You have got to love French politics. It seems that a complicated love life is a must for any French politician. What has happened this week is indeed too good to miss. You can read the whole story here if you want more details.
Let me explain: one tweet from Francois Hollande’s partner, Valerie Trierweiler, has created a huge embarrassment amongst French socialists. To cut a long story short, the first girlfriend of France decided to support a dissident socialist running for MP in La Rochelle in the middle of the elections, against the official candidate, Segolene Royal, who happens to be the former girlfriend of the actual president and the mother of his four children. Did you follow? Yes, I know that it is complicated, but that’s French politics for you. You can see the original tweet –in French- here.
The feud between Valerie Trierweiler (Francois Hollande’s actual girlfriend) and Segolene Royal (how ex partner) is a long-running one. When the then-married Valerie Trierweiler started to have an affair with Francois Hollande around 2005, she was working as a political journalist. A couple of years later, when the affair was still going strong and when Miss Royal was running for presidency, she allegedly asked her brother, who happens to work for the French Intelligence services (and bombed the Rainbow Warrior. It is a small world, after all) to contact Paris-Match, Valerie Trierweiler’s newspaper and ask them consign her to a non-political role, which Paris Match did. So much for the independence of the press. Welcome to France, guys!
Valerie Trierweiler was too upset to vote for Segolene Royal in the subsequent French general election in 2007. That was how personal it was.
But for Valerie Trierweiler, revenge is best served cold, and I suspect that her tweet is, in fact, a tit for tat (you made me change job. Well, I am going to make you change job too, Darling…)
Of course, some say that Segolene Royal only has herself to blame as she didn’t follow the process of primary elections to be chosen as the official MP candidate in La Rochelle. No, instead, she probably used the “special relationship” she enjoys with the highest instances of the party. She has also made it clear that, if elected (and that’s a big if right now) she wants to become the speaker of the Parliament. Her political ambitions and undemocratic ways to get selected for the elections have made some gnash their teeth and as a result the dissident candidate was already enjoying a lot of support, even BT (Before Tweet).
Where does this leave me? Well, I don’t know whether I should find the whole episode incredibly funny or just plain pathetic. I find it harder and harder to relate to French politics. I honestly can’t find a similar scandal in the UK. How can anyone take French politics seriously after this? Come on, there is a recession looming out there and frankly, I am not interested in your rivalries. In short, my message to French politicians and their wives/mistresses/girlfriends is: if you could spend less time sleeping around and more actually running the country it would be great. Come on, grow up!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London