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Parlez pas trop vite

Hollande and Europe are turning the tide. Where will it leave Cameron?

Labour gains from the triumph of the French Socialist leader with his intellectually cogent rallying cry for a new direction for Europe. Look how he won with a promise to tax the super-rich at a heart-attack rate of 75%, yet the French stock market actually rose slightly. Can he now turn the great liner of the EU’s disastrous economic policy?

– Polly Toynbee, The Guardian, 7 May 2012

François Hollande will not seek re-election as president of France

François Hollande, the least popular French president since the second world war, has announced he will not run for a second term in office.

With a satisfaction rating so low it recently dropped to just 4%, the Socialist president appeared shaken and emotional as he said in a live televised address from the Élysée palace that he would not attempt to run for a second term, conscious of the “risks” to the French left if he did so.

– Angelique Chrisafis, The Guardian, 1 December 2016

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34 comments to Parlez pas trop vite

  • The left is failing all over the Western world. “Ha, ha!” —Nelson Muntz

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    All this, and English is still the world’s language. It must suck to be French! I don’t even know what ‘Parlez pas trop vite’ means! Any translations? (Here in OZ, French is not considered a vital language! Hooda thoughtit?)

  • You would need a heart of stone not to laugh 😆

  • ‘Parlez pas trop vite’… Any translations?

    Translated into Australian, it means “Pass the foie gras, Pierre, then throw another leftie on the barbie.”

    Or it might mean “To call Polly Toynbee a dumb fuck is an insult to dumbness and fucking”.

    Either one works. You’re welcome.

  • How do you say John Major in French ?

    On a more serious note this reminds me of LBJ’s decision not to run taken in the spring of 1968. Vietnam and the riots were one reason another may have been that he saw that many of his Great Society programs were falling apart. (Though some have stayed with us.)

    Like LBJ he did everything the left wing establishment wanted him to do. The American tried to build a welfare state against the desires of a slim majority of the people, Hollande tried to build “Europe” against the desires of a similarly slim majority of his people.

    The French like their welfare state and want to keep it, or at least they want to keep their idea of it. A big part of the elite is willing to sacrifice parts of the ‘Social Security System” in order to build the European super state, the next big fight in France could be over this choice.

    This could end very badly for all involved.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    PapayaSF, like knotweed, you never really get rid of the left. But sometimes one must live for the pleasure of the moment.

    Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray, it means “Don’t speak too soon”, or at least I hope it does. Strictly speaking it is meant to be “Ne parlez pas trop vite” but I believe the “ne” can be left off if you want to sound slangy. Real French speakers, feel free to point and laugh. I hope that whoever takes Hollande’s place, Fillon or Le Pen, will do better for France. There might be good aspects to either. Le Pen has said she would have a referendum on the EU and Fillon is said to be a “Thatcherite”.

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    “Parlez pas trop tôt” would be a bit better, I think. “Vite” usually means “fast”.

    Cheers

  • John Galt III

    Francois Hollande: “I hate the rich”

    Number of homes owned by Hollande on French Riviera: Three

    Bernie Sanders: Honeymoons not in Sweden but in the old USSR

    Number of Homes owned by Sanders: Three

    I think I am beginning to see a pattern here, but I promise not to jump to any quick conclusions.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    Q. Why do the French eat snails?
    A. They’re just proving that they’re not changing- they’ve never liked fast food!

  • NickM

    “François Hollande, the least popular French president since the second world war.”

    I love that because WWII went so well for the French…

  • NickM

    JG III,
    They’re cunts.

    Quick enough for you?

  • Laird

    Oh come on, François, give it another shot! You still have 4% left to go. Drive that stake completely through the heart of the French left!

  • Jan Hards

    Taylor:

    On a more serious note this reminds me of LBJ’s decision not to run taken in the spring of 1968. Vietnam and the riots were one reason another may have been that he saw that many of his Great Society programs were falling apart. (Though some have stayed with us.)

    Most likely LBJ withdrew because he could not abide the prospect of a Kennedy seizing from him again the Democratic nomination for the presidency.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    NickM, why would it be bad to be a woman? Please do tell Natalie, and Alisa, and the other female contributors here.

  • This is actually looking quite good for the British when it comes to BRExit negotiations, because François Hollande was always going to be a “Catch You Next Tuesday” about the whole affair.

    We might actually get someone in the Élysée Palace who, while not being constructive (as the French rarely are), might at least be less obstructive.

    I’m glad that François Hollande has been forced to do this due to his own unpopularity, it is a fitting end to his turgid presidency.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    If we must have swearwords, why not (close your eyes!) c*ntr*l*st, someone who wants more power to the government?

  • Stonyground

    “Look how he won with a promise to tax the super-rich at a heart-attack rate of 75%…”

    Since imposing this level of taxation on the better off has consistently harmed the economy of the country that imposed it in the past, why would anyone expect it to be a success this time? Please tell Polly, why would a policy that has always proved disastrous in the past ever be a good idea?

  • monoi

    The 75% policy was abandoned after 2 years I think, as it was such a great success….

    Nathalie, you got it right regarding the translation.

  • Mr Ecks

    From where is Hollande now going to get the 45000 euros to spend on his barnet each year?

    Will a great French statesman be forced to queue in a BARBER’S SHOP!! As if he were ….a..a (gulp)…a NOBODY???

    Would Louis XIV have queued in a barber’s shop? Alright he wore a wig but…

    What price the dignity of La Belle France now???

  • Mr Ed

    Hollande has turned out to be the long-lost love political child of Michael Foot, a Michel Pied, but without even the hoary rhetoric and stick.

    And Michael père would have had the Soviets to surrender to, Hollande only had the EU. He is a lesson for France that they ought to have learnt in 1789 and thereafter, but they did not and will not. The Beast will return…

  • Eric

    PapayaSF, like knotweed, you never really get rid of the left.

    So true. In those heady days of 1989, I thought it would be obvious to everyone socialism just isn’t practical.

    Ah, the naivete of youth.

  • bobby b

    “With a satisfaction rating so low it recently dropped to just 4% . . . “

    No wonder he has to keep finding new women.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    J.M. Heinrichs, I agree that “tôt” would be closer to the equivalent saying in English but I’m almost sure I’ve heard Real French People™ say “vite” in these circumstances.

  • Cal

    >PapayaSF, like knotweed, you never really get rid of the left. But sometimes one must live for the pleasure of the moment.

    An apt analogy, because the only reason you can’t get rid of knotweed these days is because the EU (and other international bodies) have banned all the effective weedkilling chemicals. So the system has been set up so that you can’t defeat it… unless you change the system.

    Same with modern politics. The left has set up the system so that it is impossible to defeat leftism… unless you change the system. So that’s the lesson — change the system. Which is possibly now happening.

  • Watchman

    Natalie,

    I think you have the phrase correct (says a lot about me that with my limited French, this is one phrase I’ve learnt to recognise…). It’s not got to be an exact translation as the phrase has the meaning.

    Mind you, taking pot shots at Polly Toynbee is a bit cruel. She rather pitifully lurches from vain hope to desperate misinterpretation to try and show that her particular worldview is worthwhile twice a week, and seems to have a success rate of about 0% in her predictions.

  • Mind you, taking pot shots at Polly Toynbee is a bit cruel.

    Oh come now, Watchman, would you begrudge us that? Kicking people when they are down is one of life’s great pleasures! 😈 😀

  • Snorri Godhi

    Of course, there WILL be a Socialist candidate: Manuel Valls, i suppose, though i don’t much follow French politics. According to the Fount of All Knowledge, Valls is a self proclaimed Blairite, though apparently without any multicultural baggage.

    So the prospect is a 3-cornered fight between a Thatcherite, a Blairite without multiculti nonsense, and a French female version of Farage. Better choice than any major Western country has had for quite a while!
    …or is this wishful thinking?

  • PersonFromPorlock

    Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray
    December 2, 2016 at 6:39 am

    c*ntr*l*st

    Hmm, no vowels. You want us to swear in Polish?

  • Paul Marks

    God bless you Natalie.

    You read the insane, and contradictory, ravings of the “Guardian” – which means I do not have to.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker!) Gray

    You were supposed to fill in the vowels yourself, you utter twat! Go and tax yourself!

  • KrakowJosh

    Hmm, no vowels. You want us to swear in Polish?

    Ja pierdolę!

  • Mr Ed

    you were supposed to fill in the vowels yourself

    Surely that’s Hebrew?