Showing posts with label François Hollande. Show all posts
Showing posts with label François Hollande. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Lost enough already — no more time to lose

François Hollande has barely started his speech revealing that he won’t be seeking a second term in office. Removal people are already carting away his personal furniture and belongings. Click here to appreciate some well-done presidential humor.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Our suddenly-popular president

For a current president, there's no better way of gaining popularity than to announce that you'll be abandoning the job. That leaves the way open to both friends and enemies to say publicly that you were a nice fellow.


I wonder what would happen if he were to suddenly say: "Now that I see that more people admire me, I think I should change my mind and envisage a second term." If ever François Hollande were to adopt this approach, I think he should be careful. I'm not very experienced in the domain of presidential counseling.

I'm pleased to see that Bernard Cazeneuve has accepted the nice task of guiding both the nation and her chief to the end of an era. He's a courageous gentleman. Above all, he has been a faultless head cop, and he'll surely go down in modern French history for that. As for the outgoing president, I'm not convinced that history will store away a good image of his passage.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Plantu says goodbye


What exactly is that white object that the president is waving?
Is it a handkerchief... or maybe some kind of female garment?
The barrister's past-tense words are hard to understand:
"You know, he was a good fellow."
Good for whom?

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Hollande has unleashed a terrible truth

In the book Un président ne devrait pas dire ça by Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme, the most outlandish « ça » consisted of admitting that a chief of state might decide, outside any kind of legal framework whatsoever, that it is better for the nation that a particular extremely dangerous individual should simply cease to exist.

[photo Martin Bureau / AFP]

Many observers consider that Hollande was a nincompoop in enabling the publication of this secret information. One might imagine that, in doing so, he discarded his moral right to remain at the head of France.

I do not intend to say publicly whether or not I share these opinions.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Zombie in the Elysées Palace

In The New York Times, the journalist Adam Nossiter has written an article [here] about the French president François Hollande.


The author looks upon Hollande as a living dead specimen who seems to be politically alive. Our president “still occupies the magnificent gilded Élysée Palace, still gives speeches attended by important people and still attends ribbon-cuttings”, whereas nobody believes for an instant that he’ll survive the forthcoming presidential election.

Hollande’s most unexpected recent attack—not only on his enemies, but on his former friends and associates—was a book of “secrets” published by two journalists, Gérard Davet and Fabrice Lhomme. It's title in English : A President Shouldn't Say Such Things.


In earlier days, François Hollande could only be bruised by a very tough opponent. Nowadays, he succeeds in doing the job all on his own.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

President Hollande's Wagram speech

Christophe Ena / AP


The French president speaks wonderfully well. Often, people in the Wagram hall broke into applause, interrupting the speaker. It's reassuring to see, once again, that our president has the oratorical talents of a great theatrical actor playing a kind of Shakespearean role. I believe that this Wagram discourse will go down in French history Here are some extracts of his great speech.

Le président commence son discours avec cette phrase forte. "Malgré la peur, malgré la souffrance, nous vaincrons. La démocratie sera toujours plus forte que la barbarie qui lui a déclaré la guerre" poursuit-il.

 "Au terme de la lutte, la démocratie triomphera."

 François Hollande s'en prend à l'Etat islamique, qu'il décrit ainsi : "Voilà l'ennemi, nous le nommons, il est redoutable. Et même s'il recule en Syrie et en Irak, il s'installe sur d'autres terrains. cette ennemi est cruel, il endoctrine, il enrôle, il est insatiable."

 "Partout, les musulmans ont été les victimes des islamistes, y compris en France", poursuit François Hollande, qui explique les raisons de l'engagement de la France contre le terrorisme. 

Dès le début de son intervention, François Hollande pose le cadre: c'est par la "liberté" que nous vaincrons le "terrorisme islamiste". La liberté vue comme un atout dans cette lutte, face à une partie de la droite qui envisage de restreindre les libertés pour mener cette lutte. 

 Le chef de l'Etat embraie désormais sur la réponse que doit apporter la France face au terrorisme.

"Je fais tout pour protéger les Français mais je leur dois aussi la vérité. La menace va durer. Nous devons donc l'affronter avec sang-froid. Nous ne devons jamais nous laisser emporter par la déraison."

François Hollande s'en prend, en les énumérant, aux mesures prônées par la droite pour contrer le terrorisme. "Ces reniements seraient autant de renoncements sans nullement assurer la sécurité des Français, tranche-t-il. Est-ce que l'adoption du Patriot Act ou le camp de Guantanamo ont protégé les Etats-Unis ? Non", tranche-t-il. 

 D'emblée, le président l'a proclamé : "Nous vaincrons. La démocratie sera toujours plus forte que la barbarie qui lui a déclaré la guerre".

Le président vise directement Nicolas Sarkozy, qui parlait cet été d'"arguties juridiques", quand le gouvernement a rejeté sa proposition de centres de rétention préventive. "Les principes constitutionnels ne sont pas des arguties juridiques", lui répond-il.

Après une attaque en règle contre Nicolas Sarkozy, François Hollande donne sa conception de l'action du gouvernement contre le terrorisme. "Nous avons fait en sorte d'agir avec le droit. Nous ne menons aucune opération de guerre préventive. Qui peut dire avec un peu de sincérité que nous n'avons pas tout fait pour protéger nos policiers, nos gendarmes et nos militaires ?"

"C'est parce que nous sommes forts, que nous pesons dans le destin du monde, que nous sommes attaqués", affirme le chef de l'Etat, défendant la démocratie face à "l'état d'exception"

"Ce qu'il nous faut réussir, c'est la construction de l'islam de France", dit François Hollande, qui défend la création d'une Fondation pour l'islam. 

François Hollande appelle les musulmans de France à "prendre leurs responsabilité de citoyens". "Je leur demande, pas plus qu'à d'autres concitoyens, de le faire", précise-t-il. 

"Il est faux de prétendre que l'état de droit entraverait la lutte antiterroriste ou que les démocraties seraient impuissantes face à la menace", a martelé le chef de l'Etat. 

Le discours de François Hollande prend un tour plus politique. Le chef de l'Etat attaque la droite : "Ils pensent que l'élection c'est la primaire, que les Français viendront juste signer au bas de la page !"

Dans ce discours consacré à la cohésion nationale, François Hollande se pose en garant du "modèle social" français. Selon lui, il doit cependant être "modernisé, réformé, complété, pour pouvoir être adapté".

François Hollande s'en prend maintenant aux "extrémistes", qui "prétendent incarner le peuple contre les élites, dont ils sont généralement issus"

Clin d'oeil appuyé aux échéances électorales à venir et à ceux qui en rêvent. "Ah, ce n'est pas facile l'élection... Il faut la mériter. Il faut s'y préparer. Et il faut respecter les citoyens." 

"La Ve République, face à la menace, donne les moyens d'agir. S'il n'y avait pas eu cette possibilité au président de la République d'intervenir au Mali, en Syrie et en Irak, il eût été trop tard", affirme François Hollande.

"Je mets en garde ceux qui voudraient remettre en cause la fonction présidentielle."

François Hollande dresse maintenant une liste de réformes institutionnelles à accomplir. Il annonce ainsi vouloir limiter le cumul des mandats "dans le temps"

François Hollande liste les enjeux, selon lui, de la prochaine campagne présidentielle : "la protection des Français, la cohésion nationale, le modèle social, la conception de la démocratie, la place de la France en Europe et dans le monde."   

Que retenir de ce discours de François Hollande ?
• Le chef de l'Etat a livré sa vision de la démocratie face au terrorisme. Et défendu "l'état de droit" face à "l'état d'exception".
• Avec une tonalité très politique, il a beaucoup critiqué les propositions de la droite, se posant en garant des valeurs de la République et de la démocratie.
• Sans se déclarer candidat, il a laissé entendre qu'il pourrait ne pas en rester là en 2017. "Je ne laisserai pas la France être abîmée, réduite, son Etat de droit contesté, son éducation réduite et sa culture amputée. C'est le combat d'une vie", a-t-il déclaré.
• Se projetant vers 2017, le président sortant a décliné les thèmes qui, selon lui, seront l'enjeu de la campagne présidentielle. "La protection des Français, la cohésion nationale, le modèle social, la conception de la démocratie, la place de la France en Europe et dans le monde."

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blind man loses his cane


The cane bore a name : Macron.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Popularity of our French president is lower than ever


A poll published yesterday indicates that the popularity level of François Hollande has descended to its lowest level ever since the start of his presidency. Only 16 % of the people who were questioned said they had confidence in the head of state to “tackle efficiently the major problems” of the nation. That’s a drop of 2 % since the previous survey. This fall is surprising in that France’s latest economic figures have been rather reassuring.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Not much to say


I watched and listened until late in the evening. But François Hollande didn't seem to have any exciting news for us. There's no doubt in my mind that the president is an intelligent man, who speaks well. But you can't squeeze wine or water, or even moisture, out of a stone. He had little to tell us... and that's more or less what we heard.

For the moment, we don't know whether or not Hollande intends to be a candidate in the forthcoming presidential election, but he says we'll receive a firm answer to that question before the end of the year. His decision will only be affirmative, so it seems, if the French economic situation were to make a dramatic positive leap... which would be great news for everybody. But I fail to see how such an economic miracle could become a reality within the remaining months of 2016. That would be a bit like Agnès Saal informing us [click here] that she intends to get involved in a Parisian taxi-bike business.


But why not ?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

French president communicates with the god of rain

Ever since François Hollande arrived at the Elysées Palace, observers have been impressed by his apparent contacts with a mysterious deity: the God of Rain.


It's difficult to identify this deity, and learn his exact name, because there are many possible candidates, in several theological domains. But we have witnessed numerous situations when the president was in a profound state of communication with his deity.

Many French citizens do not seem to realize that we could be taking bad weather risks when we imagine the possible refusal to usher in a second presidential term for Hollande. If ever the God of Rain were offended by our vote, the land might be smitten by his wrath. There could be terrible droughts, and the rivers of France might run dry.

Here at Gamone, since the start of winter, there have been so many days and nights of chilly rain that I've often felt we were being inundated with warnings. Maybe the god is becoming angry. We should take heed... or maybe pray.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

French president visits the agricultural show

Click here to see a one-minute video of the rowdy visit of president François Hollande to France's annual agricultural show in Paris.

A few fellows actually vandalized the government's agricultural stand.


The idiots durely didn't realize that acts of that senseless nature are unlikely to win them supporters. On the contrary...

Friday, January 1, 2016

Wishes from the French president


Click here to access the New Year 2016 speech from the French president François Hollande.
"My first duty is to protect you. I am proud of you. In spite of the drama, France has not given in. In spite of the tears, she remained upright. Faced with hatred, she revealed the force of her values, those of the République. I owe you the truth. We have not reached the end of terrorism. The threat is still present, at the same level."
The president made his speech from the Napoléon III Room of the Elysées Palace. This was the same place from which he had spoken last January, after the attack against Charlie Hebdo, then in the middle of November, when a wave of terrorist crimes killed 130 people in Paris and Saint-Denis.

Friday, July 3, 2015

An Australian seeks refuge in France


Julian Assange has just written an open letter to French president François Hollande asking to be received in France. Click here to access the French-language version of that letter.

As a French-naturalized Australian-born citizen, I would be immensely happy if the French president were to respond positively to this request for asylum. I’ve always been convinced that Assange is an exceptional and exemplary case of a citizen of the world using his state-of-the-art Internet knowledge, political awareness and imagination in a constant combat, often of a spectacular nature, for the betterment of humanity.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Political catastrophe


The great ship France seems to have collided with something big and nasty. On the radar screen, it looks like this:


Outside, everything appears to be eerily calm, although a thick fog hides the horizon. No shouting. No cries. No panic. Curious leaflets, washed off the vessel in distress, are floating on the still waters.


Suddenly I heard beautiful music wafting across to us. It was slow and solemn, and seemed to last forever.


The captain, appearing briefly on the bow, astonished us all by crying out, as if in a terrible nightmare: “Full steam ahead!”



Commenting upon the short and uninspiring performance of François Hollande at the start of this evening’s TV news, a journalist evoked a leader who has “run out of cartridges”, meaning that the French president has no more solutions to propose to his disillusioned citizens. I’m wondering what kind of ammunition the journalist had in mind when she decided to use this metaphor. Cartridges for an offensive firearm? Or a defensive weapon? Or rather for a harmless gun of the kind that's used to fire smoky distress signals from the deck of a sinking vessel?

Monday, January 13, 2014

She-wolf of France

Up until recently, the principal subject of discussion in France was the sad state of the nation and the apparent failure of François Hollande and his Socialist government in the economic domain. Then an amazing affair was created out of the blue by the French chief of police, Manuel Valls, seen here in a Jewish context.


Valls finally succeeded in censuring the black-skinned French anti-Zionist comedian Dieudonné, whose presentations were promptly outlawed through draconian laws and methods that would be surely unthinkable in many English-speaking nations (such as the USA, the UK, Canada and Australia).


All this agitation was taking place just a few days ago, and dominating the media in France. Then, in the space of a few hours, everything changed. Overnight (literally), a new affair eclipsed the old ones. The world learned with amazement that stealthy ScooterMan had been sighted in the middle of the night, at an out-of-bounds location not far away from the Elysées Palace, and that paperazzi photos would be appearing in a French magazine the following morning.


The next day, we were bombarded with images of a new glamor couple: the French president and a beautiful actress, Julie Gayet.


Now, I wish to make a humble and totally irrelevant personal statement concerning this lady. A few years ago, I was stunned by her portrayal of Isabella, the She-wolf of France [1295-1358], wife of the gay king Edward II of England, in the TV series entitled Les Rois maudits (The Accursed Kings).


At that time, I was unearthing genealogical links between the Skeffingtons and the Plantagenet monarchs. For a few days, my mind was filled with the crazy idea that maybe this mysterious creature named Julie Gayet—who struck me as one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen—might be an ancestor of mine. [Since those days of fanciful thinking, I've become aware that my authentic Skeffington ancestors had branched away earlier on, at the Tudor epoch, from those who would get mixed up with the Plantagenet monarchy. In any case, the real Isabella may have been less beauteous than her modern representation.]

Today, in any case, when I hear that Julie Gayet has apparently been swept off her feet by ScooterMan, I feel strangely relieved, for I see retrospectively that she was never really a make-believe creature associated with my imaginary past, but merely a modern and perfectly normal French woman, attracted by a quite normal French president. The following American cartoon provides a good summary of the situation:


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Bastille blues

In his wonderful book entitled Jerusalem, City of Mirrors (1989), the late Amos Elon [1926-2009] spoke of a mysterious affliction referred to as the Jerusalem syndrome. Affecting American Protestant males, almost exclusively, this torment causes them to take off their clothes, evolve into a state of crazy ecstasy, and preach nonsensical prophecies to passers-by on street corners. After a few days in hospital, victims recover their normal behavior as calm tourists in the Holy City, and they even feel good about their traumatic experience. Psychiatrists explain that victims of this affliction arrive in Jerusalem with a preconceived but totally false vision of the place, which they've always imagined as a gentle and harmonious Holyland: a pastel-hued picture from a children's book.


When such a visitor discovers the stark present-day Jerusalem, and finds it totally unlike his vision, his convictions are shattered traumatically... and his subsequent reactions and behavior express his momentary desire to be born again (naked, of course) into a reassuring but make-believe Christian context.

Here in France, a similar kind of affliction—which I designate as the Bastille blues—affects certain local intellectuals.


Typical signs of this disturbance are a sudden obsession that we might be on the eve of a replay (with variations, naturally) of the French Revolution of 1789. Victims of the affliction start to be hallucinated by visions of rioting, smoke and flames, destruction, bayonets, gunshots, guillotines... but they generally keep their clothes on. In May 1968, the youth of France were totally intoxicated by a severe case of Bastille blues.


Fortunately, the summer holiday season arrived just in same to save the nation from descending into total anarchy. And afterwards, everybody felt so much the better for having let off so much steam... much like a patient emerging from an attack of the Jerusalem syndrome.

A few days ago, I was intrigued to discover that a prominent French journalist, Franz-Olivier Giesbert, was apparently suffering from a massive onslaught of Bastille blues.


In his role as chief of the weekly magazine Le Point, he has written an editorial suggesting that France is bogged down in a pre-revolutionary quagmire.


Click here to access the French article. Not surprisingly,  64-year-old "FOG" (the acronym has become Giesbert's nickname)—born in Washington, and impregnated with Franco-American culture—backed up his claim by evoking the works of the celebrated viscount Alexis de Tocqueville [1805-1859]: in particular, his masterly analysis of the events and climate of 1789, The Old Regime and the Revolution, which describes the French people's appalling erosion of confidence in their monarchy.


Today, it's a fact that the Cahuzac affair [click here to see my recent blog article entitled Champion liars] has had a disastrous effect upon the waning respect of French citizens for their political leaders. Has modern France truly lost hope in its destiny? Is one half of the nation ready to cut the heads off the other half? Have the French become totally pessimistic and cynical? What has gone wrong?

Basic differences between American and French attitudes to economic progress are illustrated by a humorous anecdote concerning the reaction of onlookers towards a prosperous fellow who drives by in a luxury automobile. A typical American might ask himself: "What can I do in order to buy myself a car like that?" A typical Frenchman would complain: "Why doesn't that wealthy weasel drive a worn-out jalopy like the rest of us?" In the above article, FOG evokes the metaphor of François Hollande scooting around on an antiquated Vespa, while some of his acquaintances drive Ferraris. This image of an old-fashioned president, no longer on the same wavelength as progressive citizens, is made explicit in the cover of the current issue of FOG's weekly.


The rhetorical question "Pépère, est-il à la hauteur ?" could be translated as follows: "Can Grandpa still handle things?" Many citizens are starting to consider that the answer to that disturbing question might indeed be negative. But maybe, hopefully, there are plausible remedies that would fall short of a bloody revolution.

BREAKING NEWS: The Bastille blues theme has become quite explicit in the cover of the latest issue of the weekly:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From here to Timbuktu

When I was a kid in Waterview (South Grafton), my parents had the habit of using the hackneyed expression "from here to Timbuktu" to designate a distant place. So, I grew up imagining that Timbuktu was a mythical place on the edge of the planet Earth, where the waters of the oceans descended into a terrifying infinite abyss.


From a technocratic viewpoint, it goes without saying that vessels of this kind would be a fabulous place to house religious fanatics.

Today, I'm thrilled to learn that our French forces have chased away Islamic invaders and liberated the town in Mali whose name in French is Tombouctou.


Up until recently, few observers—even among his supporters (such as me)—would have imagined our French president François Hollande as a military chief. Fortunately, in the case of the following encounter, he had noticed that the French soldiers in front of him were wearing unusual uniforms.


As for the rest of military operations in Mali, most observers in France and throughout the world are steadfastly behind the French president.

SAD FOOTNOTE TO HISTORY: In the abominable style of mindless morons with their backs to the wall, the Islamic barbarians flamed priceless ancient documents at the Ahmed Baba Institute on the eve of their withdrawal, leaving only ashes.

— photo 29 January 2013. AFP/Eric Feferberg.

There can be no discussion with such individuals, who deserve to be captured and housed in vessels of the kind seen in my top illustration.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

New woman taking care of French president

It's hard to keep up with all the president's women. The Tweeter presence of their most prominent member, Valérie Trierweiler, was notorious. I have no idea of the name and identity of this latest individual, but she certainly seems to be in intimate contact with François Hollande, brushing dust off his elegant suit (with its Légion d'Honneur button) before the start of a new presidential work-day.


Apparently this attractive young blonde lady is English, in spite of her French-sounding title: Madame Tussaud.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

British trick

There are rumors that Her Majesty's Guards are recruiting certain exceptional sportsmen with the aim of putting together a top-level basketball team, in the hope of challenging the USA.


Meanwhile, the Coldstream Guards hit upon the diabolical scheme of using one of their top basketball-players (whose identity cannot be determined, since his eyes are hidden behind the rim of his busby) in order to humiliate an unpopular foreign visitor—the perfectly normal president François Hollande—by making him look like a dwarf.


Back in the good old days when Nicolas Sarkozy was president, his buddy David Cameron didn't need to use this kind of nasty trick.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Big day in the USA

Between Barack Obama and François Hollande, an introductory exchange of a few words on the theme of US cheeseburgers and French fries might have been interpreted as a lighthearted evocation of the recently-adopted diet of our new French president, who used to be quite a plump little man.

photo pool/AFP — Philippe Wojazer

Ah, if only international diplomacy could be determined solely by smiles!

Apparently Barack Obama told François Hollande that he wasn't obliged to stand out in the "crowd" of G8 members by continuing to wear a necktie. Hollande explained that the necktie was purely for the French media. Are we really as formal as that in old-fashioned France? It's a fact that one of our new ministers, Cécile Duflot (chief of the Greens), was the object of certain criticism when she turned up in jeans, on Thursday, for the first ministerial meeting at the Elysée Palace.


The following White House photo highlights the rapid ascension of François Hollande into the sacrosanct courtyard of the great:


It makes me feel good to see France represented at last, within this assembly, by a fine solid left-wing Frenchman such as François Hollande... as opposed to our recent tiny twitcher, Nicolas Sarkozy.