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Wednesday, 1 February 2012

François Hollande, the joker - a politician with a certain repartee

The Socialist party's (PS) candidate in this year's French presidential race, François Hollande, is not only a man with a brain (he attended the École Nationale d'Administration, one of the country's most prestigious Grandes écoles or Graduate schools) he also has a reputation of telling jokes.

Over the years his quick witticisms have often been cited as proof that he's a politician with that unusual trait - a sense of humour.

The French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, has referred to Hollande in the past as "Monsieur petites blagues" (Mister Little Jokes) - hardly the most complimentary of nicknames.

But the truth of the matter is that, whatever you might think about his politics, Hollande has a distinctively clever and sharp turn of phrase.

And in case you needed proof, some of his "best" have been collated in a book by Jean-Pierre Gouignart, a former high-ranking civil servant and someone who worked closely with Hollande during his years as first secretary or leader of the PS. published in January.

Some of his one-liners are gems, others you might find...well a little too "personal"

Here's just a selection, translated into English although you might want to read them in their original French.

On Nicolas Sarkozy - no introductions needed.

"What's the difference between Nicolas Sarkozy and the temperature? In spring the temperature is supposed to go up."

Another one?

"What is a sardine? A whale that has endured five years of Sarkozysme."

On the governing centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement, UMP)

"What do you call an illness that consists of gesticulating all day, talking without saying anything and telling lies the whole time? The UMP."

And another one.

"What is a member of parliament from the UMP who has two neurones? Gifted."

On Marine Le Pen - leader of the rightwing Front National and the party's candidate in this year's presidential elections.

"What's the difference between Marine Le Pen and a yoghurt? After a certain length of time, a yoghurt develops a form of culture."

Hollande doesn't just make fun of those on the other side of the Right-Left political divide. He's also willing and able to launch the more-than occasional jibe at those in his own party.

For example On Dominique Strauss-Kahn, DSK (does he really need an introduction? Surely by noweveryone knows he is/was).

"What does DSK say to Anne Sinclair (his wife) just after having made love? I'll be home in 20 minutes, darling!"

And about Martine Aubry - Hollande's successor as leader of the PS and opponent in the primaries earlier this year to choose the party's candidate for the April/May elections.

""What constitutes and exchange of ideas within the Socialist Party? It's when you go into Martine Aubry's office with an opinion and come away with hers."

On Jean-Luc Mélenchon - a former PS member who left the party to co-found the leftwing Parti de gauche and who's standing in this year's presidential elections.

"Jean-Luc Mélenchon goes into a bar with a pig under his arm.

'Don't bring that in here !' says the barman.

'It's all right !' replies the pig.

'He's a candidate in the presidential elections !'"

(Boom, boom)


Anonymous said...

Here are a few other jokes:

What does Martine Aubry do with her worn out clothes? She wears them.

Why does DSK wear woolen underwear? Because he likes to keep his ankles warm.

Anonymous said...

Hehe le gauchiste, n'essaie pas de faire passer ton champion au flan comme étant le représentant de la France, ce n'est qu'un clown comme ses soutiens que tu es.

France Today said...

Anonymous #2. Many thanks for your comment, albeit it in French. Happy to have your contributions but be careful about using tutoyer or vouvoyer!

Anonymous said...

Too bad all of those are old (stolen) jokes that he adapted. The yogurt one is older then me...

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