The newly-elected President of France, a socialist by conviction, is no match for François Mitterand, the last socialist to hold office before the Left were booted out for lack of innovative thinking.
Europe in general has not had much success with socialist principles that impose a dogma inhibiting competitiveness through high taxation aimed at redressing the balance between rich and poor.
Although it’s early days, Hollande has not demonstrated an ability to comprehend the mechanics of financial acumen needed to lift France out of the recession and encourage growth by incentives rather than punitive taxation.
His outrageous proposal to tax the rich at a rate of 75% is reminiscent of the Labour government in Great Britain after the Second World War, which risked through its policies dismantling the very fabric of the economy – more for ideological reasons than commercial common sense.
Hollande strikes me as a weak man since his private life, if considered a window from which we can deduce his character, is far from impressive. His fighting women have become the focus of attention in the media, and is certainly a topic of hilarity that does not become the dignity of his office.
To compare him with Mitterand is unthinkable.
The wily old president had a lot going for him. He was extremely well read, perhaps more cultured than people gave him credit for, and above all a politician of the old school who reigned supreme and enjoyed himself to the very end with presidential pomp and splendour.
If Hollande hopes to follow suit then he must dust down his act before it is too late. However, as the saying goes, hope is a poor man’s bread.