Politicians’ brushes with law are no badge of honour

Examine the careers of prominent financial fraudsters in France in recent years, and you’ll soon notice that more than a few of them are also conservative politicians.

They include Jacques Chirac, the country’s President for 12 years up until 2007, and Alain Juppé, who was his Prime Minister.

Both have been found guilty of defrauding those who voted them into power.

Christine Lagarde, their former party colleague, was found guilty of financial negligence when she was France’s Finance Minister.

Nicolas Sarkozy, who took over from Chirac as head of state, faces trial over more serious allegations still, as does his own Prime Minister François Fillon.

All are traditional Gaullist conservatives – politicians nominally committed to the Roman Catholic morals of former President Charles de Gaulle.

In Britain, ...

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