Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thomas Voeckler for President?

Because I’m a bit concerned that M Sarkozy might lose next year’s presidential elections I consider it my personal challenge to help France select a replacement with more ‘street appeal’.
A while ago I suggested that Christine Lagarde would be a great choice to be the next president of France. Unfortunately she then promptly showed how talented she actually was and abandoned French politics to replace Dominique Strauss-Khan as head of the IMF. So I have been keeping an eye out for an alternative….
Idly watching the Tour de France this week I think I’ve found the right person for the job. Thomas Voeckler (the current yellow jersey wearer in the race) seems to have all the characteristics necessary:
1) he smiles happily even when he is actually suffering horribly
2) he sticks his tongue out a lot – if you need to be rude in politics then sticking your tongue out is a pretty mild form of insult
3) he throws more effort into winning every race than any reasonable person can be expected to do, which I imagine is the kind of attitude that politicians like to think they need
Of course, I haven’t a clue whether M. Voeckler knows the slightest thing about politics – or anything at all except cycling come to that – but who cares since it’s all just a game anyway. I’m sure he could learn just as well as say, Sebastian Coe if it was necessary.
Meanwhile if Britain could elect Mark Cavendish that would also go down well with the French. In a curious turnaround the French sport presenters seem to have changed over the last two years form being very rude about Cavendish on every possible occasion to now talking all the time about how lovely he is.
I don’t know if he’s spiking their drinks with happy pills or giving them envelopes full of cash but the ability to make your enemies love you sounds like an ideal qualification for being a politician.
Of course the side effect of a few European countries having cyclists as leaders would that we could turn all the roads into cycle paths and make cars drive in the gravel and broken glass along the edge of the road instead. Which would be (a) very eco-friendly and (b) much safer all round since cars could no longer go more than 10 miles an hour without falling in a ditch.
A win-win situation as we non-politicians call it.

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