However, while the global economic situation may be unremittingly dire, and “monarchal” an epithet oft hurled at the presidential regime, the French public is not quite at the stage where it will go a-head-lopping. Moreover, not only do we thrill to a glitzy La Bruni, we also relish an unhinged one. She who obliviously labels the British “eccentric”, while penning lyrics regarding a room without walls, but an infinity of trees, in which she hears a harmonica.
Such a heroine is a match not only for our fantasies, but for Sarko himself: the diminutive, testosterone-pumped despot, who – although much satirised – operates somewhere beyond parody. With his nepotistic endeavours for the son known as “Prince Jean”, droit de seigneur-ial selecting of wives while officiating at their weddings [second wife Cécilia], habit of lashing out at “scum”, and fanciful self-insertions into historical events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, last year’s satirical French biopic, La Conquête, about his rise to power was rivalled only by reality.
Besides, from a Brit perspective, Bruni is French (never mind that she was actually born in Turin). If she isn’t to be running about indulging in couture-clad nymphs-and-shepherds fantasies to her own purple-prosed, psychobabble-inspired pop anthems, then who is she? This is what we rosbifs demand of our Gauls, Gallic poster gals still more so. Let her be willowy, winsome and witchily in control of her puppet-scale spouse. Let her sing, pout and seduce her way into the history books’ more colourful pages. Let her not be compelled to slouch in her stockinged feet enslaved to the idiot box.