Friday, March 10, 2006

# Posted 10:32 PM by Patrick Belton  

THE RETROGRADE, CONSERVATIVE FRENCH are the only major European nation not to have elected a woman to its position of primacy in political leadership - but Ségolène Royal, a Blairite scion of the dormant French left entering the hitherto Sarko-Villepin race with a surprise approval rating of 70 per cent, looks set to give them a sporting go at playing catch-up. See Telegraph for a profile of Mme Royal from énarque days onward; thus enter le phénomène Sego.
(3) opinions -- Add your opinion

What about Edith Carson?
There is that. I suppose this is where trying not to paint myself into a corner I'd have to get pedantic about 'elected'!
We've succeeded in our aim of goading OxBlog Frenchies correspondent to write in,

Hello Patrick,
Glad to read that you have shifted your attention away from the messy Middle East toward our increasingly glamorous presidential campaign. I will not raise to the bait and comment upon the "retrograde, conservative Frenchmen". Oh, but where's the fun in that! No, don't tempt me! But I am also interested in the "only major nation not to have elected a woman (...)". Must I conclude that there are only three major European nations, i.e. France, Germany and the UK (by decreasing order of importance...)? Curiously, the presidency of the Irish Republic also counts.... Italy is not "major" then? Only in its ability to bring down Ministers of Culture, Sport and Other Small Things We Suppose Need A Cabinet Portfolio Sic transit gloria mundi, as Italians might have said a long time ago. Let's not even mention Spain or Poland.

One might also quibble that neither Mrs Thatcher nor Mrs Merkel were "elected", they were designated by the Head of State of their respective countries, just like the ghastly Mrs Cresson once was in France.

And one might also question the relevance of Mrs Royal popularity, since her most significant policy pronouncements seem to have been to oppose girls wearing thongs at school and excessively heavy schoolbags. Fascinating stuff of course, but hardly likely to transform the country.

Anyway, have a good trip to Pakistan (!!!).


Oh. We're for thongs. Sod her then. Back to Sarko.
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