Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Thursday 11 November 2010

Them & Us?

The news reported today - in this case by the BBC - about French President Sarkozy's Presidential Aircraft had me spluttering over my coffee this morning.

With breathtaking arrogance, the aircraft's specification includes an "air-conditioned" smoking room. I should state here and now, that I am entirely in favour of air-conditioned smoking rooms being installed everywhere, but it seems unlikely to happen in France, where just as in the fascistically oppressive UK, smoking is banned in all public places (since January 2nd 2008) and in the workplace (since 2007).

Since the presidential aeroplane has cost the French taxpayer about €180 million, one is entitled to believe that the aircraft constitutes - at least part of the time (as does the Elysée Palace for that matter where the President is known to enjoy his cigars) a "workplace."

Personally I hope the President enjoys his cigars; it's just that I don't understand why he is the only citizen of France who is permitted to smoke at work, the rest of us having to put up with cold/rain/snow/ice/wind for our rather long winters here, for which, no doubt, that arrant bullshit "global warming" is to blame.

In "Tobacco News" meanwhile I have found a splendid article about the arrogance of our rulers here concerning a State Secretary (= Junior Minister) one M. Christian Blanc, who was caught having spent €12,000 of public money on fine Cuban cigars. Generously the article adds, he sent a cheque for €3500 "for the two boxes of 25 he smokes each month" whilst being unable to account for the remaining €8500-worth.

Even more intriguing, is the reference to the practice which ended in 2001:

In Scandinavia, Germany, or even in Britain these days, Blanc would now be looking for a new job. The opposition is spluttering, but he will no doubt just be rapped on the knuckles by François Fillon, the Prime Minister, and left in peace. Until recently, no-one bothered much about the huge sums that are spent on the comfort of the state nobility. Only in 2001, did President Chirac end the practice under which all ministers were given a monthly suitcase of cash, known as ‘special funds’, to spend on whatever they liked.

This merits further investigation I think.

Until the next time.


banned said...

Well at least Nasty Nick will be alright if hew is ever invited aboard Air FrancE One.

Paul said...

Yes of course, Cleggy likes a cigar doesn't he?

I cannot remember if "Dave" smokes, though I do believe that President Obama enjoys a clope (French for "fag").

If Obama is succeeded by other presidential smokers, they'll probably have to move the White House to Arizona, Texas or Montana, the way things are going on the east coast I understand! "Smoking areas" in Central Park for God's sake!