Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Frere Jacques

I can tell you first-hand that Trafalgar Square was brilliant today. I've never seen it more crowded, more alive. You could have heard a pin drop before the announcement, followed swiftly thereafter by deafening noise and abundant confetti. And what more appropriate a result, beneath Nelson's column, following the British celebration of victory over the French at Trafalgar 200 years ago? Goosebumps.

But if you really want to know why Paris lost:

Officials from the Paris bid committee had defended their decision to have [Jacques] Chirac play a leading role in presenting the bid to IOC delegates in Singapore. ``He is a kind of symbol for our bid,'' said Philippe Baudillon, president of the Paris bid committee in a July 1 interview.

And what a symbol he is, these days; a symbol of abject failure. First the regional and European parliamentary defeats last year. Then the EU referendum debacle, where he repeatedly made an ass of himself on television before having his pleas for a 'yes' verdict buried mercilessly by the voting public. And on top of these political failures, let the record reflect that as mayor of Paris, he was around for the 1992 and 2008 bids, as well.

Think Tony Blair was smiley before? Oh, to be at Gleneagles, where I hope Mr. Chirac gets a healthy helping of black pud'.


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