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French politicians red-faced over ‘humour’ prize

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2012-10-13

The French press has unveiled the winners of this year’s funniest political quips and one-liners. It is the tenth edition of the Press Club’s annual Humour and Politics award.

Former French MP François Goulard has won the 2012 Humour and Politics award, which was bestowed by the French Press Club on Monday.

“Being a former minister is like sitting in the back of a car and realizing it won’t start,” Goulard (above), an ex-junior minister of higher education with the conservative UMP party, quipped this year, earning him the mock honour.

Awarded annually by a jury of French journalists, the prize and a list of other honourable mentions have become a tradition ten years in the making.

Former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin won a "lifetime achievement award" for his various and colourful statements during his career (see video right).

A special jury prize this year went to former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal, who during Socialist Party primaries last October ironically boasted about her own credentials by saying, “It wouldn’t be a bad idea to pick a woman to sweep up this mess.”

The Internet users’ prize went to another former minister, Thierry Mariani, who when joking about divisions within his party said, “It’s easier to pacify Libya than the UMP.”

While most politicians are aware – and sometimes proud – of their memorable one-liners, others considered for the award would rather forget their gaffes.

Speaking on live television in June, the UMP’s Nadine Morano, a former junior minister for families, infamously said: “I think it’s shocking to paint me as a racist when I have Arab friends, and my best friend is Chadian, and is therefore blacker than an Arab.”

The 2011 award went to Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius for his words of encouragement to fellow politicians: "[President François] Mitterrand is revered today, but was once the most hated man in France. That should be a source of hope for many of us.”

Date created : 2012-10-09


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