Faire comme je dis pas comme le fais je.
Ségolène Royal, the doyenne of the French Left, suffered an embarrassing blow to her image as a presidential candidate yesterday when she was accused of tax dodging.
Faced with taunts about being a "gauche caviar", the Gallic equivalent of a champagne socialist, she denied being rich, instead claiming that she was just "well off".
Not only does she part-own three impressive homes with her boyfriend, François Hollande, the Socialist Party chairman, but the couple have set up a real estate company to manage the properties.
This has enabled them to reduce the amount they pay in l'impôt de solidarité sur la fortune (ISF), a notoriously high tax imposed on anyone with assets of more than £500,000.
Miss Royal has also pledged to overturn tax cuts imposed since 2002, blocking a law limiting them to 60 per cent of income.
Mr Hollande, in turn, last week risked alienating the middle classes even further by proposing raising taxes on salaries above 4,000 euros (£2,860) a month. Last year he famously told a television chat show audience: "I do not like the rich."
"Rich Socialist Avoids Tax" headline - quelle surprise! next we will be told about ursine arboreal defecatory habits.