Je Suis Charlatan

This week’s Private Eye cover is spot-on about the hypocrisy of certain political leaders whose professed support free speech in France differs markedly from what goes on in their own country…



9 Responses to “Je Suis Charlatan”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    President Hollande was keen to invoke French laws against press freedom when his love life came to attention a year ago, I recall.

    • telescoper Says:

      Many of the people shown in the image have been eulogising about King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, whose regime sentenced Raif Badawi to prison and 1000 lashes for writing a blog. There can be no clearer demonstration of the hypocrisy of politicians.

      • Yes, heard this on the radio today, in particular about Obama. The regime in Saudi Arabia is not essentially different than the Taliban, IS, Afghanistan (where, despite the West making the world safe for democracy for the last 15 years, apostasy still carries the death penalty), but, to paraphrase something once said about Saddam Hussein back when he was against Khomeini, Abdullah is our son of a bitch.

    • I don’t know what the laws on this are in France. However, I think (and this is the case in some countries) that even people of contemporary history have a right to privacy in certain circumstances (such as a) when they can reasonably assume not to be observed and b) when it doesn’t affect their function in office). We can’t say that anyone who doesn’t have a webcam mounted on his forehead, broadcasting it in real time to the internet 24 hours a day, is being secretive.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I don’t see why it should be illegal to say that A and B are having it away, if they are. moreover if someone’s wife can’t trust him, how can the electorate?

      • I don’t know the details of this case, but I think it should depend on how the information was obtained. Was it obtained in a manner in which a private citizen would feel was a violation of his privacy? If yes, then I don’t think it is appropriate. If we expect politicians to remain human in office then we have to treat them as we treat other citizens.

        We elect politicians because of their expected performance in office. Good in bed = good politician doesn’t naturally follow. I don’t care what politicians do outside of their official duties, as long as it is not hypocritical or illegal.

        Also, while it might have been so in this case, an extramarital affair might very well be undertaken with the knowledge and/or consent of the wife. However, in order to know whether this is the case, one would have to be privy to information to which one is normally not.

      • Anton Garrett Says:

        I don’t agree. If you want office over people then having your private life made public to them is a reasonable price. As government frequently says to us, if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear. I don’t agree with that argument but it must cut both ways. Moreover, where to draw the line under your system? Tv and newspapers? Blogs? Gossip in bars? You are on a slippery slope.

  2. Another example of hypocrisy: reporting about Charlie Hebdo, Mohammed caricatures etc and criticizing the lack of free speech, but not showing the objects of contention in one’s own report.

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