You all know that France is a republic, the last king being Louis-Philippe I, who reigned from 1830 through to 1848 before fleeing the country as the newest Republic was being formed. The previous monarch, Louis XVI, had been beheaded for having the misfortune to be the king when one of France's many revolutions were taking place, so Louis-Philippe decided hiding in the Alps was a better bet for a longer life and headed to Switzerland.
Since those days, there have been many claims by people to the (non-existant) throne of France. Indeed only a few months ago, several people put their claims forward on the basis that there is always talk of France returning to the situation where they have a figurehead monarch but a President who actually runs the country. The latest claimant is a 48 year old Indian lawyer – how he comes to be descended from Louis-Philippe is anyone’s guess?
So – is this a history lesson? Nope – the link is that whilst France’s old Kings ruled without recourse to anyone and did basically what they liked (which got most of them beheaded), good old Sarky is doing the same today.
I don’t know too much about French politics, but it would appear that what Sarko wants, Sarko gets, unlike the UK, or even the US, where there are elected representatives who can reign in (pun intended) any extreme measures trying to be pushed through by the President or the Prime Minister.
But none of that democracy stuff in France. Oh no - Sarkozy is currently running around like a power-crazed monarch. Last year he sacked a Police official in Corsica because he let demonstrators get too close to the villa of a pal of his. In February 2008, Sarky dismissed the head honcho in Normandy for letting striking school teachers get within earshot of the President and shouting things at him. Aaaaah – poor Sarky! And now – the latest sacking and what a stink it’s caused.
Carla Bruni’s mum and dad, Sarky’s parents-in-law, have a fancy villa down on the Côte D,Azur and are fed up with their septic tank system because occasionally it pongs. They approached the local officials to try and get a proper, mains drainage system installed and arranged a meeting with the other villa owners to discuss the plans which were going to cost quite a bit. The other owners started objecting, so Sarky instructed his lackeys to organize another meeting which he attended unannounced and declared that ‘the state would pay‘.
The poor local official, called the Prefecture, (basically a sort of Governor) who was also in attendance, had to agree as he assumed good old Sarky would come up with the cash but of course, several months down the line, he realizes he was ‘had’. Without the cash, the drains could not be installed and Sarky’s mother-in-law is giving her son-in-law quite a bit of grief.
So Sarky sacks his Prefecture in the Var (next department to Alpes Maritime) and sends him back into the deepest recesses of government where, no doubt, he’ll be form filling for the rest of his life. No industrial tribunals. No written warnings. No appeal system. If Sarky sacks you – you remain sacked. Maybe it’s just as well the guillotine has gone although if it was still around, there’s a chance it would be Sarky’s head on it, not some poor government official who has upset the ‘monarch’!