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The case for ‘War on Chirac’

Readers will have noted my opposition to a British war against Iraq.
The war of words between the British Prime Minister and the French President is another matter.

One of the simple rules I have in life is that, on any issue, before knowing the facts, if there is a dispute between Jacques Chirac and anyone else (Al Gore, Pol Pot, Lady Thatcher, Satan or even Bill Clinton), I know who is in the wrong and lying through his teeth, and lacking in diplomatic finesse.

In 27 years I have yet to be wrong even once.

In 1975, Jacques Chirac presided over France’s worst ever budget deficit, trade deficit, social security deficit, unemployment rise and tax increases. He proudly announced that the economic crisis was over. It was soon over for him as he was sacked as Prime Minister.

In 1981, when the Socialist government actually managed to equal Mr Chirac’s earlier disastrous economic performance, he described it as “an un-precedented idiocy”…

In 1986, Jacques Chirac won an election to become prime minister on a platform of Thatcherite reforms. Within weeks he was describing Mrs Thatcher in public as “une c******”, a description that was extremely vulgar and biologically impossible for a woman.

In 1991, Jacques Chirac promised to fight against the Maastricht Treaty by campaigning for the “No” campaign. Within days he had declared himself first neutral, then thrown his enthusiastic support for the “Yes” campaign, claiming that he would be more important if the referendum was narrowly won with his support, then if it was defeated massively with his opposition.

In 1992 on the bicentenary of the execution of King Louis XVI, a group of royalists asked for permission to lay a wreath in the place de la Concorde. Mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac tried (but failed) to prevent them from doing so. Having antagonised the royalists, Mr Chirac made no comment about the violent anti-royalists who attacked police and passers-by at the event.

In 1995, Jacques Chirac (now President) asked the mayor of Le Havre (a party colleague) not to play the Marseillaise at the opening of a new memorial. The mayor promptly cancelled the president’s invitation.

In 2002, Mr Chirac made 97 promises as part of his presidential re-election campaign. It will come as no surprise to learn that over 90% of them were calls for higher state spending or political correctness, or more eco-fascism.

Even the small steps being made in the right direction by Mr Chirac’s new prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin have either been in contradiction with Mr Chirac’s promises, or been the object public doubts expressed by the President.

Finally, on those areas where there has been some sense made by the French government this year: crackdown on terror networks, better security at the Channel tunnel, closing the Sangatte refugee camp, Mr Chirac hasn’t said a word.

I note that unlike Saddam Hussein, Mr Chirac actually has a sizable nuclear arsenal (the third largest in the world). He is certainly a bigger threat to free trade. I’m more optimistic that Chirac’s successor would be an improvement than that Saddam’s would be. And the best bit of all is that once removed there’s bound to be some pretext for locking Chirac up for a long time… and I haven’t even mentioned the corruption.

Leave Iraq to the US Mr Blair, liberate France now!
“Vive la France libre!”

12 comments to The case for ‘War on Chirac’

  • FeloniousPunk

    Did you read Simon Jenkins’ piece on the French row in today’s Times? Good stuff.

  • Jabba the Tutt

    Funny as hell, but you are wrong-headed about this: “I’m more optimistic that Chirac’s successor would be an improvement than that Saddam’s would be.”

    The US replaced the Taliban with Hamid Karzai, a vast improvement. The US will either run Iraq itself for a number of years or put in a co-regent Iraqi who will have to be a vast improvement over Saddam. Chirac is the alleged conservative, capitalist, which means his replacement is going to be a Leftwing anti-capitalist.

    I’ll take any bet that Saddam’s replacement will be better and Chirac’s worse.

  • David Carr

    I don’t know if Chirac’s eventual successor will be better or worse in terms of personal integrity but I can see France taking a massive lurch back to the left come next round of elections.

    Technically, Chirac did win handsomely, but I get the feeling that most French voters didn’t really have their heart invested in him; he was simply not as bad as the alternative.

    If the left manages to rustle up a half-way credible challenger next time round, then I think ‘Les Vrais Gens’ will swoon gratefully back into his arms.

  • I don’t believe you can compare former misconduct of Chirac in today’s perspective of a much more complex European and world situation and claim his succesor would do better(there is no one to replace him!): France is an old country; affinities change often and suddenly, in a byzantine way. Chirac is now in full power of a country that needs to assert itself and get the attention that historically it deserves. Chirac caled Blair a sycophant of the US and that was the trigger for all this fuzz. There is no reason someone in Europe needs to believe the mad oil greed hysteria in the White House needs to be followed, like Blair does; for many more reasons than is apt to say, Chirac is right: men make mistakes, yet Chirac for once stands up for his own opinion.

  • “Chirac is now in full power of a country that needs to assert itself and get the attention that historically it deserves.”

    1) Chirac stated that he was spoken to rudely. He did not mention the US.

    2) Chirac is corrupt and has evaded the rule of law.

    How European to argue that the political measure of a man is more important than his actual conduct.

  • FeloniousPunk

    Einar, that’s incorrect. This “fuzz” was prompted by Chirac’s attack on the UK’s rebate, because Mr Corruption himself refuses to address the issue of CAP reform constructively. The rest of the insults were gratuitous.

    As to the rest of your article – do you really believe that a country deserves “attention” simply based on its age, with regard to neither what kind of real power and influence it possesses nor the value of what it actually has to say and recommend?

    “France is an old country; affinities change often and suddenly, in a byzantine way.”

    I must agree, but what this says to me is that France is mercurial, whimsical and lacking in vision, perspective and the necessary seriousness, determination and purposefulness to be taken seriously politically.

    I also fail to see how Mr Chirac is to be congratulated and encouraged in standing up for his own opinion. According to you, and Chirac’s personal history bears this out, his opinion changes with the wind; it is impossible for this sort of person to take a principled stand.

    If mendacious and corrupt Jacques Chirac is the best you can do for a political Hoffnungsträger, then you on the continent are in really bad shape.

  • A_t

    “According to you, and Chirac’s personal history bears this out, his opinion changes with the wind; it is impossible for this sort of person to take a principled stand.”

    Whereas Blair on the other hand is well known for sticking to his principles……

  • Blair does stick to his principles: Be all things to all men; Follow focus groups; get people who have crossed your path or wife’s path or family path sacked; ignore lauren booth.

  • David Carr

    “There is no reason someone in Europe needs to believe the mad oil greed hysteria in the White House…”

    What’s that old axiom about repeating a lie often enough?

    The suggestion that Chirac’s position is somehow based on morals and principles would be pant-wettingly funny were it not for the fact that some people do actually believe it!

    Judging from the extent to which French oil companies are up to the necks in the Iraqi oil fields, I think it is fair to suggest that actually its French foreign policy that really is ‘all about oil’.

  • Gemini

    Just a few things : Chirac as PM wasn’t sacked, he’s the only PM of the 5th Republic who actually willingly quit.
    Second, the bicentenary of the execution of Louis XVI couldn’t have been in 1992, since he was executed on 21/01/1793…

    So out of the 7 wrong-doings in 27 yrs, 2 at least are wrong….

  • Tom

    We will find Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq with Made in France Labels. Chirac has many leftist skeletons in the closet and cannot stand that his vision of the future is irrelevent. Not only for the French but for the world. He has done damage that cannot be repaired .

  • In 1975, Jacques Chirac presided over France’s worst ever budget deficit, trade deficit, social security deficit, unemployment rise and tax increases. He proudly announced that the economic crisis was over. It was soon over for him as he was sacked as Prime Minister.
    —> False, he resigned.

    In 1981, when the Socialist government actually managed to equal Mr Chirac’s earlier disastrous economic performance, he described it as “an un-precedented idiocy”…
    —> “managed to equal Mr Chirac’s” : on what basis : sources? Weak.

    In 1986, Jacques Chirac won an election to become prime minister on a platform of Thatcherite reforms. Within weeks he was describing Mrs Thatcher in public as “une c******”, a description that was extremely vulgar and biologically impossible for a woman.
    —> Since when Thatcher is supposed to be a woman?

    In 1991, Jacques Chirac promised to fight against the Maastricht Treaty by campaigning for the “No” campaign. Within days he had declared himself first neutral, then thrown his enthusiastic support for the “Yes” campaign, claiming that he would be more important if the referendum was narrowly won with his support, then if it was defeated massively with his opposition.
    —> Did anybody get the point of this point???

    In 1992 on the bicentenary of the execution of King Louis XVI, a group of royalists asked for permission to lay a wreath in the place de la Concorde. Mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac tried (but failed) to prevent them from doing so. Having antagonised the royalists, Mr Chirac made no comment about the violent anti-royalists who attacked police and passers-by at the event.
    —> What a mean fascist!

    In 1995, Jacques Chirac (now President) asked the mayor of Le Havre (a party colleague) not to play the Marseillaise at the opening of a new memorial. The mayor promptly cancelled the president’s invitation.
    —> Brilliant illustrating example : complete and brilliant… :D

    In 2002, Mr Chirac made 97 promises as part of his presidential re-election campaign. It will come as no surprise to learn that over 90% of them were calls for higher state spending or political correctness, or more eco-fascism.
    —> But what a shame : not bombing innocent civilians with cluster bombs.

    Ooops, I almost forgot : you are an idiot! :D