Former French prime minister Dominique de Villepin belongs to the category of public figures who can't easily be put down. His political ascension was exceptional in the sense that he was never at any moment an elected member of parliament. He was educated to become a diplomat, and his achievements in the diplomatic domain enabled him to become a cabinet director, presidential secretary for Chirac and finally a senior minister.
As indicated in my article of 5 July 2007 entitled Destruction of computer files [display], Dominique de Villepin has been seriously embroiled in an aspect of the Clearstream affair, and he is even placed under a court order that prevents him from communicating with Jacques Chirac. But nothing stops this proud aristocrat from speaking out publicly on various subjects... including, in particular, the presidential style of Nicolas Sarkozy. "The French cannot live in a permanent whirlwind," said Dominique de Villepin today on radio. "I think we must escape a little from the present frenetic situation, but this doesn't mean we shouldn't work harder, or that we shouldn't launch projects. Nicolas Sarkozy is ambitious. I believe that, little by little, he should tame his ambitions, and tame himself in order to attain serenity."
Funnily enough, another white-haired former prime minister, Lionel Jospin, has also been quite voluble over the last few days. In a book to be published this week, he attacks retrospectively and violently the lady who happened to be Sarkozy's opponent in the recent presidential election: Ségolène Royal. According to Jospin, who himself was defeated by the right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen in 2002: "For the first time ever in the case of a socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal founded her entire campaign, not upon great political themes, but upon herself, and the special relationship that she claimed to have established with the French people. Everything was designed methodically, using polls and qualitative studies, to sustain what we must call a myth."
And, while all these words are being thrown around, we hear today of the death of the celebrated mime Marcel Marceau, at the age of 84.
Known throughout the planet, his personage Bip—in many ways, a stylized stage version of Chaplin—has spoken his final silence.