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So he's done it.

As I think we all suspected that he would. As with all French elections in living memory, the big question is whether Sarko really has the nerve to take on the vested interests. I think he will talk a good fight, but do little more than tinker at the margins, in part because I suspect there just is not the will among the French political class to pick fights with the unions, the fonctionnaires and the rest of the apparat. Also, Sarko is a comparatively young man and doubtless fancies his chance of winning a second term in 2012. If he does succeed in that I would suspect that there might be a touch more audace from a Sarko presidency.

As to Royal, her 'there will be riots' etc speech was about as misjudged as Churchill's 'road to serfdom' speech in '45. If Sarko does have the will to make substantial changes in the way France is run, he is in a very good position - the Left will probably engage in another bout of fratricide (or should that be sororicide?) , Bayrou's would be centrist project looks to have been still born, and both Le Pen's lot and the extreme Left look to be fatally wounded. I would not be at all surprised if the Left re-aligns itself German style, with the PS splitting into a far left party that makes common cause with the Trotskyites and the other loons, with the more realistic faction adapting itself to changing times.

Le Monde has a nifty graphic showing the results:

Libération has a Flash graphic showing the voting in the two rounds, and it is instructive that département by département, France was again split along very clear lines - Royal's best showings were in the North West, South West and the centre, with only two départements, Pas de Calais and Val de Marne gained from outside the first round's approximate comfort zone.

Meanwhile, one of the French blogs has a sneak preview of Sarko's cabinet, which suggests Cecilia Sarkozy as PM, Raffarin as minister for truth and common sense, Johnny Hallyday as minister for artists persecuted by the tax authorities etc etc. Ho ho ho...

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Blogger Guthrum said... 5:44 pm

I agree, the dead hand of the fonctionnaires will stall any real reform, together with the local political cliques protecting their turf.  

Anonymous verity said... 6:05 pm

Well, I think he'll be more audacious than you are expecting, Croydonian.

When he referred, in public, to the islamic rioters and car burners as "scum of the earth" I knew I liked him and I felt that,if elected, he wouldn't waste too much time being dainty and diplomatic. He has a mandate, and he'll go with it.

It's quite entertaining to read the judgemental wails of the left over on the Beeb's HYS. Funny how they are the ones who have the direct line to what is best for everyone else, hein? Actually, though, we should sympathise with the Beeb, which must be in terrible pain and suffering, because all the heavy hitters (lots of comments) posters are cock-a-hoop rightists.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  

Blogger Croydonian said... 6:07 pm

G - We shall see, eh?

Verity - I'm just so used to false dawns involving the French Right, but I would be delighted if he proves to be the man who makes the difference.  

Anonymous verity said... 7:10 pm

Oh, please, please, please don't let it be a false dawn!!!!!!

I really think Sarko is his own man. No one in thrall to a party would have shouted, "Scum!" at the islamic rioters. Can you imagine any British politician calling muslim delinquents scum? Dave would invite them down off the window ledges for a group hug.

I think Sarko marches to his own drum. We will see.  

Blogger james higham said... 7:30 pm

thnk Verity has a point. He should control parliament but then again, that's only part of it.

Good take, Mr. C.  

Blogger gitanodemurcia said... 8:08 pm

Only the 65+ voted for him. true  

Blogger gitanodemurcia said... 8:24 pm

sarkozy is just a man who wanted to be president. now he is. he has been in government for 5 years and has done nothing. you people should not have too many hopes about him  

Blogger Andrew Allison. A Conservative View said... 8:34 pm

If Sarkozy doesn't make the changes, then no-one will.  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 9:58 pm

It will be hard to turn on his own people. France seems to be ruled in such an elitist way that any change will affect greatly even his own side.

it is a sad malaise and one thet Broon and Blair seek to copy by vastly increasing the amount of people on the UK State payroll.  

Blogger gitanodemurcia said... 10:08 pm

That is goof he admires him and he is his mate


Blogger Mr Eugenides said... 10:18 pm

Yeah, Blair's video on YouTube demonstrates that his French isn't quite as good as I thought. He's fluent enough, but his accent's pretty awful.

Still, kudos to him for doing it, actually, even though, as he admits at the start, he may be mangling the language a bit. Much as I hate him, there are damn few people in this country prepared to do foreigners the courtesy of speaking to them in their own tongue.

I still think, though, that Sarko may end up disappointing us. It's not that he doesn't have the balls, as the riots clearly showed; but he may not have the power to push through the reforms, either.

I'm not sure the French have suffered enough yet to really be ready for the nasty medicine that they need. Once they've gone through a decade like we had in the 70's, they may be more receptive.

A Royal presidency might, perversely, have been a better outcome in the long term; five years of Socialism and they'd had been breaking down Sarko's door and begging him to stand, rather than electing him with a reasonable but hardly ringing majority.

If he's forced into cohabitation with an unhelpful government, he may be stymied.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 8:40 am

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

Anonymous this scum-like guy said... 9:03 am

Verity seems to be confusing Sharko with Arthur Koestler. Sharko said "racaille", which for my taste means "mob", nor entirely Beur either.

Scum of the Earth is a very interesting book by Koestler about France in 1940. It may have influenced his mate, Eric Blair, in writing 1984.  

Blogger Guthrum said... 10:17 am

Spoke to a French Legal legal friend, he awaits to be impressed, but is not holding his breath.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:56 pm

this scum-like guy - No. I know who Arthur Koestler was and I know who Sarko is. I read at the time (cannot remember the word in French, malheureusement)that one of the things he shouted up at the mob was "Scum!" I remember it vividly because it quite cheered me up.

Arthur Koestler and his wife killed themselves. They also had their two little pet dogs put down just before they did it. No suicide note. Nothing.  

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