… the delicious irony is that with all this money Valérie Trierweiler’s earning from her book sales, she’ll probably be moving to London to escape her ex-boyfriend’s tax lawsnoted Stephen Clarke on French TV, tongue firmly in cheek (or is that: in chique? In chic?).
Madame T … was almost universally despised when she was First Girlfriend – for her bitchy remarks about François Hollande’s ex, the political star Ségolène Royal; for her extravagant lifestyle paid for by the public purse (a private hairdo every day, for example); and, no doubt because she was nearly 50 but still managed to look sexy. And yet, despite all this avowed public loathing, when she published her revenge book, the French bought 650,000 copies, making her an instant millionaire (well, almost instant, because royalties take a year to filter through). And they seemed to think, what the hell have we done?
… the whole episode of her stint as Première Amie was a huge media reality show conducted to make the President look butch, and the book was just the last episode of season one. With the English translation, we’re now in season two: the jilted lover starts her own international career bashing the jilter, while he conducts his new affair with an actress and insists that his private life is private while inviting her to the presidential palace and whoops, oh no, some photos of her visit were leaked. Next they’ll all be going into the video room to bitch about each other, then there will be the auditions for season three. It’s not politics, and the French economy is going down the toilettes while it’s going on, but at least it’s entertaining.
… You can’t chip away at French polticians’ privileges, especially not at the president’s own imperial lifestyle. And now that France has become accustomed to having its regular doses of presidential reality TV, the public wants all the scandal it can get. And in a way, it’s the best antidote to austerity there is. For the last few days at least, no one has been talking about the economy at all. Except to note that at least one French person is making a fortune by selling Frenchness overseas. Vive la France, non?