Day 38 – Fifty Fun Facts

  • U.S. Senator Richard Burr (Chair Senate Intelligence Ctee, 29/03): ‘I think it’s safe by everybody’s judgment that the Russians are actively involved in the French elections”
  • ‘Melenchon. Superstar. Do you think you’re what they say you are?’ Sofres asks: Should he play a major role in future? NINETEEN points up in 1 month. [PS His reply: ‘Oui‘]
  • It’s Not A Family Affair. Le Pen says 1. If I’m President, my Ultra-Hard-Right M.P. niece WON’T be a Minister and 2. I told my father our political relationship is over
  • 2 weeks after Mr Fillon, and 5 days after Fillon’s substitute MP, Joulaud, Mme Fillon has 13 hours with the judges … and is ‘charged’ with 3 FakeJobsGate offences.
  • Final TV debate (3 days pre Round 1, with 11 candidates): Melenchon refuses, Macron objects to Regulator, Fillon and Le Pen oppose. Only Hamon wants it: wonder why?
  • Sarko addresses 300 lawyers: ‘Who will stop the media interfering in the functioning of justice? Who is courageous enough to write the “J’accuse” (sic) which this century needs?’
  • Fillon’s campaign visits are now kept secret until the last minute to avoid casseroles and chants of ‘Fillon en prison’
  • Macron says 14,000+ want to be En Marche candidates. 50% women. 50% not politicians. Most in place by Round 2. Each is to represent the En Marche Party alone – no other party
  • Valls (Hollande’s-ex-PM) says the dangers of Le Pen/abstention requires him to vote (but not campaign for) Macron. FN/Républicains bellow: Macron’s nothing but Hollande 2.0
  • Paris-Réunion-Mayotte-Paris (19,000 Km) in 2 days does your brain in. Macron comments on French Guiana’s serious strikes: calls it an ‘island’. Social media loves it
  • Le Pen gives employers The Full Eurosceptic: My election’s … a chance to renegotiate with the EU what weighs down on our economy, our companies and French purchasing power
  • It’s All In The Colours: 1. Old-style 2012 ‘Take Power‘ AND 2. New-style 2017 ‘The Power of the People‘. Oh Melenchon, what big teeth you’ve got! Could this be where it came from?
  • Socialist Hamon (c. 10%) asks hard-left Melechon (c. 14%+)/CP to join him. Communist Laurent joins unity call. Melenchon says ‘Non‘. Hamon ‘profoundly’ regrets.
  • Does Hamon also regret (last Sunday) saying: ‘3 candidates – Fillon, Melenchon & Le Pen – talk of their fascination for Putin, who’s just arrested 700 opponents’?
  • Ipsos poll says 80%+ of the French believe their purchasing power has reduced in the last few years.
  • 5 Years Is A Long Time In Politics. June 2012: Socialists (PS) win 27 of 39 large towns, 56 of 96 Departments, 21 of 22 Regions, Parliament … plus a Socialist President and PM
  • Fillon-supporters express delight that Valls votes Macron. A major supporter claims this is ‘The kiss of death for Macron’ – anything Hollande-related makes the Right oppose
  • ‘FN scandals: the documents which accuse Marine Le Pen’: 3 pages in Le Monde detail their frauds on EU taxpayers with FakeJobsGate (FNstyle): the judges investigate
  • Hamon refers to the long list of charges which the FN will have to respond to some time: ‘In other countries that’s called the mafia. In France, it’s called the Front National’
  • President Hollande apparently tells anyone who’ll listen that Macron will win – Hollande will say nothing publicly until after the 1st Round
  • 2002 History Lesson. 30 days pre-Round 1 Le Pen has 10%. Some days before Round 1 he has 13.5% (4.5% behind Socialist Jospin). In Round 1 he gets 16.9% … Le Pen is in Round 2.
  • France is still shocked by 2002’s Round 1 Election. Today it’s a commonplace that Le Pen’s daughter will be in Round 2 … and possibly win Round 1. That shocks me.
  • Macron’s nickname at Rothschild’s was ‘the Mozart of finance’
  • 58,000 readers of Le Figaro (conservative) have taken part in its online poll: Will the Socialist Party blow up? 91% said ‘Yes’
  • P. 1 lead: ‘How the Presidential is wrecking the PS’ (Le Monde), ‘Valls supports Macron and plunges the PS into chaos’ (Figaro) ‘Requiem for the Socialists’ (Le Monde editorial)
  • ‘The happy Presidential Election winner will have a country in a considerably better state than in 2012’ (Pres. Hollande’s spokesperson reflecting on his term). True Actually.
  • Celebrity Corner: all about the Macrons’ 10 front covers of VSD, 4 x Paris Match, 2 x Closer 1 x Voici. In French … but the full-colour pictures speak in any language
  • The United Protestant Church of France says a ‘catastrophe may be under way’ because of abstention and ‘the nationalist, xenophobic discourse of the ultra-right’
  • Fillon’s ‘Volonté‘ (wish) for France – instantly, online, becomes ‘vol‘ (theft), ‘honte‘ (shame), ‘éhonté‘ (shameless). They’ve sure got it in for ‘im.
  • Opinion Polls: Macron/Le Pen (25%), Fillon (18%), Melenchon (14+%). Macron wins Round 2. Employment/social protection issues still ahead of law & order/immigration.

50 Fun Facts? Actually only 30. Sorry. A fake headline just for a bit of alliteration.

My favourite commentator: Gérard Courtois (Le Monde)

‘No candidate has so far succeeded in either presenting an inspiring enough programme, or imposing a sufficiently striking issue, in order to crystallise the national debate. We must therefore accept the risk of the Presidential Election being played out on a throw of the dice. Or rather millions of throws. All thrown by disorientated voters at the end of a campaign as ill-defined as it has been poor.’

The French have literally the same problem as the Brits

A discussion on when litérallement can be used (in French).

The French love our ‘soft power’ Royals

For those who missed their dose of Paris Match, here are 2 videos and 121 photos of ‘Kate and William’s visit to Paris’ … just scroll down (provided you can get past the possibly shocking news that George won’t be going to the same school as his father).

French Lessons Wanted

And some fell on stony ground. My appeal for grammatical assistance, buried deep in Day 41, has received a deeply underwhelming response. A simple question. Why can’t this read: ‘Un train peut cacher un autre‘. If the answer’s just too humiliatingly easy, send a private message.20170328_152454

5 thoughts on “Day 38 – Fifty Fun Facts

  1. Morning. Another excellent blog as usual, interesting informative and amusing. What more could one ask for?

    I’m not sure why you seem to agree with President Hollande’s spokesman that ‘The happy Presidential Election winner will have a country in a considerably better state than in 2012’.

    During the Quinquennat unemployment has increased from just above 2.9 million in 2012 to above 3.5 million presently (+20%) (ie from 9.8% to 10.4%) and Public debt as a % of GDP has increased from 89.6% in 2012 to 95.8% in 2015 (the last figures I could find but I didn’t look too diligently. As I recall, reducing unemployment was a key Hollande pledge in 2012. Not all Hollande’s fault admittedly but to claim that things have improved at all, let alone ‘considerably’, is perhaps a rose-tinted (or Socialist red) view.


    1. Well maybe I misspoke …. to an extent.

      Here are a few Lies, More Lies and Statistics which might be thought to put into some perspective certain claims that 2012 was Nirvana and it’s been downhill ever since. [Apologies. I have no idea at all if ‘Trading Economics’ has any veracity at all … but it looks authentic(ish)]. Sorry I wasn’t able to set up direct hyperlinks. Happy analysing

      Full time employment:

      GDP annual growth rate: rather better than the previous quinquennat:

      Employment rate:

      Govt debt to GDP – unquestionably worse, but the worsening has considerably slowed down when compared to the previous 5 years:

      It’s not always remembered by everyone (I’m sure that doesn’t apply to you, though, Chris) that Sarkozy presided over Governments which took Public debt as a % of GDP from a modest 64.4% all the astronomic way to 89.6%

      Business confidence progressively better than 2012 (interestingly? if maybe counter-intuitively?) :

      Even industrial production appears better than 2012:


  2. Interesting contrast with Melenchon ‘avant and ‘après’. I’m reminded with the ‘après’ (Melenchon with spectacles) of the posters of Chirac in his presidential campaign in 2002. The photographic negatives were deliberately printed back to front, as Chirac thought apparently that this would make his face look slimmer, and his specs had their lenses removed to avoid reflections and to make him seem more sincere and trustworthy. No image management there then.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One question, one comment:

    – the question concerns François Asselineau. He is running at about 0.5% in the polls but he seems to have an awful lot of poster-stickers working on his behalf (or one or two very assiduous ones) in the Yvelines. I wouldn’t normally pay much attention to posters but in the case of the Brexit referendum they proved more reliable than polls. Of course he is not going to win, but if he has a few per cent support in the first round that is presumably some more votes that Le Pen could count on in the second. Any views on his likely level of support?
    – the comment(at the risk of being shot down by someone who actually knows what they are talking about) is on your grammatical question: I was taught that ‘en’ always includes a hidden ‘de’. French is a precise language and you can’t get away with saying ‘Un train peut cacher un autre’ because you haven’t said what there is going to be another of; ‘en’ tells you it is another one ‘of them’ i.e. trains

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I must admit I haven’t noticed (m)any Asselineau posters at all. I think it most unlikely he’ll even get 1% – but I agree that the vast majority of his votes, and of all the other Hard Right candidates, will transfer to Le Pen. Hence, I suppose, why she consistently polls at least 11 points up in every Round 2 poll.
    Asselineau’s website (as the Frexit candidate – shows a couple of very smug-looking young men in his team, one of them being a M. LONJON (his comms/press man) who would, I’m sure, be happy to hear about his Yvelinois poster success.


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