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).