A month and a half ago, earnest editorials from well-meaning fools all round Europe saluted the 'tremendous display of democracy' displayed by the French people, when 85% of them turned out to either vote for anyone but Nicolas Sarkozy or to endorse his Front National Lite social policies. Seanachie wasn't fooled at the time and he now wonders where those same editorialists will be when it comes to writing about the 60% turnout for yesterday's first round of the parliamentary elections, the lowest since 1960? The left were probably wearied after the first round and many of the young people that mobilised in the hope of avoiding a Sarko presidency have no doubt retreated back into apathy. Sarkozy's UMP looks likely to assume a crushing majority of the Assemblée Nationale, making the next five years even bleaker than they seemed five weeks ago.
Sarkozy, who was not involved in the elections, as all cabinet members are separate from the Assembly, was caught on Belgian TV, arriving late for a G8 press conference after enjoying some refreshment with dear old Vladimir Putin. Defenders of the teetotal Sarko insist that he was not drunk but I have seen enough cases of inebriation in my years tending bar to know. Just as well Vlad didn't offer him some of his famed 'soup'.