In case you have been hibernating, the best show in town isn’t Dallas or Dynasty, it’s Australian politics. An extramarital affair and its fallout have put the ruling Liberal-National coalition under massive pressure. The nation is completely hooked -I shamefully admit that I am too. Today there was no headlines about the whole saga, and I almost found it boring. The difference between American soap operas and the Australian government is that one features a scorned soon-to-be first wife, a pregnant younger lover and doubts over paternity, and the others are 1980s TV shows that I grew up watching. What can I say? Reality is sometimes even messier than fiction. And I, for one, can’t wait for the next episode (Reconciliation with wife? Twins? Another potential father? Who knows?). I am joking of course. Well, sort of.
Now let me tell you different stories: a 15 year-old boy meets a much older drama teacher in high school, and eventually falls in love with her. His parents can’t keep them apart, so years later the mother-of-three eventually divorces her husband and marries her former student. He then runs for president when he’s 39 and she’s 64. He wins. The exact date of the start of their relationship isn’t known. What could be the stuff of criminal case in the Anglo-saxon world is met with a Gallic shrug in my home country.
I keep hearing that what worries my Aussie friends isn’t the affair per se (yeah right. As if I believe you!) but the fact that taxpayers’ money might have been used for highly paid jobs and expenses. Boy, you guys are real cute! In France and in no particular order, we had a President having a car crash with the milkman while coming back from a night with his mistress (we taxpayers had to foot the bill), another President who kept two families and numerous mistresses at our expenses, and who even tapped the phone of women he wanted to sleep with (The French secret services did the dirty work. Of course they did.). Nobody batted an eyelid.