Minister is target for echoes of Revolution envy

One needs the proverbial heart of stone not to crease up at the fate of François de Rugy, until recently France’s Ecology Minister, forced to resign because of his passion for lobsters, fine wines, extravagant interior decoration and (an alleged) gold-plated hairdryer.

M de Rugy joined the Macron administration when the last ecology minister, Nicolas Hulot, walked out over his dissatisfaction with the way Macronisme pursued its environmental goals.

M de Rugy, by contrast, left the Green party because he thought it was becoming too left-wing. Given his interest in the fruits (and the fruits de mer) of capitalism, it is easy to see why he was worried. Even a Thatcherite party would seem too lefty for him.

There was an old joke in Britain about trade union leaders enjoying the high life when invited to swish receptions by Labour governments, saying that ‘nothing’s too good for the workers’.

Manifestly M de Rugy felt that nothing was too good for an eco-warrior, though perhaps he should – as we quote the vignerons of Alsace complaining (see p16) – have learned better to pair his fine wines with his fine food.

Hard though it ...

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