Catching sight of myself in mirrors, shop windows and spoons to prepare for this new age, I have become a stooping figure, with enormous cheeks (depending on which side of the spoon you look at) and a thoughtful demeanour hiding the weight of the World on my shoulders lightened by a tendency to laugh at fart gags.
Irrespective of whether Hollande was involved in another relationship or not, for I am not here to cast judgement, the question of integrity is one to raise on the basis of Hollande's choices to hide behind and use as an excuse French cultural ways, rather than stand as a true leader and be completely transparent.
One wonders whether Hollande, his party, and all those who voted for him seriously believed he could pursue his left-wing agenda without consequences? Those who did risk showing themselves stuck in a nation-centric past; prisoners of an outdated worldview which still assumes national borders are impermeable.
One of the striking things about French reaction - probably unique among Western democracies - was that first the political class, from Marine le Pen on the far-right, right across the political spectrum, with only one or two dissenting voices, claimed that this was about Hollande's private life and was not a political issue...
Privacy laws aside, the French love a sex scandal just like the rest of the world. They try to pretend that as a country they tolerate affairs, powerful men are somehow entitled to take lovers and the rest of the world is somewhat immature not to understand. The hypocrisy lies in the fact they seriously believe these relationships have no impact on the ability to do their jobs.