News from France

A reader writes…

Talking of Arlette [ = Arlette Laguiller, aka “Arlette the starlet”, as we had been — Ed.] , you may (judging from your postings to the Virtual Stoa) be interested to hear that Arlette has now indicated that she is in favour of gay marriage (though is apparently not so keen on adoption by gay couples).Debate has recently resurfaced on this issue in France, after Dominique Strauss-Kahn (one of your, ahem, favourite French politician Laurent Fabius’ main rivals for the PS nomination for presidential candidate in 2007), last week attempted to make a bold policy move to jostle for position among his rival ‘elephants’ by pronouncing in favour of gay marriage. Noël Mamère, who you may recall was the Green candidate for president in 2002, has also declared that he is going to carry out such a ceremony in the town of Begles (near Bordeaux), of which he is mayor, on – I think – June 6.

There is, therefore, a cartoon on the front of the current issue of Le Canard Enchainé (which I bought yesterday in the departure lounge of one of the terminals of Charles de Gaulle airport which has not yet collapsed) which has Arlette saying (instead of her standard opening line ‘Travailleuses, Travailleurs’), ‘Travailleurs, Travailleurs, Travailleuses, Travailleuses, mariez-vous’.

The reference to Fabius is a reference to the fact that many years ago, and for odd reasons, I once found myself sat next to him at some function or other. And “elephant” is still one of my favourite political jargon words.

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