In its last issue, the weekly « Le Canard Enchaîné », “the chained duck”  published that it had in its possession 242 hours of eavesdropped conversation concerning the Ex-French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. When last Wednesday, the newspaper published a few indiscretions, it first looked like an embarrassing joke. When Carla Bruni says in jest that she is financially supporting her husband, this sense of self-derision is all credit to the Head of State. It is less flattering for him when he sounds contemptuous of two former female ministers belonging to his political party UMP, but not that dramatic either. On the recording, Nicolas Sarkozy mentions former minister of the Army, Michèlle Alliot-Marie, who did not create happy memories when she accepted an invitation from the Tunisian President Ben Ali just when France was supporting the Arab spring rebellion. The ex-president wasn’t also very tender with former Minister of Health Roselyne Bachelot, now in a TV show. She had been unskillful in dealing with the pandemic flu crisis and was suspected of favouring the French pharmaceutical labs at the time. When Nicolas Sarkozy is bashing ministers with a reputation for being incompetent, one could cynically say, he is involved in a gender war, but at least he had a clear vision of the situation.
But how devastating it is to discover, that he, a former Minister of Interior, was behaving like drug dealer. For he was using throw away cellular phones in his very private conversations with his lawyer, Maître Thierry Herzog. They were discussing his numerous problems with the French courts. As journalist, Xavier de la Porte  stated in his radio program on France Culture on March 12th, either Mr Sarkozy was either not very clever in not making his conversations safe – he should have some knowledge, after all he was « 1st cop of France », - or he has other channels of communication for even more sensitive issues. If what he is hiding is bigger, that tells us something about the invisible part of the iceberg.
Very wisely, Xavier de la Porte quoted the Francis Ford Coppola movie, « the Conversation », with Gene Hackman, which demonsrated that even in 1974, people realised that no conversation was any longer private. At the end of the film, the eavesdropper discovers that the couple he was spying on, knowing what was going on, purposely misled the secret listener.
Our French ex-president story looks far less fascinating in term of plot. But it is in a derogatory way : Nicolas Sarkozy was spied for 242 hours, by the extreme right adviser, Patrick Buisson, whom he took in his cabinet against the opinion of his own party, in order to attract the extreme right voters. It is what we call in France, « l’arroseur arrosé », a reference to Louis Lumière brothers’ early movie, the « Sprayer Sprinkled ». There will be a Sprayer Sprinkled II for Nicolas Sarkozy, who was so arrogant with the French judges in trying to suppress their enquiries As a result they are not going to miss their target.
If only instead of trying to get a part in the « Return of the Walking Dead », Nicolas Sarzoy had, like Mr Blair, taken the safe path of business, and opted for « the Sound of music »…
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