This Certainly Isn’t Helpful

Home Secretary Charles Clarke has had to address reports that the bombing suspects had been rounded up and released last year. So where’d this ‘news’ come from to begin with? The French.

The claims were made by France’s Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy in a news conference.
“It seems that part of this team had been subject to partial arrest … in Spring 2004,” Mr Sarkozy said.

Not so fast, says a bemused Home Secretary.

“It’s completely and utterly untrue,” he said.
“I have not even discussed the situation with Mr Sarkozy,” he said.
“I find it amazing he had made this statement to journalists. I do not know where he had got this from.
“He is simply wrong in making this assertion.”

What’s up with that?

7 Responses to “This Certainly Isn’t Helpful”

  1. Mr. Bingley says:

    Eez ahl ahbowt ze Olympiques, n’est cest pais?

  2. The Real JeffS says:

    I think the French are working to assure that the next vote for the European Union constitution passes with a near-unanimous, thanks to the endless love and support the Euroweenies give each other in these trying times.

  3. Ken Summers says:

    Um, what the hell is a “partial arrest”?

  4. Dave J says:

    This is one of the rare times I’d take the word of a Frenchman over a Briton. Charles Clarke is an old-school moronic Labour Party union hack, who is in WAY over his head as Home Secretary. David Blunkett, who held the job before the last election and Blair’s cabinet reshuffle, ought to be returned to the Home Office forthwith to provide adult supervision and crack some skulls.
    Sarkozy, OTOH, is the closest thing France has to a geuinely Anglosphere-style conservative politician (not “conservative” in the French sense of “leftwing but to the right of the Socialist Party”). I expect that’s partly because he’s of Hungarian rather than French ancestry. He’s expected to seek the presidency at the next election (not sure when that is) whether Chirac runs again or not, and hopefully win.

  5. You’re right, Dave. When I was looking for background on Sarkozy, he surely doesn’t have the Gallic ‘pedigree’ and is considered radical of radicals from a French viewpoint.

    The French may know that Mr Chirac is an old-style rogue—despite many questions concerning his time as mayor of Paris, he remains protected from prosecution while in office—but they seem to find him a reassuring one. Fully 76% of the French like the way he represents France abroad. With this veteran political survivor and defender of French grandeur, they know what they are getting.
    Mr Sarkozy, however, is unlike other politicians. His father was a Hungarian immigrant and his mother is of Greek-Jewish descent; his wife, Cécilia, is of mixed Spanish-Russian parentage. This outsider quality probably explains his determination to take on French tradition. “His handicap is heavy,” writes Nicolas Domenach in a recent biography. “No name nor fortune, no family connections, and even less an inherited fief. On the political right, if you have no inheritance, you need to be an énarque.”

    A lot of business types are excited about him.

  6. Dave J says:

    “Sarko” could, in fact, be France’s Margaret Thatcher: that is, if such a thing is ever possible.

  7. The Real JeffS says:

    Interesting, Dave. Thanks for the intelligence summary; I would have written this one off.

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