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Well, in the islands, they are the descendants of the free people Napoléon decided were slaves again, so they were are all on strike and they were organized and waiting for the minister of the interior to show up, and now he's decided not to go, but that's not the reason. He did go to Corsica, didn't he? "I don't want to give the extreme left a reason to protest," he said on TV. The last right–wing French politician the folks in the Antilles didn't want to see was Jean–Marie Le Pen.

Then the very brown newslady went on to the 'confidential' report put together by the Renseignementsphoto, gargantua, feinschmecker généraux – spooks of the interior – which concluded that the urban disturbances were a form of 'unorganized insurrection, a kind of popular revolt, without a leader or a program.'

High–end groceries in the Rue Saint–Honoré.

She didn't get a chance to say all this because Sarkozy persisted – as he has a habit of doing – with his own interpretation. "I call hooligans hooligans when they are hooligans," with the whites under his eyeballs increasing, "we were facing organized bands – what about the 800 we arrested? Hooligans and delinquents create terror," he added, running on about domination of the suburbs by 'mafias' and 'drug dealers.' But never ever saying why his guys don't catch them, because nobody ever asks.

Besides being uninvited to the Antilles the short minister took another blow on Wednesday when a court commission in Pontoise recommended against deporting a young rioter. He lived in France since he was three, had correct papers, and no previous offenses on record. The commission was also skeptical about the facts of the case. Another court at Bobigny, at the very center of the disturbances, noted that few of the arrested had police records.

It must not be forgotten that the minister of the interior is a busy man, as president of the wealthy Hauts–de–Seinephoto, cafe la rontonde, palais royal department and president of the UMP, as well as self–proclaimed candidate for president of France. The UMP had a congress or meeting of some sort last week, when they gathered to decide to either hold a primary to chose a candidate, or decided not to.

As ever, all over the city, the cafés.

As it is, Sarkozy is high in the polls, but Jacques Chirac's man, the prime minister Dominique de Villepin, is rising fast. Nobody can figure out who the polling people talk to, giving Sarkozy high scores. Socialists don't like him, the right wing UDFs don't trust him, the Communists, Verts and Anarchists can't stand him, he's got no friends in the Radical Left, and even some members of the UMP think he's a bit hairy.

It leaves a core of support within the right–right of the UMP, and the usual 10 percent of the ultra–retros in the Front National. Does Nicolas Sarkozy want to take over Jean–Marie Le Pen's job?

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