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Even the French won't vote for DSK now...

The leaders of the French Socialist party may profess "satisfaction that justice was finally served", and claim that Strauss-Kahn can still take up his career where he left it. But don't believe a word of it.

True, many French people still buy the various conspiracy theories peddled on internet forums about DSK's downfall. Sarkozy did it. No, Putin did. No, it was Wall Street, because as boss of the IMF, he wanted to regulate the banks.

The French can tolerate a lot from their politicians, as long as they remain discreet. Like old-style wives, the voters would rather be lied to than hear the blunt truth, because at least it shows that their leaders want to keep a vestige of the relationship alive. What has hurt DSK -- and the reason why 61pc of the public believe his career is over, against 35pc who have kept the faith -- is not the sex, but the lifestyle.


The public has been regaled with tales of the vast wealth of the Socialist statesman's TV star, heiress wife; homes in five different cities; the ¤40,000-a-month townhouse rented during the New York court case; the $100 steaks delivered to his door during his enforced sojourn; the $600 pasta dinner (with truffle shavings) to celebrate the return of his bail cheque.

"A Socialist doesn't live like this", say the comments -- indeed, Sarkozy earned himself the title of the "the bling-bling president" for far less. And Sarko's love for yacht-owning friends and Rolex watches pales beside the Strauss-Kahns' conspicuous consumption: "Next to Anne Sinclair" -- aka Mrs DSK -- "Carla is on benefits," a gleeful president reportedly told his friends.

- Anne-Elisabeth Moutet