Sarko - La fin des haricots?

Ex President Nicolas Sarkozy looked a beaten man yesterday. Is this the end of any aspirations he may have had to get the 2017 presidential nomination from his party Les Republicains ?

Several scandals including the 'Bygmalion Affair' where the pubilicity and communications company allegedly overspent by 22.5 million euros on the 2012 election campaign for the then named UMP party and the allegations of corruption in the 2007 election campaign, which Sarkozy won where it is alleged Sarkozy received substantial funding from the then Libyan leader Colonel Gadaffi.

Sarko obviously denied all charges though it has to be said it's not looking good for the 61 year old. Is this his final curtain call ? Is he now effectively finished as a serious contender for the 2017 presidency ? Is it coincidence also that his current spouse, the lovely Carla has kept a very low profile ? Will she now be moving to pastures new ?

It's not looking too good for the current President either whose cabinet reshuffle last week was a total non-event. Even party activists remain baffled by the new appointments. Hollande remains adrift of challengers for the top job as his desperate attempts to reignite the economy and reverse the unemployment trends seem doomed to failure.

France needs a drastic change in political leadership from one side or the other. A recent poll showed 75% of the electorate didn't want Hollande or Sarkozy and reinforced their preference whether it be from the Socialists or Republicians with the Maire de Bordeaux Alain Juppé as favourite for the Right and current PM Manual Valls for the Left.

Chris, the majority of French are set in their ways so the charecters they see on their screens every day become familiar creating a kind of 'comfort zone'. Taking younger less known people would be high risk for them I believe so people like DSK, Martine Aubry, Laurent Fabuis & Alain Juppé etc are seen as worth taking a risk with. The present PM Valls is popular and has a chance but someone like Macron the Finance Minister would be more risky. His time will come and maybe entrusting someone like him now would be a bridge too far ..

No more Sarko, no more Hollande? Good riddance. I wish I could more young, fair-minded, reforming politicians on the horizon, but I guess France is stuck with current bunch of contenders. Heaven preserve us from Le Pen and her poisonous cronies, though!

Theoretically that should not be the case. Politics was traditionally a closed, very nepotist domain into which few outsiders could gain even a toe in the door. Those who did are often those we record as 'radicals', hence Thomas Paine (of Norfolk) as one of the heroes of US independence, at least their political history. If the doors to participation were as open as we are led to believe then this age of elitism and connections would be long gone and thus dominated by men and women of high integrity who represent their electorate. However, as ever power corrupts. Just by gaining entry to any level of political office just despoils the most noble intentions. I served on a council in a small parish (around 300 population) in England and saw how it corrupts even at that level, eventually resigning after trying to do something about that just locally. One of my friends and a woman of integrity resigned before me. Without even her support I had to quit. I was also once offered a candidacy for parliament by a party leader. I was not a party member which he said did not matter because I could be joined easily... I bluntly turned the offer down. The person who recommended me understood but then she went on to the House of Lords despite for years shouting that establishment down. I have seen repeat performances worldwide. Politics is not for decent people. It would drag them down, those who stay in lose that decency. terrible, isn't it? But what is our alternative?

Plague & cholera, really.

A very dear, very wise, French friend was asked, just before Christmas: "For whom would you vote - Hollande or Sarkozy?" Her reply, to my mind, was classic: "How does one choose between two rotten apples?"!

Sadly, that appears to be the case in many countries - not just in France. This may because of my friend's answer to the ext question: "Why don't you stand for office and be elected?" Response: "Because then I would just become a rotten apple!" Modern politics does seem to have a certain effect on even basically decent people who get into its clutches!

Too true Brian, It seems a lottery to me, and for such a serious decision!

Yes, im self-flagellating as I type..

Sorry guv, it won't happen again.

Far too political, off to the funny farm.

Dunno, i've had some meaningful discussions in French public bogs.

One such recent discussion with a 'neighbour' whilst enjoying a Jimmy Riddle .

Him - "Corr, this water is cold "

Me - "Yep, and quite deep too !" .....

Better than a French public toilet as well!

Paul S

I would have thought a French public forum to be the ideal place to discuss French politics. Where else ?

He must John because nobody really appears to listen to him any longer. (Did they ever?)

Talking to yourself in the toilet about party politics could earn you a one way ticket to the funny farm Brian. Though I suspect Cameron does it all the time.

Simon, Whatever about Paul’s qualifications his assessment of UK living seems quite accurate to me (and BTW you’re not beyond the odd hissy fit yourself).

Things are certainly livening up now mad Boris has declared his hand. He’s obviously run the numbers and I have to admire the sheer gall of such a IMO cynical, self serving manoeuvre. There’s a good clip of his poor old dad trying to defend him on BBC.CO.UK today.

Really not interested......

Er, pardon, should I go to the toilet and talk to myself about party politics then? The trouble with people who repeat themselves is once they have been ignored the first time, subsequent attempts are wasted time.

I concur with Simon, he summed it all up in a nutshell.

Far more than you clearly :-)

And no there were none, which is why I earn considerably more working on far more interesting projects outside of the UK.

Wow Paul - quite a hissy fit!

You almost lost me at line 1 - 'I've said it before and I'll say it again' - but stupidly I read on. I should have stopped at line 1.

Such a shame that your three top degrees, four charterships and over 30 years' professional practice - taught you absolutely nothing about interacting positively with other human beings.

There will be a very valid reason you didn't get the job, paying the salary you wanted. Apparently it was very upsetting for you.......

I've said it before and I'll say it again.

A) Is this really an appropriate forum for discussing party politics?

B) If you believe that France's administration and economy are so bad why live here (I'm referring to expats here of course)?

C) If you did live and work in the UK you would realize that what the media report and what the majority of the population believe are so far removed from reality that they might as well be emanating from Mars (perhaps these people have already booked their tickets with Virgin).

There is nothing at all to envy about the UK economy, unless you happen to be in the top 5% or one of the many multinationals who use it as a base for Europe knowing they can procure relatively cheap staff, often on zero hours contracts and pay minimal corporation tax. No wonder UK productivity is so low.

Even for many of the top 5% it is an increasingly crap place to live. Crowded, congested, polluted, noisy, overpriced. And of course the real fun is just over the horizon when all the proceeds of decades of state sell-offs, political bribes and north sea gas fizzle out, the next generation of retirees find they have zero funds to live on, and the next generation of fresh-faced employees find they have zero chance of ever buying a property of their own or, if they live outside of the sacred cow that is London, even moving.

And I speak from experience. I have three top degrees (one from Cambridge), four charterships and over 30 years' professional practice behind me yet between 2010 and 2015 I was unable to secure a single job in the UK (not even at 25% of my prior salary). And since 2015 the best I could achieve was 75% of my 2010 salary, while all the time the cost of living, not to mention property prices, has raced ahead. Which is why I work for a non-UK company, have a house in France (mortgage free) and intend to retire there.

As they say...the grass is always greener.