The goings on over the leadership of the French Socialist Party illustrate a profound truth about the French Republic, namely that nobody, deep down, really wants it. France’s history would have been so much less bloody if she had evolved, as Britain did, into a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. It is barely fifty years since de Gaulle seriously considered restoring the monarchy on the British model.
But instead, the French obsess over the British and Monegasque Royal Families while prostrating themselves to a succession of absolute monarchs: de Gaulle, Pompidou, Giscard d’Estaing (with his inherited title, and his insistence that he and his wife be served a course ahead of everyone else because they are so much posher), Mitterand (related to our own dear Queen), Chirac, and now Sarkozy.
Queen Martine or Queen Ségolène? Thank God for Queen Elizabeth.