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back to article Frenchman cuffed for naughty lip-slip email to MEP

A Frenchman faces jail for sending a risqué email to a high-profile female politician. Glamourous MEP Rachida Dati complained to the police after an unnamed 40-year-old wrote to her asking for an "inflation", the Telegraph reports. The request was a reference to a recent, widely-reported Freudian slip by Dati, who confused the …

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"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

If they ever introduce that law in Blighty I'll turn myself in. And you can throw away the key.

On a serious note, "anonymous" emails aren't big or clever and I'm not that sorry this tool's getting banged up.

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Anonymous Coward

Before we go any further ...

Is anyone at the Reg a French civil servant?

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UK

Nope we are lucky that this doesn't happen here, that sort of behaviour is considered OK..... or maybe an offence under the terrorism act...... or maybe MI6 just sorts you out on the QT.

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Unhappy

"displaying contempt towards a public servant".

Shit, I hope that's not a crime here in Blighty!

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Doesn't have to be.

It's a crime in France, we're both members of the EU and both signed up to the EU arrest warrant. It is conceivable that publishing comments on a website about a UK politician, which are then read in France and perceived as displaying contempt, could then be used to justify the issuing of an EU arrest order.

In the end that sort of chain of events is unlikely. However, the EU has already displayed a tendency towards attempting to repress freedom of speech when it's inconvenient. The items on free speech and freedom of thought in the Lisbon constitution-in-all-but-name are so filled with caveats and conditions as to render them completely useless if the EU decides you're going to shut up. It's not impossible to believe that they would, sooner or later, adopt an EU-wide law similar to the French law. It would be harmonisation, you see.

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Paris Hilton

Makes the US look clever, almost...

"prison sentence of up to a month"/"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Compared to this lot, the public prosecutors in the US bravely seeking the death penalty for teenagers convicted of texting nudie pix of themselves almost look clever.

Almost, but not quite.

Glad my tax $ don't have to work in France anymore (though they are rather cleverly thinking of taxing French expats).

Paris, cuz she knows all about inflation.

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Heart

death penalty?

Not so much. Is that ignorance talking, or are you trying to be funny?

Either way, perhaps you should look inward for harsh criticism of intelligence - condemning an entire nation based on the actions of one cretinous, pandering politician isn't the smartest thing I've seen someone write today.

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FAIL

No-one...

is "condemning an entire nation based on the actions of one cretinous, pandering politician".

We're condemning an entire nation based on a law that makes it an imprisonable offence to take the piss out of cretinous, pandering politicians.

(To be honest, I'd have thought that was the sort of law *we* would have in the UK - how that one got passed in France, without any motorways being blocked with burning sheep, I don't know. Elle est morte, la revolution.)

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death penalty was an intentional hyperbole

You know... that thing called humor. Should look it up sometime.

And the cretinous politician is not particularly at fault. She's rather clever AFAIK, BTW.

The problem is that they have a stupid law that allows you to be prosecuted for making fun of a public servant. That _is_ a nation-level issue. Not a silly politician issue.

The offense was not hacking into (Palin), not physically harming, not slandering. Nor interfering with her work.

Just sophomoric, humor.

And I believe I have the right to criticize a country of which I am still a citizen and to which I paid enough taxes at the time to support... public servants.

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WTF?

Charges of "displaying contempt towards a public servant"???

If we had a law like that in the UK most of the population would be guilty!

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Big Brother

Displaying contempt towards a public servant

It's lucky for us commentards that the UK doesn't have such a law. Yet...

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Flame

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

fuck me - don't give our mob any ideas ....

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Indeed

Indeed not; after the expenses imbroglio, various extra marital affairs and many, many more public farces, varying from illegal to merely contemptible, I can only suggest that we take a leaf from the French book, set up a guillotine in parliament square, and deal with our home grown problem with expedition. Starting with a former prime minister, whose expenses paperwork was 'accidentally' shredded, a former PM who took this country to war more times than any other PM in history, having inflicted his clandestine immigration scam on us, after asking for an electoral mandate to maintain "firm control" over immigration.

Perhaps the French will then follow our example, and cut off the head of the woman who inappropriately spoke of the economic pressures of giving head.

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"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

If that's a crime, bang me up, I would ask that approx 650 similar charges are taken into consideration

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Coat

650 similar charges?

Is that because you reckon that around half of the mob in the Palace of Westminster are actually OK, or did you just forget about the Lords?

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WTF?

Nail em up I say!

Well that was proportionate huh?

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WTF?

@"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Well we are all fucked then!

What so now they have to pretend they like their own set of greedy power hungry two faced bastards! ... like hell I will.

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Anonymous Coward

displaying contempt towards a public servant

Hold up, so in France you're not free to display contempt to whomever you like?

That's a bit, well, unfair.

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But, but, but...

Surely contempt is the default state when dealing with politicians?

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Unhappy

"Displaying contempt towards a public servant"

...is a time-honored and entirely justifiable activity, especially in France. Especially towards the rather confused Miss Dati.

I suppose the Lyons Coppers have retained some German Instincts grafted-on during WWII?

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Wait a minute...

Following 48 hours in custody, he faces a prison sentence of up to a month and a fine of up to €10,000 on charges of "displaying contempt towards a public servant".

They just made up that "offense". If that was really against the law, half the country's population would be in jail.

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Give them more time and it will be more like that :(

@"If that was really against the law, half the country's population would be in jail."

Or far more likely, put under continuous automated watch by their Police State and labelled as a political trouble maker. If some of the people in power had their way, that's exactly the kind of power they would like to have (and soon will have), so they could force people to do what they say. This case shows the attitude of the people in power, how we the serfs have to hold them in high esteem, otherwise they want to whip us into line for our disrespect of them.

With such an arrogant attitude like that being used to subjugate the French so badly, I guess we won't have to wait many more years before we get to see the next French revolution against their ruling classes. These arrogant people in power never learn. But then learning would require empathy and these arrogant people don't have empathy to see how badly they are treating others. Which is also why things are getting progressively worse for all of us.

Shocking now that speaking disrespectfully and making fun of a politician out there now gets you arrested, home raided, 48 hours in custody, plus the chance of a prison sentence of up to a month and a fine of up to €10,000 on charges of "displaying contempt towards a public servant". That kind of behaviour sounds like France before the revolution, over 200 years ago! :(

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Sir

@Asgard

I don't know if it's just me, but every time I read the word 'person' in your post, I was mentally substituting the word 'bastard' in it's place.

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WTF?

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Well if that's all it takes to end up in jail then Britain's streets should be pretty empty soon...

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Strange

> "displaying contempt towards a public servant

Don't the French people do this all the time?

They are not known for keeping their feelings to themselves.

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Huh?

"he faces a prison sentence of up to a month and a fine of up to €10,000 on charges of 'displaying contempt towards a public servant'."

There's a law against that? I'd consider that a gods-given right. No, not a right, an obligation.

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Coat

Hmm... "Liberté", eh?

Intéressant ...

So, "displaying contempt towards a public servant" is a crime in France, eh? So much for the vaunted «La vie, la liberté et l'égalité» that apparently initiated the guarantee of free speech..!

What, they lose their sense of humour, along with their noses from all that dodgy smelly cheese?

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Anonymous Coward

well...

...They already tell you what you're allowed to wear. It's freedom, France-style - you'd better be free, or else!

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Grenade

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"?

Christ, if they bought that charge in over here they'd solve the deficit in days with the fines.

Does anyone here *not* have contempt for their public "servants" (they don't seem to have the "servant" part down...)

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Happy

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Bloody hell, lucky we don't have that in the UK - we would all be in jail.

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WTF?

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Surely we are all guilty of that one!!!

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"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

Wow. Is "displaying contempt towards a public servant" an offense anywhere else? You'd think the jails of the world would be overflowing.

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Happy

"displaying contempt towards a public servant".

Public servants? I have nothing but utter contempt for the lot of 'em.

It's a good job they don't have that sort of charge over here - half of blighty would be banged up in clink being forced to do favours for Mr. Big who's in with the warders.

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WTF?

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

If that is a crime, I will never set foot in France.

I personally hold the members of my government in utter contempt.

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"displaying contempt towards a public servant".

So basically, in France, anyone with a working central nervous system is in danger of being jailed & fined? I mean, do YOU know anyone with a brain that isn't in total, complete and utter contempt of their so-called "public servants"?

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displaying contempt towards a public servant?

Uh oh. I hope our lot don't get any funny ideas about introducing this law here.

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Anonymous Coward

E-mails not e-mail

According to Ms Dati's blog she only filed a complaint against the guy after he sent her many (number not specified) and insistent e-mails asking for an 'inflation'.

In her blog Ms Dati also wrote the humour wore off quickly and that she feared for herself and her daughter's safety.

Still the local plods come over as being a bit heavy handed.

Don't worry, being irreverent and scornful towards politicians and civil servants is a very old and popular pastime in France. Just take a look at Le Canard Enchainé or Charlie Hebdo for instance.

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Boffin

swallowed a syllable

This story misses out the original gaffe by Dati. Apparently on television during an interview on the economy she confused fellatio with inflation.

How so, you might wonder? I speculate, however in french it's fellation which if prefixed with "in" would be a homophone for inflation.

So the right word was on the tip of her tongue.

She might consider swallowing her pride as he probably wasn't trying to rub her up the wrong way but was merely a punning llnguist

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Headmaster

maybe i'm doing something wrong...

Sorry but we yanks aren't all up on our French. Maybe someone from the continent could assist with what that little slip would sound like? I tried some on line tools and couldn't get that word translated...

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FAIL

That's a bit stiff!

Sense of humor fail, me thinks. And touching a raw nerve.

He probably should have used a public forum rather than a private email, though. The communication channel CAN make the difference between sexual harassment and a good joke referring to sex.

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Alor!

<peter sellers> ah wish 'er 'apenis every day ov 'er life </peter sellers>

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Troll

Student joke ?

Oh merde, the guy is 40. Never too late to face reality. I'd have found it half funny if he'd been half that age. +Rachida is quite good looking indeed but not exactly "glamorous".

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Anonymous Coward

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

F@@k me - if we had this law here, the police and the courts would be jam packed dealing with MPs shameful pants down fun and expenses c@ck ups!

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This is France – not Russia???

"Displaying contempt towards a public servant"...

I thought such laws were only possible here in Russia or other authoritarian regimes.

Shocking to find out that a normal democratic country such as France has such backward rules in its books.

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Anonymous Coward

And she'll get?

From the end of the article, it implies that Dati herself is responsible for rumours about the president and his wife having affairs? So what punishment will she receive for that contempt towards public servants?

Actually, this is France... that's probably a badge of honour ;)

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Abuse

What a hideous abuse of power.

Glad we wouldn't put up with it in Blighty.

...First time I've felt even vaguely patriotic in years!

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Public SERVANTS?

To all the people out there saying that if that were a law in the UK the streets would be empty...

Before we can show contempt towards public servants, we must first have public servants.

I don't remember when any politician actually served the public as opposed to their own interests.

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Anonymous Coward

"displaying contempt towards a public servant"

That's a crime? I thought it was a sport.

/Sarcasm off

But seriously, the article seems to imply that she's not currently holding office... so how can this still be a crime?

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Anonymous Coward

With all due respect...

Just prefix any communication to a public servant with the above phrase. If a negative amount of respect is due, that can only be due to the actions of that servant or his/her service.

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