Tuesday 8 December 2009

Far from gauche

I know this blog is meant to celebrate the vicissitudes of the English language, but I would just like to spice it up with a foreign offering, which I discovered this summer and I think trumps its English counterpart, "champagne socialist."

The much chic-er French version, in my view, is "gauche caviar."

The Yanks apparently use "limousine liberal" or even "mastercard marxist." So obvious, darling.

We British, meanwhile, continue to flaunt the national propensity for booze with the alternative, "bollinger bolshevik."

Whichever you prefer, these days, when even the Conservatives are banned from drinking champagne, all suggest a bygone age of political glamour. Now it's all spending cuts, tax increases and concern for the environment. Yawn.

Meanwhile, I expect the French of both sides are still utterly unapologetically eating caviar (and quaffing champagne).

A sturgeon moving towards the left


  1. I've become so jaded that I no longer quaff champagne, I merely drink it.

  2. What about an Airbus environmentalist?

  3. In France homeless people drink champagne, its not a class thing.

    Reactionaries in France are more subtle because of the revolutionary threat. They might wear little tassels on their loafers for instance, or secretely purchase English shirts in that little shop on the rue de Rivoli.

    The only really ostentatious class marker in France has to do with cars- Renault is Sartre and Stalin, Citroen is military/aristocratic.

    A citroen collectivist?

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  5. Here's a quote I liked from "trickyboy", a frequent debator on the website of L'Humanite, the communist daily:

    "Frédéric Mitterrand, c'est la droite !!! Pas les pipoles de gauche, pas la gauche caviardisée !!!"

    Notice the elegant "caviardisee"-the equivalent would be "champagnified socialists"-which is already much more interesting than the cliche.

    "Pipoles" is a literal transcription of the English "people", which in French refers to a kind of louche celebrity.

    Pipole proletarians?

  6. Fabergé Fabian.

  7. J'adore Fabergé Fabian! And caviardisée is simply manifique!

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