Sunday, 15 May 2011
spoiler? smear? guilty?
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the IMF and potential Socialist candidate for President of France in 2012, was arrested last night just before the plane he was on took off from New York for Paris. A chambermaid at the hotel he had been in in New York earlier had accused him of attempted rape, sodomy and kidnapping. The police were inclined enough to believe her to arrest him. He will go before a judge today. If found guilty he cannot of course be a candidate, and there are many who say he is the only credible Socialist who could give France a Socialist president for the second time in the history of the Fifth Republic, since Mitterrand did it in 1981. If not, many will say, no smoke without fire. If this is a set-up (he left the hotel in a hurry, without his mobile phone and some other personal things) it is a daring one. The people who surround French presidents have been known to engage in smear and set-up and sting before, but this... the Socialist line is, naturally enough, let us see the outcome of this before any statements are made. Sarko's people are, also naturally enough, saying nothing whatever. DSK, as he is known here, is of course more than a French politician of the Left. He is an internationally known mover in the world's economy, which is part of the reason why he would be such a credible candidate. Up to now the Sarko line against him has been "What does he know about France? He lives in Washington". They have something else to play with now. Where did it come from? DSK's human weakness and the syndrome, common to many politicians, of engaging in risky behaviour, or something more sinister altogether?