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"Do, Re, De Villy"

Oh, dear.

To be filed, I suppose, under "A" (for "Arrogant"), or maybe "P" (for "Poor Political Instincts").  Not Dominique's best day, I'm afraid.  Well, just so long as no one passes the newspaper clipping on to Nicolas .... 

The subject line isn't mine; it's the heading for a little piece covering the Salzburg "Sound of Europe" conference, found in the "Observer" column in Monday's Financial Times.  Here's the text:

"De Villepin seemed determined to perform a caricature of himself in Salzburg, demonstrating the kind of elitist élan that may or may not help the aristocrat win his first ever election -- for the presidency in 2007.

Flying in on a government jet with a pack of French journalists, De Villepin massively overran his allotted speaking time as he gave a name-check to a huge cast of Middle European cultural figures.

Having completed his oratory, De Villepin failed to listen to any of the debate -- even though his country's failure to ratify the EU constitution made the conference necessary in the first place.

Instead, he headed off to a Mozart event with his gang, before jetting back to Paris leaving mere mortals behind.  At least he came.  British political participation was zero."

Might I suggest a few personnel changes at Matignon?  Perhaps a new PR director would be a good first step ....  Oh, and while we're at it, maybe some other job should be found for Pierre.  His current one may lead to housemaid's knees or a bad back (all that peering through keyholes, you know).


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 1st, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)
How about 'E' for 'Egotistical'?
ROTFL... you know what I take every new article like this as? Further proof that Tavi is right (and not just spoofing!). *sighs* *crosses fingers that a normal candidate pops up for the Presidency sometime in the near future*
Feb. 1st, 2006 11:17 am (UTC)
Re: How about 'E' for 'Egotistical'?
'E' for 'Egotistical' is good.

Do you suppose he even has a PR staff? Maybe he thinks his natural charm (and aristocratic background) is all that's needed.
Feb. 1st, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
Re: How about 'E' for 'Egotistical'?
I think he does have a PR staff, and they are some of the most ignored and stressed-out people on the planet... I can see them with big welts on their foreheads from banging them against the wall, and hands full of nails bitten to the quick. They probably don't get a lot of sleep, either...
Feb. 18th, 2006 09:48 am (UTC)
Re: How about 'E' for 'Egotistical'?
Yes, Dominique does have unofficial pr people working for him. Pierre, as well as being Domi's director of cabinet, is virtually his director of strategy. He 'handles' or gets a subordinate to do it (less likely to lead back to Domi) all the dirty tricks against Sarko, etc, such as making sure pictures of Cecilia and her lovers are on the front pages. With regard to media stunts, yes, they have a problem with Dominique, because he hates the politics of image, what he calls the mise en scene cathodique. They are responsible for making him to go out and meet the 'peasants', and try to emulate tricks that Jacques did, such as the 'bain du foule', taking a 'crowd bath'. Dominique hates that sort of thing, but he does it now and with a grin on his face. He still doesn't have the skill of promoting himself that Sarko has, though. They also manage little 'unscripted' (i.e. carefully planned) media stunts like when he stripped off to go swimming in front of the press, showing 'tanned skin and steel-like abs'. They know how to take advantage of the edges Dominique has over Sarko. And they know how to sell Dominique, even if he doesn't like it.

But they can't stop him going off and writing his own speeches like at Salzburg. That's classic Dominique. I remember watching a Middle East peace process summit (this is the one that will finally work!) 2 or 3 years ago in I think Egypt or Jordan, some place beginning with A, Aqaba, or something. All the major FMs were there, Colin, Jack Straw, Dominique, etc, and they all gave a speech about the process. In the middle of his speech, which was mostly about Arab writers and philosophers, Dominique stopped to read a poem.

And the look on Colin's face...
Feb. 20th, 2006 09:00 am (UTC)
Re: How about 'E' for 'Egotistical'?
In the middle of his speech, which was mostly about Arab writers and philosophers, Dominique stopped to read a poem.

And the look on Colin's face...

Poor Colin. He was probably wondering why he ever thought it was a good idea to leave the military. Was it one of Dominique's own poems, I wonder, or did he select something by an Arab writer?
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Really. I think that people who don't have the tiniest grasp on French politics shouldn't be allowed to write.

And maybe it's good to remain the brainless writers of this paper that De Villepin worked hard for the "Yes" at the European constitution, that this meeting doesn't have much to do with it (if nothing at all) and that France isn't the only country who rejected it. I'm surprised that the article doesn't focus instead on the problems that keep arising with the new Polish government.

It this is in any way symptomatic of the high level of thoughts in American Press, I'll stick to French ones.

Feb. 1st, 2006 01:14 pm (UTC)
Don't blame the American press for this one, lol. Apart from The New York Times, you probably wouldn't find many American papers who even knew the Salzburg meeting took place. I doubt many of them even wrote about Davos. The Financial Times is British. And the "Observer" column is meant to be facetious. The rest of the paper is very serious. (I've been boring people for a while now by posting articles from it.)
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:18 pm (UTC)
You know, I wish they'd find some others that French politics to laugh about. I'm sure there are many who are as much despicable. It really pisses me off.

I think I'd rather go with the serious part.

Feb. 1st, 2006 01:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, that column is really equal opportunity and will skewer anyone and anything. I should start keeping a list.
Feb. 1st, 2006 01:33 pm (UTC)
Well, there's always the State of the Union address, hot off the presses. And Canada's just sworn in its fascist governement... not to mention Britain's flap over religious defense, and the debacle that is unfolding in Die Welt, Le Soir and some Danish paper whose name is just too complex for me.

It's fun all around, lol.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )