With the arrival of President 'Clouseau' Sarkozy into Britian this week, I wondered whether he was on the way to becoming the worst President or Prime Minister in modern memory. Even topping Bush Junior - and that's saying something. Although I live in France and would rather welcome Zimbabwe's henchman, Robert Mugabe rather than another term of Sarko, the man who has spent more time in a nightclub chasing women, than Jermaine Defoe and the boys at Chelsea.
Nicolas Sarkozy, who was elected last May, has seen his poll ratings fall, mostly over unease over his private life. Correspondents say his recent divorce three months into his presidency and remarriage to supermodel Carla Bruni have turned off many voters - as have his well-publicised holidays with the rich and famous. For example, the president's approval ratings reached 67% in July last year, but recent opinion polls suggest only one in four French voters now approve of his policies.
So what can Sarkozy do to turn things round in the country more akin to the carribean but without good sensi and flying fish? From my six and a half years of living in France, I have found the French to be warm and welcoming, however naieve to modern politics and the information world we encounter today. Elected on promises to solve the immigration problems, resolve high unemployment for the under 25's; to end the power of the trade unions and instill a sense of pride to a nation which has laid dormant since the Napoleonic era, Sarkozy has failed miserably, with a reported 25% of the population ready to abandon the current Republic system, in favour of a Prime Minister with the powers, similar to that of Britian. France do in fact have a P.M. but such is Sarkozy's monopoly over govermental affairs, no one seems to know the name of the current French prime Minister. In fact no one seems to be in charge of France at this present time, headed by a man who's bum-worshipping of little George Bush and the USA, has left him fighting lone battles with his enemies.
France needs to re-awaken it's sense of artistic grandeur and creativity in order to progress in the 21st century. She needs programs and schemes to get the young to believe in it's society and take pride in their country again. She could do well to embrace the term entrepeneuar and stop complaining that the rest of the world are allowed to grow wine, bake croissants and have internet speeds above 512k.
So what do I love about living in the land of frog's legs, petrol garages that do not take credit cards and where supermarkets close during the day for siesta? Basically, I love the quality of life and tranquility southern France has to offer. I like that fact the our children do not have to worry about going to school and getting merc'd. They can grow up like children, respectful of adults and enjoy their fun without the worry of straying into the wrong neighbourhood. A place where the teacher's actually take responsibilty in raising standards and teaching children. A country where going out does not cost a month's mortgage and domestic bills low enough that we can have the heating on during March. All of this means we have more time as a family, doing family and fun things, which has enabled the laughter to return to our home which was missing while we lived in the UK.