Alan Duff: Emmanuel Macron proves the naysayers wrong, now he just has to stick to his guns

He did it. The impossible dream came true: Emmanuel Macron is now sitting in France's presidential office. When he started his party everyone - everyone - laughed and sneered and said zero chance. Too young, completely inexperienced, no infrastructure - no anything. Yet he did it, at age 39.

His wife is at least two years past entitlement to a pension. But already the French public are in love with her and saying she'll be France's first real First Lady. I rather like the symbolism of that but not much else.

Of course if you're the President's lover you'll be treated wholly differently to any other wife or husband. But she ain't a saint about to float down from heaven. Just an attractive, livewire, presumably intelligent former school teacher who will no doubt be of comfort and succour to her husband in the next five tumultuous years of ruling an unruly people.

It's said of the French that they love a king but love killing him more. Remember the delirious crowds celebrating Francois Hollande's victory? Same people's opinion of him dropped to 6 per cent support and he'll disappear until such time they revive the old coot and restore him to an object of reverence.

But what a start for Macron. Within 12 hours of being declared president-elect, protesters were out on Paris streets objecting to what they interpreted how his policies would affect them. Not at what the policies actually said. This is the French.

My friend Bob Jones said in a letter to me last week that the French "are a gutless lot in their dependency on the state mentality and will resist any Rogernomics efforts, so desperately needed".

Well, Bob, I think this new guy could force his people to take more responsibility for themselves. He'll cut 120,000 civil servant jobs for starters.

The turncoat Prime Minister, Valls, has just been rejected by Macron's party after he offered to join them. The body of his crushed Socialists Party was not even cold when he abandoned them. Only to find the old guard not welcome. Macron's parliamentary candidates are an exact gender split. The same percentage split between experienced politicians and ordinary citizens. Macron is inclusive. This is a world first. A whole lot more to come.

"I will serve my country with love." What! Did Macron really say that? He sure did. Did he gloat in the moment of victory? To the contrary: he was modesty and duty personified, conciliatory - in other words, forgiving of the chumps who'd bad-mouthed him. Mistake, Emmanuel. Never give a sucker an even break; he might come back and break you. You're in the boxing ring now: protect yourself at all times.

The turncoat Prime Minister, Valls, has just been rejected by Macron's party after he offered to join them.

You've had enough of this layman on French politics. So talking of taking responsibility, how about the young bloke blaming the TAB for his gambling losses? Even though he found a way around their supposed security system meant to stop problem gamblers going beyond a certain point. Nope. It's the TAB's fault for having a flawed system.

There was the woman professor in Australia the week before who blew several hundred thousand on poker machines and said the casino should not have let her do it. As with fat people blaming their size and greed on being born with big bones, the issue is of the mind not the body.

This columnist is incapable of having sliced bread in the freezer and not justifying having three not two slices toasted to put my two boiled eggs on. I can't blame the freezer. Perhaps the eggs are at fault. No, I know: it's the baker down the street. If he didn't make such good bread I'd be lighter. Sue the bastard.

On human behaviour, the Maori academic who got upset at a Playmate model doing nude shoots on Mt Taranaki said he's come under fire for being too precious, silly to consider a mountain sacred, liken it to the head of a person upon which one would never stand. He's right. And he's wrong.

Right to stick up for what he believes in. Wrong to then claim these are "Maori values". Excuse me? This Maori will decide his own values, thank you very much. I know what aspects of Maori culture I respect and those I don't.

A mountain is rock pushed up there by tectonic forces. Nothing inherently sacred in it, nor did God create it. Time and the nature of heavenly bodies did. Time will tell if Macron is just empty promises, or just tough enough to stand the heat of a very volatile French kitchen.

- NZ Herald

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Alan Duff

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