Posted by / Category Politics /

Let’s start with the fact that I am upset. To me, French politicians in general and the actual government in particular have lost any credibility whatsoever. The last straw was a few days ago when the Budget minister, who was in charge of tackling tax evasion, admitted to having a hidden account in Switzerland with €600 000 on it. In itself, this is not illegal. What is illegal is the fact that he didn’t declare it and repeatedly said that the allegations of tax evasion against him were false, even threatening to sue anyone who would report them. He lied to his colleagues, to the Parliament, and tried to intimidate anyone who would dare to mention the matter until, eventually, he had no choice but to admit the truth. The whole saga lasted a few months.
The French media were surprisingly polite and considerate in reporting this. You may remember that a newspaper insulted businessman Bernard Arnault (f… Off, rich c****) just for wanting to become Belgian and our Prime Minister said that the actor Gerard Depardieu  was ‘pathetic’ because he wanted to move to Russia. Well, I couldn’t find any insults in the newspapers this time around and the word ‘pathetic’ wasn’t used at all. A clear case of double standard. Journalists and politicians have always had a cosy relationship in France. Very cosy indeed.
But fear not: in order for my readers to understand what this is all about, I have decided to compile a list of the skills that you need to have if you want to make it as a politician in France. This list will be useful next time you hear another big fat lie or another lecture citing French philosophers coming from one of our beloved leaders.
1.    Being a sex pervert is seen as a quality (DSK);
2.    Having lots of affairs is a sign of good health (F. Hollande, J Chirac, F Mitterrand….the list is too long and I would need several posts to be exhaustive);
3.    You don’t need to apply the principles that you preach. Principles are completely disconnected from the reality and laws don’t apply to you anyway (see Jerome Cahuzac). Of course they don’t;
4.    It is all about scoring points and not doing things. Debating is much more important than solving problems. After all, you need to be popular, not solve issues, right?
5.    If something goes wrong, just create a new law/decree/rule (it is a shame that there is no law against hypocrisy and incompetence). See, you have done something! No wonder we end up with so many laws and rules;
6.    It helps to be married to a journalist (a lot), or to have one as a lover;
7.    It also helps to have a degree of Ecole Nationale d’Administration (for some reason, most French politicians have the same academic background. Exactly the same. And it is not about what you learn, it is about your grades. Go figure);
8.    No need to speak English or any other language. Who needs anything else when you speak French?
9.    No need to have any work experience. Having worked in the private sector is actually frowned upon;
10. You can change side. Clearly, it doesn’t matter as long as you remain in power. Francois Mitterand used to support Petain before becoming a resistant of the eleventh hour at the end of WW2. He then became a socialist.
In short, I am gutted. Is it the same everywhere? Older generations have fought hard for a democracy and this is what we get! I can’t believe it. I am so angry that I am considering getting rid of my French citizenship. I probably need to calm down. What would you do?

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Flora Tonking

    I don’t think it’s just France’s politicians who are behaving badly. (For your point #1 see also Berlusconi!). Sadly across the world politicians are regarded with suspicion these days. Even their British counterparts have shamed themselves with expense fiddling, perjury, messy affairs and divorces and underhand dealings. These just seem to be the perfect job qualifications these days…

  • Or, better yet, do one thing (like cart off Jews at the behest of Germany, harbor terrorists, trade with Iran while putting it on a blacklist) and state otherwise. When accused- stick with your reply. Moi?

  • Ann Mullen

    MuriEL, you might as well have written the same thing about American politicians. I don’t know about being in bed with the press, but it sure seems like that as well. It must be a universal law. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely–comes to mind. I want all politicians to have term limits and not be allowed to join a lobby until after they have been out of office for 5 years. If wishes were horses.

  • Carolina HeartStrings

    France is not alone. And… being a history buff, I am humored when I read old newspaper accounts of corruption. Why did I think corruption was some newer trend? You don’t get to power by being a nice guy. Sad.

  • Suerae Stein

    I totally understand your frustration, and it is not just in France. There are polluted politicians everywhere. We have plenty of them here in the US. You’d probably end up a homeless person if you gave up your citizenship in every country with corrupt politics! I find it interesting though that the media are on the politicians side in France. I wouldn’t say the same here.

  • That’s just the nature of things. This is why we need to pray for our leaders. They need guidance!

  • SarahHague

    “It is all about scoring points and not doing things. Debating is much more important than solving problems. After all, you need to be popular, not solve issues, right?”

    This is the exact opposite of what Maggie T believed. Nuff said.

    The €600K is probably just the tip of the iceberg too. Seems more like he’s got €15million stashed away.

  • MuMuGB

    You are right Flora. that said, French politicians have taken it to a whole new level in this instance: the guy in charge of tackling tax evasion was hiding a lovely pack of cash in Switzerland! I am still shocked.
    And at lest, in the UK, the press talks about it…

  • MuMuGB

    How can they live with such things, Roy? I sometimes wonder.

  • MuMuGB

    Well, the collusion between politicians and journalists seems to be a French thing…and an annoying one. I can’t help thinking that things are a bit more transparent in the UK and the US. Maybe the grass is always greener elsewhere?

  • MuMuGB

    You do have a point. That said, I am an optimist: I think that it is possible to lead by exemplarity and I am deeply disappointed to see that it is not the case in my home country.

  • MuMuGB

    The collusion between the media and the politicians is a French thing. I can’t stand it, but that’s the way it is. Oh, and in such instances I am happy to have a dual citizenship.

  • MuMuGB

    They need more than prayers. Some just need to be sacked, don’t you think?

  • MuMuGB

    I am still in shock. apparently, he wants to be a MP again! I can’t believe it. The whole thing is a joke (and a bad one).