Friday, September 01, 2006

French Letters

Do French politicians screw around like old tomcats?

Does a bear shit in the woods?

Challenging one of the great taboos of French politics, a new book has laid bare the love lives of the country's amorous leaders.

Sexus Politicus, published yesterday, reveals decades of philandering, adultery and seduction at the heart of the French state, with politicians of all colours apparently sharing the same passion for extramarital sex.

According to the book, President Jacques Chirac and his predecessors Francois Mitterrand and Valery Giscard d'Estaing have juggled the fate of France, their families and a bevy of lovers with great ease, helped partly by an acquiescent media.


Sexus Politicus revisits the old tale of how Mr. d'Estaing was found out after a late-night car crash in Paris showed he was at the wheel with a woman who was not his wife.

It also tells how Mr. Mitterrand, an infamous ladies' man, slept with the same women as some close aides, his driver and, on one occasion, Mr. Chirac.

The current President also comes across as a veritable Casanova, disappearing on midnight rendezvous and using state funds to take a mistress on foreign trips.

The French may have guillotined their nobility, but their republican forebears certainly took on their old privileges, especially the droit de seigneur.

Would a similar tome ever be written about Canada's prime ministers and their extramarital amours? And would it be received with the same nonchalance?

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