If Brigitte Bardot was to expose a scheme to breed three legged chickens for Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets it would be all over the press, TV and internet. When François Hollande gave his ex-wife Ségolène Royal a peck on the cheek it became a public scandal. When Hollande's new partner Valerie Trierweiler tweeted suport for Royal's rival in the recent elections it was a scandal.
So what is wrong with the story that broke recently about Daniel Orgeval? It is scandalous, but doesn't it qualify? He is president of the 'road safety lobby group' that persuaded Sarkozy's government to adopt the law requiring us to carry breathalyser kits from 1 July. Orgeval is also a director of Contralco, one of the two manufacturers whose breathalyser kits meet the required government standard.
Contralco is now known to have been experiencing serious financial problems before the law was approved in March 2011. Now it is producing up to five million breathalyser kits a month and has taken on more than 100 extra staff to meet demand. Orgeval defended himself last Wednesday by telling Europe 1 Radio that his advice that lead to this law was always about road safety . Moreover, if it helped to create jobs for a French company, quote, "then so much the better.”
Hollande has missed the perfect opportunity to revoke this law. The news about Contralco has been floating about for a couple of weeks. They stand to make 40 million € for a useless bit of apparatus that is supposed to be for self-testing. Who will self-test? Undoubtedly not the under 25 year olds responsible for the bulk of road accidents in France nor the people who go out for dinner of an evening and need to get home. Apart from anything else it is well publicised that the things are unreliable anyway. So where oh where is the scandal we should be having?