Every week, in London, there is a press article about French politicians. Unfortunately, it is not about politics or economics. And no, it is not about elections either! It is all about the politicians’ tangled love life. What vaudeville! The latest articles were about Rachida Dati, a former Justice Minister. She decided to sue a well-known French businessman to establish the paternity of her baby daughter. The said businessman implied that the lady had numerous lovers at the time. The saga continues. This new episode left me wondering when French politicians actually work. Don’t get me wrong: what happens between two consenting adults is their own business. But come on, surely the French politicians have too much time on their hands. Maybe it is a side effect of the 35 hours per week. It must be.
Francois Hollande had various partners, mistresses and an actual girlfriend. Apparently he has a love child too. It must be some sort of compulsory routine when you want to be a French president. Love child: check…Giscard d’Estaing had an accident with the milkman when he came back from a night with one of his mistresses. I don’t get it. Where do they find the time to do some actual work? Correction: do they actually work?
I am starting to wonder whether it might actually be me. My life seems, in comparison, incredibly boring. I wouldn’t be able to do a tenth of what they do. Not that I would want to. Is there something wrong with me? No wonder that the French social security deficit is so abysmal when what is expected from some is so, let’s say, incredibly demanding. What is going on in my home country?
Where in America we would have tears and confessions and promises that it will never happen again (remember John Edwards? Mark Sanford?), everything is kept under wraps in France (literally and, well, figuratively) and, even when the rumours are founded, French politicians will sue the newspapers for ‘invasion of privacy’. And most of the time, they will win, although the fines are ridiculously low.
So there is another French paradox: in France you are protected, and sometimes even rewarded for a tangled love life. Especially if you are a man, that is. I am not sure that Rachida Dati will have such an easy escape: apparently she could be jailed if she was to travel to Morocco, her country of origin, because of its strict morality laws. In the meantime, all the male French politicians can travel as much as they want with all the honours. Some things never change.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London