The infamous Le Corbeau et le Renard . Of course we all know it by heart, but does the voice of de La Fontaine speak from the grave? In today’s presidential elections the French are torn between the extravagant and the safe…who will flatteur and who will be fooled?
Unlike Putin’s “surprise” win, there is just no knowing who will don the president sash these coming weeks. Here, there and everywhere we see Monsieur Sarkozy’s right hand bid to be a different president, whilst on the left hand we witness Monsieur Hollande’s superman reforms. The fact remains: the people of France love their fables, and behind every fable there is a phantom of the opera (non non, je vous plaisante, a phantom of history of course!). Refresh your memory with the original, or translation here
« Maître Sarkozy, par l’odeur alléché »
If you think I have gone cuckoo, let me explain. Meet Monsieur Hollande who grew up in the brioche-cushioned region of Normandy. He holds the cheese of a more mature approach to public debt; he suggests a fondue of unemployment and a frais segment of industrial jobs. However, strolling around Neuilly is slick-haired Monsieur Sarkozy who has caught a whiff of this prosperity…
« Hé ! bonjour, Monsieur Hollande. Que vous êtes joli ! »
Consequently, Monsieur Sarkozy takes a new approach. He turns a blind eye to moderate campaigning and instead goes in for the kill with shock tactics. The English shake their heads at Sarkozy’s slip ups: from bad name-calling the press to the leakage of “that” video conference. But do the French follow in pursuit or sit on the edge of their seats?
« Il ouvre un large bec, laisse tomber sa proie. »
As the saying goes: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” and an encore of history is fast approaching. It is hard to decide what sways are in motion nowadays but the roots are still growing. Do we fly the flag for a revolution similar to that of 1789, or do we re-elect the elected, much like de Gaulle in 1968? All I know is that de La Fontaine’s message of “every flatterer lives at the expense of the one who listens to him” eerily lives on and it is a message which applies to both Mr Sarkozy AND Mr Hollande…
In the meantime, take a tour around Neuilly:
Or reflect on the promises of Mr Hollande…