Wednesday, November 21, 2007


A bulletin from Le Monde informs me that Jacques Chirac has been mis en examen for his alleged role in the diversion of Paris city funds when he was mayor. There was a time when I would have greeted this as good news and murmured something about "the rule of law." But Chirac, who was once as pictured in the photo, a would-be Nouvelle Vague matinée idol, now looks so old and, as Jospin put it years ago in one of his many campaign errors, usé, I can't help feeling that the trial will be a sad waste of time. It's a new era. Why bother? Will it get the Métro running again? That, at the moment, seems so much more important than stale retribution.


Anonymous said...

Anyone with a little knowledge of French recent history will be able to identify many more examples of stale retribution.

Another symptom of the national sickness : don't look at the future, it is too frightening, replay endlessly the old tunes of the past, and watch the world go by.

gregory brown said...

Art, preserving the rule of law -- especially when elected leaders seek to put themselves above it -- is the primary function of government and the essence of a functional civil society. Your own example proves its point -- will the metro run on time? It was precisely this point -- rule of law be damned, at least he made the trains run on time -- was the central justification of Mussolini's Fascist government, wasn't it?

If you think back to what was being uncovered in the spring of 1995, from the fausse factures for services never provided to the Paris city government to the abuse of domaines publics to provide primo Paris appartments to key RPR officials (including Chirac himself, IIRC), how can it be a waste of time to find the truth?

Put differently, even if it is "stale retribution" by Sarkozy, do those who were deprived of what they were legally entitled to from their government not deserve that justice be done?

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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