Friday, June 15, 2007

Sleepless in Sarcelles

Now, a strange news story from the French parliamentary elections about Sylvie Noachovitch, resident lawyer of TF1's consumer-affairs programme Sans aucun doute, who is also a UMP candidate in Sarcelles in Val d'Oise standing against former Finance Minister, the Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn. The French satirical magazine Le Canard Enchainé (the model for Private Eye and, like its progeny a publication that tends to run news stories that most the mainstream media will not touch with a barge-pole) reported that Noachovitch, at a recent meeting of the Jury for the Prix du Monte Cristo, rebuffed quips about her rival's womanising reputation with the terrifically witty: 'my husband needn't worry, there are only Blacks and Arabs in my constituency. The thought of sleeping with them repulses me'.

Mme. Noachovitch has cried foul, denying she ever said such things (something countered by other members of the Jury) though I don't think she need worry either. Such dodgy thinking on race relations tends not to spoil the public perception of the UMP, these days; indeed it is often seen as 'simply saying what most people think'. In a strange, and alarming twist, Mme. Noachovitch called the newsroom of free paper 20 Minutes earlier on today claiming that she had been the victim of an 'attempted strangulation', only an hour before. Not shy there of a bit of publicity.