"And the Goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a Land not inhabited." [Leviticus 16:22]
When there's trouble in Sarkozia, Nicolas needs a scapegoat. On 12 January, during the president's visit to the Norman town of Saint-Lô, there was trouble in the form of rowdy demonstrations.
Not to be outdone by Dubya, Sarko even succeeded in collecting a couple of old shoes.
Logically, according to Sarkozian mathematics, somebody would have to pay. This morning, the right man in the right place was found: the republican prefect in that corner of Normandy, Jean Charbonniaud. The nice thing in this kind of situation is that the poor chap didn't actually get sacked. That would be unthinkable in the case of such a distinguished servant of the French Republic. No, he got suddenly transferred to a new job, as a member of a prestigious state committee somewhere in the backwoods of Paris: a republican version of Purgatory... or Coventry, as they say in England.
A Norman politician considered that the prefect had been discarded by the president like a used Kleenex. The Centrist leader François Bayrou described Sarkozy's manner of getting rid of the prefect as the "prerogative of a prince". In my opinion, this kind of Sarkozian act is on a par with shooting a messenger who brings bad news.
BREAKING NEWS: A second scapegoat has been designated for this trivial affair. Philippe Bourgade, director of public security in the Manche department, has received a new appointment.
People throughout France have criticized Sarkozy's decision to blame these two civil servants for not taking adequate steps to prevent the president from encountering the protesters at St-Lô. Meanwhile, the distinguished journalist Alain Duhamel has put out a book that compares Sarko with a certain Corsican soldier, prompting the magazine Le Point to design its cover on this theme.