Posted by: kathandroger | November 24, 2012

Trouble at the UMP

There’s been an almighty cock-up this week at the UMP (the party of the right, Sarko’s lot). The phrase that sprung to my mind was that they couldn’t organise a p*ss up in a brewery, which got me wondering what the french equivalent was? They don’t get drunk on pints of ale here – in fact a half generally lasts all night, so culturally it wouldn’t quite work here. So was it an extended tasting session in a cave? Seemingly not. Nothing very imaginative at all I’m afraid. Then I thought back to some of the English expressions Roger has tried to explain to our French friends…Bingo Wings was probably one of the most amusing; we tried our best to convey a very foreign cultural context, but were met with polite smiles!

Anyway, back to the UMP. After Sarko’s withdrawal to public speaking and holidays with Carla, they’ve been in search of a new leader. For the past few weeks/months former PM Francois Fillon has been campaigning against the younger Jean-Francois Cope. Fillon was supposed to be the clear leader and was expected to be elected party leader. It was a surprise, therefore, that Cope declared himself the victor early on Monday morning and even more of one when Fillon’s camp declared their candidate had in fact won a little while later. By Monday morning it became clear it was too close to call and there would need to be some recounting. Then by tuesday we had it: Cope had won by 98 votes! He appeared on TF1 and various radio programmes mobilising the party. But wait! On Thursday someone noticed that 3 regions’ votes had been forgotten about and Fillon had won after all – by 28 votes! Cope refused to listen; Fillon refused to assume the leadership, instead calling for former foreign secretary Alain Juppe to step in as an interim. Ooh la la!

Politically things are going badly enough here as it is; Francois Hollande is rapidly becoming the most unpopular President in history and if the Economist is to be believed, France is a time bomb waiting to explode. If Sarko plays his cards right he may well just be France’s next President…


  1. Thanks for the elucidation – I couldn’t get the hang of it from the account in the paper! What a shower! With Hollande enraging his traditional supporters by slapping a mighty tax on beer, the politicians aren’t doing too well right now… Pauline.

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