Saturday, October 17, 2009


There he is, all 165 centimetres of him, alright, alright, still makes him taller than Berlosconi at 164 centimetres and, we are told, Napoleon at 162 centimetres. Morevoer, Hitler, Stalin, Julius Caesar and a few others were hardly taller, Genghis Khan was most definitely smaller, and anyway we have had some really mediocre really tall or really fat or really skinny, or really tall and fat or tall and skinny,  twats leading their countries and the planet to disaster. No, height and stature, ugly or handsome, can hardly be a factor here and when it comes to meglomania, egomania, yes and even downright incompetence, the French president has a number of all shapes and sizes models that he can look to.

However, getting his 23 year old, baby faced, second year undergraduate student son a job to run the Paris business disctrict really takes the biscuit and this type of nepotism is not something we expect, or want, in 21st century Europe. In fact, it is something we don't want anywhere. Of course, what we want, or don't want, is neither here nor there and the question remains, will he get away with it? The evidence suggests that, in a country where political dynasties are par for the course, he might in the short term and in the longer term he will. Yes, I am sure that we will be hearing more of the young Jean Sarkozy.

Still, Jean is not unusual, especially not in France, and the 'Guardian' writes, "French leaders always kept it in the family: Jacques Chirac's daughter Claude ran his public relations strategy; François Mitterrand's son and adviser, Jean-Christophe, is now a defendant in the Angolagate trial over arms-trafficking and his nephew Frederic Mitterrand is currently serving as Sarkozy's controversial culture minister." Moreover, this is not unique to France, even in Europe, and in Greece the, at least, apparently competent George Papandreou is inheriting the office of his late, "great" father, Andreas.

Yes, we can stop our smug smirking at the Kims, Ghaddafis and Ghandis and we don't have to wonder about that "democracy" across the big pond, which sells itself as the "from dishwasher to president" meritocracy but in fact offends "the one eyed-man's" meritocratic sensibilities. Nevertheless, although the Kims, Ghaddafis, Ghandis and Bushes have been around for a long time here in Europe, it is with "baby faced" Jean that the farce becomes all too apparent even to the most myopic of us. It is, of course, nothing short of absurd that this second year university student should be in line for taking over the richest department in France and if Sarkozy does get away with it the next thing we might be reading is that some pretty twenty year old, who gives Silvio Berlosconi blow jobs, has become the Italian foreign minister.

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