Ségolène Royal is back in the news. Last week she accused President Zelensky of “fear-mongering war propaganda”, which finally got her name in print again, after a hiatus of many years.
Yet back in 2007 she ran Nicolas Sarkozy close in the French presidential election, as I recall. Her activists were spreading leaflets around, and a middle-aged woman tried to thrust one into my hand at a local market.
Now, I have no voting rights in France but, if I had, I’d be more likely to vote for the devil incarnate than for a Socialist candidate. My face must have reflected that bias, for the woman asked me, angrily and derisively, if I was going to vote for Sarkozy instead.
No, I said. “Who then?” Now the woman was perplexed for there were only two candidates in the runoff round, and neither seemed to appeal to me.
“Les Bourbons,” I said. My tormentor’s expression changed from confusion to such a genuine concern for my mental health that I felt she was owed an explanation. “Je suis plus royal que Ségolène,” I said, in a weak attempt to make a pun on the candidate’s surname.
The joke didn’t work, either because of my accent or due to the woman’s inability to appreciate jokes. Socialists do tend to take themselves and their cause with an unsmiling seriousness bordering on solemnity.
Having lost that election, Ségolène also lost much of her news appeal and only became a hot item some five years later, when her long-term lover François Hollande succeeded where Ségolène had failed.
Having sired four children with Ségolène, Hollande still never married her. As a true socialist he probably didn’t believe in heterosexual marriage. However, he was less sceptical about the homosexual variety, which he promptly legalised when becoming president.
He then dumped Ségolène for the journalist Valérie Trierweiler, whom her friends affectionately called ‘rottweiler’, proving that the French aren’t after all averse to puns based on surnames. I’m not sure whether this particular nickname referred to Valérie’s character or her amorous technique.
She too got dumped, having first thrown a wobbly at the presidential palace and smashed a lot of publicly owned dishes. Hollande then started a passionate affair with his scooter, but enough of this frivolity.
Ségolène’s recent diatribe shows that she still harbours political ambitions. The route she chose is promising for in a few short sentences she established ideal credentials for modern politics: wickedness, ignorance and stupidity.
In reality, Zelensky is courageously rallying his nation to resist fascist aggression against terrible odds. If the French president had done the same thing with the same heroic resolve, perhaps France could have repelled the Nazi offensive in 1940, or at least held out for longer than 40 days.
But trust Ségolène to see through the Ukrainian’s knavish tricks. “Zelensky’s fear-mongering propaganda has two goals,” she said on TV. “The first goal is to motivate his army. When the Ukrainian president talks about torturing soldiers, it should affect the Ukrainian servicemen, mobilise them. It also serves as an obstacle to the peace process.”
So Zelensky is trying to motivate his army? Crikey. How low can one sink. Instead, he should demotivate the army, surrender and start collaborating with the fascist invaders. Do a Pétain in other words.
Also, getting back to my old translating trade, I want to make sure you understand the meaning of ‘peace process’. When used by Putinistas, it’s synonymous with the Ukraine’s surrender – exactly the same thing French socialists and communists agitated for in 1940, demoralising the army.
The peace process, aka surrender, is essential because in its absence Ukrainians will continue to suffer, continued Ségolène. Actually, for all their suffering, Ukrainians themselves are ready to fight the Russians to the bitter end, but Ségolène knows what’s best for them better than they do.
Somewhat incongruously she then suggested that, when all is said and done, Ukrainians aren’t suffering all that much – and certainly not as much as that dastardly Zelensky claims.
Mariupol hospital airstrike? Didn’t happen. The Bucha massacre? Ditto. Rape of children? Ditto. Genocidal bombing of residential areas? Ditto. Mass looting? Ditto.
Zelensky made it all up for his nefarious purposes. Such pernicious propaganda should be outlawed, and who better than the UN, assisted by international hacks, to put the foot down. “It is necessary that the UN and the journalistic community establish a ban on the instrumentalisation of fear,” said Ségolène.
I wasn’t aware that “the journalistic community” has institutional powers to ban anything. And the UN’s powers exist only on paper, fit exclusively for lavatorial use. But perhaps Ségolène is privy to her own sources of information.
I shan’t sputter much spittle commenting on the evil cretinism evinced by such remarks. What’s more important – and worrying – is why this objectionable woman saw fit to make them.
Whatever politicians say is said for political reasons. So what is Ségolène after?
She is enunciating the Kremlin line word for word, something that until now has been the privilege of only the fringe parties, whichever tag they bear, left or right. However, in France the fringe is getting wider, including as it does both Le Pen’s neo-fascists (pretending to be more neo than fascist for PR purposes) and Mélenchon’s Trotskyists.
In this year’s presidential elections, Le Pen got 23.2 per cent of the vote and Mélenchon 22 per cent. These candidates, together with another extremist, Zemmour, polled at 52.3 per cent. All of them have close links with Putin, regularly stating their support for Russian fascism, repeating Kremlin propaganda and, in Le Pen’s case at least, even benefiting financially from such loyalty.
Meanwhile, the mainstream candidates, the eventual winner Macron, Valérie Pécresse of The Republicans and Anne Hidalgo of the Socialists, garnered a mere 34.5 per cent put together. Their parties are lukewarm supporters of the Ukraine, with Macron having made a few ‘peace process’ noises, but then realised the error of his ways – until next time.
I’d suggest that, when the margins are wider than the mainstream, they are no longer the margins. Ségolène, for all her mental deficiencies, seems to have cottoned on to this simple observation. It’s likely she feels that, by jumping on Putin’s bandwagon, she could vault over Hidalgo to reclaim the leadership of the Socialist Party.
We may also be witnessing the results of the frenetic activity of Putin’s agents and stooges throughout Europe. They work overtime, cajoling, lying, bribing and threatening to pave the way to a sort of pan-European, pro-Putin fascist International. And Ségolène is an ideal recruit.
She is ambitious, frustrated in her ambitions, susceptible to extremist rhetoric, not excessively bright, lacking in principles, possibly in need of funding – any KGB officer worth his salt would have talent-spotted her long ago.
One way or the other, Ségolène is in what these days is called a win-win situation. If she fails to scale political heights, she can always get a job on The Mail on Sunday. She seems to be in tune with its editorial policy already.
4 thoughts on “A Royal pain in le cul”
The memory of the Holocaust is still to vivid in Western Europe for any ethno-nationalist party to come to power. In terms of propaganda, today’s Russia is in a significantly weaker position than was the USSR.
“I wasn’t aware that ‘the journalistic community’ has institutional powers to ban anything.” They have largely banned truth.
The two greatest Western ideological vices of the 20th, and 21st century too: anti-Semitism and Russophilia.
I wonder to what extent Western Marxists resented the fact that it was the barbarous Russians who were approaching the oasis of communism…