It is most unusual for the French to delve into the sexual lives of their politicians.
But since the introduction of the Euro, and the formation of closer ties with other European countries, things have begun to change dramatically in France.
More transparency in sex is now in evidence and the past unwritten sexual immunity of their political leaders is gradually coming apart at the seams.
It is a free-for-all situation now, and nothing is beyond scrutiny – especially in matters of the heart, and what is concealed between the thighs.
I once asked Édith Cresson, the short-lived PM of France under President Mitterand, whether his womanising was readily tolerated by the French public. She merely shrugged her shoulders and said rather gleefully that his sexual exploits are looked upon as one of the perks of the job.
Ex-President Sarkozy’s marital problems during his early tenure of office were a subject of conjecture that haunted him for a while, and his subsequent involvement with Carla had a similar pattern. Upon his marriage to her and since, his wife’s history with men was a topic that loomed high on the horizon, although to her credit Carla learned to avoid the limelight whenever it was possible. By so doing her popularity took a step forward.
The same cannot be said of France’s First Lady Valérie Trierweiler, nicknamed ‘The Rottweiler’, who seems totally out of control and is giving Francois Hollande cause for alarm.
As a result, Hollande’s popularity has plummeted and he is now being ridiculed by the media for not restraining his women from their now notorious public squabbles, which can only debase the dignity of the office of the presidency.
Instead of girding up his loins, and doing something about it, he appears powerless to contain the present impasse.
To aggravate matters, the latest revelations about the sexual activities of the top brass of France’s political establishment have created a tremor that has shattered the French moral insensibilities.
A new book, La Frondeuse, an unauthorised biography of Miss Trierweiler by the French political writers Christophe Jakubyszyn and Alix Bouilhaguet, reveals that the First Lady had been at the centre of a flagrant ‘ménage à six’. The book also claims that she was at one time the shared mistress of Francois Hollande and a married Conservative minister Patrick Devedjian, while still married to her husband.
This is the first time that this passionate affair with the right-wing Devedjian has come to light.
The book goes on to catalogue the nature of her relationships with the two lovers who were aware that she was sleeping with both of them and bizarrely they developed a great respect for each other.
It is pointless to go into further detail about the whole astonishing affair, since it is now in the public domain and plastered in every newspaper and magazine throughout France and abroad.
Francois Hollande has a massive problem on his hands. He cannot ignore the bad publicity that will follow. The sooner he acts to quell the present storm, the better his chances of surviving this unpleasant episode.
He has his hands full already in trying to revive the economy. However, his proposal to tax the rich at the rate of 75% is ill-advised and will plunge the county into financial turmoil.
The rich have already signalled their horror at such a punitive measure and are preparing to leave the French capital in their droves. The old socialist unworkable dogma will certainly kill initiative and rob the nation of much-needed capital to encourage and achieve growth, which is the only way to fight the ills of a global recession.
Unless and until Hollande wakes up from his slumber and recants his outmoded philosophy his presidency will be remembered as the most backwardly and ill-conceived that France has ever known.
As for his errant rottweiler, he should ensure that she does not ravage him during a training session.