Time to laugh — a rare opportunity lately.
French president François Hollande is abandoning his socialist principles, admitting that socialism just won’t work. Sort of. In truth, he has just veered slightly to the right. And the French news media is aghast.
What makes this doubly funny is the fact that Hollande has just been caught cheating on his live-in girlfriend and the press has chosen to focus on his abandonment of the righteous cause of socialism rather than on his infidelities and indiscretions.
It is France, after all. The jilted “First Lady” is not the president’s wife, but his girlfriend. This raises all sorts of philosophical and ethical questions, not to mention some existential ones as well. Why should cheating on a mistress be considered wrong? Why does free love create so many complications? Why can’t socialism ever solve humanity’s problems? Why can’t you just kill everyone who insists on owning anything or on having more stuff than anyone else?
Aaaah. So, there is a dark side to all this, after all? To paraphrase Pascal: The eternal umbrage of these infinite ideologues is frightful.
From the Guardian (UK)
French press takes greater interest in Hollande’s turn to the right than in his sex scandal
President’s ‘I am a social democrat’ speech is chewed over by Gallic media, which leave prurience to British and Americans
The morning after the press conference before, the reaction of the French media was as many felt it should be.
There was less concern about the Socialist president, François Hollande, trundling along the boulevards of Paris on a scooter to meet his girlfriend (while the “first girlfriend” stayed at home) than about his political decision to take what is seen as a sharp right turn down a side street.
In short, it mattered less that he was cheating on his partner than that he had become a social democrat. In any case, only the perfidious and prurient “Anglo-Saxonne” press was interested in the former.
There was hardly a word either about Valérie Trierweiler – packed off to a hospital for her own good with a “serious bout of blues” after learning of her partner’s infidelity, or sidelined for the good of the president amid concerns that she could make serious trouble? Nobody knew and nobody asked.
“I am a social democrat,” Hollande defiantly declared at the press conference the previous afternoon, adding that he would remain one, however many times the question was asked.
It was not a matter of choice that he was pledging less welfare and tax cuts for businesses, he said, but a matter of necessity, in his own words “a social compromise”.
The French papers compared Hollande to Germany’s Gerhard Schröder, chancellor between 1998 and 2005 and a member of the Social Democratic party of Germany, and suggested that the president had abandoned socialism and chosen “third way” politics.
More HERE, if you like to gloat over disappointed socialists.