Venus in furs

François Hollande

Bottom row middle is the original, in case you were wondering.

François Hollande went to Kazakhstan this weekend, where Nursultan Nazarbayev gave him a fur coat and an ushanka.

Apparently the Elysée press office did not want the pictures released (I can’t think why), but the Kazakhs made the decision on their behalf, and then the internet took over.

As a long-term connoisseur of photos of politicians looking awkward in “local” outfits, I’m not actually all that impressed. Sure, he looks slightly silly, but it’s not nearly as horrendous as the infamous APEC ponchos of a few years back. I think that the buzz is more to do with Hollande’s pre-existing unpopularity than any inherent ridiculousness. A man with better poll numbers would have been able to carry it off.

Personally, if I were leading a party that was as attached to human rights as the Parti Socialiste is, I’d be more embarrassed about the chap standing next to me than the outfit, but there you go…


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