Dear Aunt Agatha,
I’ve been found out and I need help fast. After what happened across Europe and the US, I realized that only an outsider could win, so I pretended to be one. In fact I’d been a government minister, a senior civil servant, an investment banker, and a graduate from l’Ecole nationale d’administration. You couldn’t get more establishment than that, so I simply kept quiet about it. I started my own political party to make me look like a newcomer, and hushed up my longtime membership of the Socialist Party.
I led a charmed life. When I was 15, I had a little ooh-la-la with a teacher 24 years my senior, but I married her and almost got away with giving her a job in government, until some smartass critics pointed out I’d just passed a law preventing politicians giving jobs to family members. Those same critics got uppity about me borrowing €550,000 from a businessman to buy a home when I was Minister of Finance, and about the €3m I’d ‘earned’ in 4 years. They had the nerve to criticize my deputy chief of staff for donning riot gear to dash out and bludgeon a protester, so I acted tough by suspending him for 15 days.
Now I’ve been rumbled. They call me a con artist and thousands of them are burning cars in the streets and smashing shops to try and topple me. They’ve lost all respect for their betters. My popularity has plummeted as they’ve identified me as an establishment smoothie who doesn’t care about ordinary people as long as he can ponce around looking good on the world stage. How can I get out of his mess?
I think the game is up for you. You’ve become just another would-be reformer forced to back down by street rabble, just like your predecessors. I suggest you cover your ignominy by diverting attention to things that matter to your countrymen – food and drink. Announce that there are to be 5 new cheeses, and get regions to bid against each other for the honour of producing them. Then announce that 3 new wines are to be created, and watch your citizens turn against each other as they fight to be allowed to make them. And if that doesn’t work, play on something that matters more to them. Announce a competition to develop a new type of sex to be practised in your country. They’ll forget all about you as they set to it.