A French Senator’s quip that President François Hollande and his ministers were the target of his “killer instinct”, followed by a colleague’s joke that he would “supply the Kalashnikovs”, has gone down badly with the ruling Socialists.
The French government was smarting Wednesday after a Senator said President François Hollande “and his gang” of ministers were the target of his “killer instinct”.
In a middle of a debate Tuesday in the Senate, Eric Doligé, a member of the conservative opposition UMP party and Senator for the Loiret region, railed against the ruling Socialists.
Eric Doligé speaking in the Senate (in French)
“I’ve got to tell you, I’ve got the killer instinct right now,” he told his colleagues. “Like most French citizens, I’m fed up with Hollande and his gang.”
“We’ve got to stop taking aim at each other and do everything we can to focus on a list of people I can give you, of people who should be targeted,” he added using violent metaphors for shooting and beating. “There are 40 of them, all those in government.”
Moments later the UMP Senator for Marseille Jean-Claude Gaudin piped up and said he could “supply the Kalashnikovs”, an apparently comic reference to his home city where use of the Russian-made assault rifle by the local underworld is alarmingly common.
The joke did not do down well with the ruling Socialists, who slammed the Senator’s “undignified” and “irresponsible” choice of words.
Speaking to reporters after Tuesday’s ministerial meeting, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said she was shocked at the bawdy nature of the Senate exchange.
“Elected members should avoid the kinds of jokes that reveal the dark depths of their minds,” she said. “It makes my head spin to think of the high responsibility held by people who can come out with such undignified words.”
Speaking on Europe 1 radio on Wednesday, Bruno Le Roux, head of the Socialist parliamentary group, was equally appalled.
“You just can’t say things like that,” he said. “I don’t know if it was just a bad joke, but you simply can’t use this kind of language.”
Date created : 2013-09-25