Brian reminds us that if Dr Kelly’s death was embarrassing for the BBC and the British government, the capture alive of Saddam Hussein is potentially very embarrssing for the French President Jacques ‘the Crook’ Chirac.
Following his story, I decided to check out TF1, the major TV channel, to see what coverage – if any – there was about the Bagdad story. It certainly is not front page news in Paris.
For good reason…
One of the leading stories in France today is the report of an investigative judge into the sale of frigates by what was then Thomson-CSF to Taiwan in 1991. Under the ethical trade (!) clauses in this 14 billion French Franc contract (about 1.9 billion US dollars), if it were proved that bribes had been paid, the guilty party would have to pay damages of up to 600 million US dollars.
The government at the time was the Socialist Party and the prime minister would probably have been Pierre Bérégovoy, who committed suicide by firing an indeterminate number of bullets into the wrong side of his head shortly before being called to appear in court on charges of channelling public funds into the bank accounts of most of his Socialist buddies, or arch-crook Edith Cresson, she of the dentist-gigolo hired at the European Commission who called English MPs a bunch of public-school homosexuals. I forget which.
Naturally the damages will all be paid by the French government, i.e. the taxpayers. The notion that the political party or the politician that stole the money should be held somehow responsible? Where would it end…
“Corruption scandal? Which corruption scandal?”