Posted by / Category Politics /


First thing this morning, a couple of friends called me. They were all excited to tell me that the French president, Francois Hollande, is apparently having an affair with a French actress, Julie Gayet. It is all over the French press this morning. If you haven’t followed the whole saga, let me summarise (please concentrate, it is complicated): Francois Hollande has four children with Segolene Royal, but never married her. He might -or might not- have had an affair, and a child, with Anne Hidalgo, a fellow Socialist politician, while he was still with Royal. They (i.e. Royal & Hollande – Bear with me please) broke up in 2007 and the first lady/girlfriend/mistress (take your pick) is now supposed to be the journalist Valerie Trierweiler. Except that she seems to have been cuckolded. Did you follow? This whole story is not making my life any easier. “You see, said one of my friends, I always knew that French men were warm-blooded.” Damn it. Here we go again.

We started a heated debate on whether or not British politicians were as prone to affairs as their French counterparts. I personally believe that the British behave slightly better. My friends disagreed, and told me that the UK had had a fair share of recent sex scandals: look at David Blunkett’s affair with a married woman, Kimberly Fortier, Libdem politician Mark Oaten, and so on, and so forth. OK, point taken, power is an aphrodisiac. That said, most French politicians seem to rebound after a sex scandal. It even seems to enhance their CVs. That’s not really the case over here. Just saying.

Don’t get me wrong: what happens between consenting adults is none of my business (except if my husband was involved, to be perfectly honest). That said, I have to admit that I am intrigued: where do the politicians find the energy? How do they do it? Don’t they have 24 hours in a day, just like the rest of us? I am not the president of any country. I am just a blogger, a wife, and a mum. But believe me, my days are pretty full-on, and I never seem to be able to stop. I feel knackered most of the time, and right now I could kill for a lie-in (not of the naughty kind, to be precise). How do they do it? Don’t they have a job to do? Where did I go wrong? OK, I will admit it, I envy their energy (but not how they use it, just to be crystal clear).

The irony is that my home country is not going well at all: France is still lagging behind, hindered by lots of structural issues that are simply not being dealt with. This was reflected in Standard and Poor’s credit rating cuts at the start of November2013. Unemployment keeps rising (10.9% of the population according to the latest figures, an increase of 0.4% compared to last year), and the government’s only response seems to raise yet again already punitive taxes. In short, there is a lot to do, but right now the only indicator that seems to exceed expectations is the number of mistresses of the president.

So here is my suggestion to all French politicians: get your priorities right. Instead of screwing around, have your head screwed on and make the headlines for the right reasons. Tackle the recession and the growing number of unemployed. Please.

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Funny, I was just going to write about this story 🙂 Where do they find the energy ? They have a lot of helpers … We would have more energy if we had cooks, babysitters, cleaners, personal assistants and so on !! As for the story itself, I’m not even surprised this is happening. It wouldn’t be the first president to have a mistress… But you’re right, he should may be focused on the more important thing of getting France back on its feet !

    • Don’t you think that the whole situation makes us French looks like clowns? Personally, I am a bit tired of this soap opera!

  • The best bit is that back in 2012 he promised to behave in an exemplary fashion. His idea of exemplary is not quite the same as mine… I wonder how Valoche feels about it. She can’t be too surprised. After all, when you ‘marry’ the mistress, you create a vacancy…

    • Who said ‘promises are like pie crust, they are made to be broken.’ That was spot on!

  • I’m extremely confused. I thought it was de rigueur to have a mistress if you were the President of France? What is all the fuss about?

    • Well, he has two, not one. Or is it one? I am confused. See, it is just too complicated. I can’t keep up. And all French men are supposed to be discreet when they have affairs. Hollande broke a cardinal rule!