With next year’s presidential elections pending, newspaper editorials have been pontificating over the Chirac years. Most seem to be in agreement: that Jacques has achieved little of note in his two tenures as president of the Republic. The only thing they seem to universally thank him for is not involving France in the Iraq conflict.

But suddenly we see Chirac getting involved in Lebannon and North Korea; he’s at the UN – negotiating peace and understanding; controversially launching a French international news-channel (in English); selling his wine collection…

Perhaps JC was in agreement with those editorials .. or maybe he’s finally realised that ex-Presidents are expected to have a few exciting things to talk about – especially if they’re employed as a high-profile ‘guest speaker’ now and again.

Because, needless to say, anecdotes about ‘the time I sat on my fat arse for eight years’ can be awfully tiresome.