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Crikey Says

Jan 13, 2014

Crikey says: all’s fair in love and politics

What could Tony Abbott put up for sale? It's Crikey's privatisation hit-list. Ariel Sharon is dead -- again: Guy Rundle on a disastrous legacy. Why South Australia will tear itself apart in March. The climate denier who fooled Fairfax. The business richies to watch in 2014. And why you'll be eating more kale. Apparently.

When former French president Francois Mitterrand died in 1996, mourners included his mistress and the daughter he fathered out of wedlock. And nobody raised an eyebrow.

Now current President¬†Francois Hollande is caught having it off with an actress behind his partner’s back — and national polls indicate the public doesn’t care. Almost 80% believe it’s a personal matter; some 84% said their opinion of the leader hadn’t changed.

It’s a question of character, critics will argue, and there’s plenty to that. If you’re cheating on the missus, perhaps you’re just as likely to cheat on the nation. But in a European public sphere more sophisticated than we’re used to, politicians seem to be judged on policy first — and personality second.

Hollande might be chucked out because of his haphazard handling of the economy, but not because he’s a love rat.

Which is probably the way it should be.

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3 thoughts on “Crikey says: all’s fair in love and politics

  1. klewso

    Described as “unpopular” on the news on the weekend – at a time of such international economic uncertainty; when politicians in Opposition are promising any Pollyanna thing to get elected, knowing full well they have little chance of delivering, then the electorate turning on them (when their own stupidity for believing such things were possible, before voting for them – “When you’re up Shit Creek, any ‘ore can look like a paddle!”?) when they can’t deliver and some miracle hasn’t eventuated in the politicians favour.
    If it’s a politician that wants to use their position to dictate how everyone should live – fair enough, hang them out on that gibbet of public scrutiny, for the parasitic hypocrite they are, that is “news”, but if they’re not then why go after them? Would they expose the politicians they like, if they knew they were at it?

    And if the media wants to speculate on the possibility that he may have been distracted (by such philandering during such critical economic times), is that what happens to them? Maybe he needed a distraction?
    Let’s have those in the media, occupying such elite positions, named and shamed in that public place they selectively edit and dominate to their own desires, when they’re “playing away from home”?

  2. CML

    Your conclusion is absolutely correct. How does the presence or absence of a mistress make any difference to the way a leader runs a country?
    To believe it does,is just American fundamentalist Christian bulls+it

  3. AR

    Also let it be recognised that he is not married to the”First Girlfriend” ensconced in the Elysee Palace (like another erstwhile national leader, can’t quite recall who/where) and it matters not a whit.
    Grown-up politics, as practiced elsewhere,also sees minority governments not just as the norm but essential to avoid extremes of policy when an ideologue scams their way into office. Maybe one day (sighs)…