It is ironicquips Stephen Clarke
– politicians get to live their dream of ultimate power and it turns so quickly to nightmare. And the sad thing in [Francois Hollande]’s case is that, leaving all political allegiances aside, only one of the nightmares was really his fault. The problem was that this one mistake was all-embracing.
The question I’ve been asking myself all year, or rather most of the time since he was elected, is: how has he managed to surround himself with such a bad gang of advisors?
I thought this most recently when Le Président went to Kazakhstan in early December, and someone allowed him to be photographed wearing local costume, which doubtless looks great when you’re riding a Mongolian pony across the steppes, but less so when you’re a small Frenchman swamped in a fur hat and mountainous overcoat, and standing next to the Kazakhstani president who is looking comfortable in his sharp French-style suit? Which member of M. Hollande’s entourage said ” oh oui, a photo opportunity as an exhibit in a folklore museum, bonne idée”?
More importantly, why did no one say it was a terrible idea and steer him clear of trouble?
But by then, it was no longer a surprise. After all, the year started terribly with the magazine article revealing that France’s president had thought that it was a clever idea to borrow a love nest a few metres outside the presidential palace and drive there on the back of a scooter to meet his mistress – when he was already being criticised for installing a high-maintenance unmarried First Lady in his official residence? Honestly, is there no one in his entourage with the courage or the nous to say, sorry but this is a one way-autoroute to absurdity?
… speaking of the economy, what kind of Socialist president is so badly advised that he nominates a minister of commerce who is then forced to resign when accusations are made that he has been less than scrupulous about paying his income tax? This happened in September when Thomas Thevenoud stepped down – after only nine days in the job. Did no one check out his CV? Did no one say, we’re Socialists, so let’s spend five minutes seeing if the candidate has the right credentials? The answer is apparently non. All of which must make 2014 a year that M. Hollande might want to skip over when he writes his autobiography.