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Corruption in French politics

Fond though I am of the Gauls, I have long thought that it isn't a question of the system being corrupt, more that corruption is the system. A poll from the Centre d'études de la vie politique française or Cevipof makes for dispiriting reading:

"60% think that leaders and elected politicians are corrupt".

But it gets worse: 78% think the Government is tainted by corruption, the Presidency by 69%, Deputies 68% and Senators 58%. Mayors only rate a rather feeble 39%.

My gut reaction was that polls here had neve thrown out anything quite so damning, but there is a problem in making direct comparisons. The best material I've had to work with is a poll on sleaze from July this year. (It is a pdf rather than vanilla text, which is annoying). This had 69% holding the impression that Labour was 'very sleazy and disreputable', 29 % saying the same of the Tories and 66% of Blair and his circle.

I regard 'sleazy' as being a less harsh word than 'corrupt', and while the British poll was conducted at the height of cash for peerages, there is nothing particular horrific going on yonder at the moment. That there is so much distrust in the parties of power is unnerving, as the Front has made much play of having 'Clean hands and heads held high'. Back in 2002 Chirac was promoted by the Left (informally) with this slogan - ' vote for the crook, not the nazi'.
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Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 10:48 am

what a ringing endorsement of his candidacy  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 11:26 am

segolene has just been on bloombergs banging on about banks making profits etc.whilst she obvioulsy has the brain of a toad,she is totty!!!!

trying to think of a better looking female party leader and cant  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:45 am

Time for someone to give her a book on basic economics. The other day I was skimming a far left blog which really did accuse Tesco of making 'obscene profits'. Why do zeroes blind people?

She is very well preserved, must be said, and has that elegance of 'femmes d'un certain age'. I thought Kim Campbell of the Canadian Tories was quite attractive in the same way. Still, I suspect 'normal' peopledon't assess pols as lust objects. Guilty as charged, 99 years without hope of parole....  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:58 am

RM - Oh aye. It would have taken a heart of stone not to laugh at the trots, lefties, greens and so forth voting for Chirac. Must say I nearly laughed myself into a coma.  

Anonymous Ellee said... 12:11 pm

Croydonian, how could you use such an awful phrase as "very well preserved"? The chances are it is her genes and she is effortlessly stunning. Also, she most probably has a very satisfying lover (don't all French women?) which gives her that extra twinkle in her eye?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:21 pm

Sorry, very ungallant of me. Wonder if Francois Hollande (un grand fromage in the French Socialists and her civil partner) is attending to her needs or someone else has stepped up to the plate?)

Meanwhile, seen the tale of Gina Lollobrigida's new husband? She's 79, he's 45, but they have been an item for 22 years apparently.  

Anonymous Ellee said... 12:31 pm

And Joan Collins too, but I do prefer the more natural look which Segolene has. What is the French for "totty"?  

Blogger Croydonian said... 12:54 pm

Hmm, tough call. Nothing that leapt out at me as a close match, so I've been digging around to see what I can find and until my French mate gets back to me, I'll offer up this:

Poupée [dimin. from L pupa doll] f 1. puppet; 2. colloq. fam. young girl or woman as an object of sexual desire.

I suppose 'supernana' might do as well.  

Blogger istanbultory said... 1:06 pm

"Super gonzesse" perhaps.
Yep, she's a socialist stunner. The only problem is that the party grandees are against her and she has apositively Blairite aversion to holding any consistent political philosophy.

While most expect both Sarkozy and Royal to make it through to the second round of the election next May, the splits opening up in their two camps might well come back to haunt them.  

Anonymous verity said... 2:02 pm

Only 69% thought Chirac is corrupt? When they know that he absolutely has to keep winning elections so he can stay in office and not get arrested?

I've got to say, I sort of admire the scale of French corruption. I mean, Credit Lyonaise? Thirty-three BILLION euros embezzled by M Trichet (who, coincidentally, is a close friend of Chirac)?

There would be good money in buying an island that is not subject to British laws - maybe a Channel Island island, as a haven for very rich crooks. Oh, wait a minute! We have Monacco for that. Do they have extradition treaties, does anyone know?

What Chirac will have to do is, pretend to be going to Monacco on official business, then not return. He can resign by TV. Otherwise, they'll get him the minute he steps outside the Elysée Palace.

Has anyone read 'Tax Exile' by Guy Bellamy? It's not about a politician, but it's very entertaining.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 2:11 pm

Apparently he hasn't yet ruled out running next again year. I do wonder why... Looks like a rat run to Monte Carlo would not work, as there appears to be an extradition treaty.

I still think that Mitterand's vile behaviour over many years leaves Chirac on the Mendips to Mitterands's Himalayas.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:11 pm

Oh, dear. So Monte Carlo's a non-starter. It would have to be a Francophone or Anglophone country. All the desirable Francophone countries are part of France. And all the Anglophone countries have extradition treaties.

I am worried about this man's future. Either he has to stand again - and let's face it, President of France is not a bad gig - or find somewhere with a more relaxed attitude to corruption. What about Tahiti? Is that a department of Metropolitan France?

Wait a minute! I've got it! Tunisia! Francophone. Mediterranean. He can get stuff Fedexed down from Paris. And they've even banned the hijab.  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 4:31 pm

whatever Chiracs faults , at least the man had the decency to kill some darkies , get wounded by them , then adopt one.
I dont know what Im saying, im in a spiral and I blame the Jews.  

Anonymous Suttonian, Esq. said... 4:33 pm

I vote for "super nana" as the traduction.

A bas Chirac.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 4:52 pm

V - yup, Tahiti etc is ruled direct from gay Paree. Maybe he could persuade Quebec to shear off from Canada and claim asylum, although given that any independent Quebec would be sucking up to France big time, I suspect that is a non-starter too. Oh sinner man, where will you run to?  

Anonymous verity said... 5:38 pm

I told you! Tunisia! L'autre rive de la Mediterranée. They speak French, and they share his attitude to the veil. In fact, more so. They don't allow it in public at all. What could be more congenial?

I think the old rascal will bugger off to Tunisia and buy a palace. Actually, he's probably already got one. Of course, he won't be able to return to France, but into each life some rain must fall, and really, life in Tunisia, for an ultra-rich man, can't be all bad. You know he will have a share, stashed away, of M Trichet's 33 billion euro embezzlement. And he can still travel to nice places like the United States, which he likes. He just can't stay long enough for the extradiction papers to be prepared.

Re Quebec, well, certainly Montreal is the closest thing to Paris outside France, but again, you have that nitpicking extradition problem. And Canada's on the federal system.

Or, if he really wanted to push the boat out, he could come to Britain as an asylum-seeker and get a free council flat and £35 a week while his case was being considered.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:08 pm

Well, we put up Victor Hugo, Napoleon III and the ol' Cross of Lorraine himself.  

Anonymous Ellee said... 8:03 pm

Croydonian, thanks for the "poupee" feedback, a shame it sounds so lavatorial in English! I'm sure it would sound wonderful said by a Frenchman.  

Anonymous Ellee said... 8:21 pm

Croydonian, thanks for the "poupee" feedback, a shame it sounds so lavatorial in English! I'm sure it would sound wonderful said by a Frenchman.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:22 pm

E - happy to oblige. I discovered all sorts of useful French slang resources in the process.  

Anonymous verity said... 10:32 pm

Ellee - As meticulous as Croydonian normally is, I think he forgot the accent, which makes it sound lavatorial. I believe it should read poupée.  

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