson 11.23.06 at 8:15 pm

What I know comes from Wiki plus the link Antonio J. provided. There’s no evidence that she’s estranged from her state-terrorist brother, rather the opposite. She was in government at the time of the attack, but apparently not at a high level.

Her being a Blairite is enough for me. The terrorist connection is secondary, but absent a pretty vigorous separation on her part I don’t seen that it’s irrelevant at all. Reports about her attitude toward the event are mixed and uncertain.

Anyway, we should bracket out our sexual fantasies when choosing leaders to support, otherwise the state power will end up in the hands of Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen.


glenn 11.24.06 at 5:22 am

John –
Do you really think Heidi Klum or Gisele Bundchen
could do much worse?


JLS 11.24.06 at 5:58 am

Like François Mitterrand , Ségolène Royal is from a conservative family.

Mitterand belong to the far right when he was young, and he has one or two brother General.
Ségolène has brothers in Army and Secret Service.
She came to the left because of “Feminism” she says.
She has four children, and some of her children are in catholic school, but shes not married.


John Emerson 11.24.06 at 9:06 am

Glenn, I realize now that I was being small-minded. Let’s give Giselle a chance to show what she can do!


CJColucci 11.24.06 at 2:51 pm

But will W. try to fondle her at the next meeting of heads of state? If not, I’ll volunteer.


Eric 11.25.06 at 6:21 pm

Candidates on the left :
Segol̬ne Royal ( Socialist party РParti socialiste )
Marie-Georges Buffet ( Communist party – Parti communiste )
Arlette Laguiller ( Workers struggle РLutte ouvri̬re)
Olivier Besancenot ( Communist Revolutionnary league РLigue communiste r̩volutionnaire )
These 4 are sure to be there, they had the 500 signatures 5 years ago, they’ll have them again. There are some other declared or semi-declared candidates ( Jean-Pierre Chevènement, José Bové, Dominique Voynet ) would could obtain the signatures easily should they decide to do so. ( don’t forget it, these 500 signatures are given by mayors, but in France there are about 36000 of them – no typo it’s thity six thousand mayors )


John 11.27.06 at 7:30 pm

My brief crush on Ségolene, the hottest national leader since Queen Christina,

Queen Christina?


Incredibly not hot.

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