President Hollande has been my other bête noir, alongside Tony Blair, since he was elected and he remains more so to this day: I can’t stop writing about him however much I try. Hollande is full of a fodder that beguiles even when his credibility hits rock bottom.
‘Prone to accident’ is a term that seems to have lost its meaning as he continues to blunder his way in so many directions that a new terminology is badly needed to describe his manic conduct. Perhaps he’s the most boring man on earth but his fate has the signs of being predestined to become also the most ridiculed and unpopular leader France has ever had.
With him, sex and politics is the combination that has landed him in dire straits. He fumbles around unaware of his limitations to play the Don Juan he aspires to be, and causes havoc to his private life in the process. Playing with fire with a certain type of woman is a deadly game that has over the centuries destroyed the most powerful of men, as history so clearly demonstrates.
To add to his woes a devastating book by his former First Lady has, in the articulation of most press coverage, accelerated his ‘descent into hell’. President Hollande caught with his trousers down, not for the first time, sought to defend his socialist credentials after two days that saw a demolition job by his former mistress, notably referred to as ‘the Rottweiler’.
The book, Merci Pour Ce Moment by Valérie Trierweiler, is clearly a hatchet job, where she describes him as weak-minded and a hypocrite who stood for election as the man who does not like the rich, whereas in reality he does not like the poor. He calls them ‘the toothless’.
Le Monde, France’s most authoritative newspaper, reported ‘a wave of panic’ at the Elysée Palace and wrote off Mr Hollande in a devastating editorial: ‘Over ten days, the descent into hell seems endless and bottomless,’ it said. ‘More than ever the emperor is naked.’
‘Mr Hollande is suffering a moral and political crisis,’ added the newspaper, the voice of France’s left-leaning establishment. ‘The impotence of the executive is obvious,’ it carried on, ‘and the collapse of authority is worrying… How much can the head of state hold out?’
‘The president’s legitimacy is in shreds and the country’s trust in him in is near zero. Sitting it out and enduring will not be enough to save his term to a cruel end,’ it added.
The omens could not be worse. Hollande faces an uphill struggle to stay in office while his Rottweiler is basking in a new found role of sweet revenge against the man she claims has humiliated her in more ways than one. His tryst with the actress Julie Gayet was for her the final straw.
Many believe his pudenda has largely been the cause of his fall from grace and she equally proves to be a woman determined to destroy the man who betrayed her; in brief, she could easily be described as the bottle who found its tight-fitting cork in Hollande, even if its duration fell short of expectation.
However, the upshot is that they clearly deserve each other. The Rottweiler’s coup de grâce will, in the long term, be her undoing also.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.