Arrogant French

June 30th, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

The French embassy refuses to apologise for damage to Wellington’s reputation from Mathieu Bastareaud’s false assault allegations, despite a scathing article penned by its ambassador.

You can read the Ambassadors’ article for yourself here. He said:

More serious is the assault against a French player in the street, on the grounds that he is French and identified as one of the best French player. At least, this is how the local press reports the event. We thought was safe from such behaviour which, alas, plagues other sports. Supporters’ passion cannot fully explain this incident. Maybe the assailants took literally an article entitled “Ten reasons to hate the French”.

Is one of those reasons their arrogance and inability to say sorry?

The Dom Post editorial also makes some good points about the cover-up:

The players who entered the hotel with him and the team doctor who stitched him up almost certainly know the real cause of his injury, and so probably do coach Marc Lievremont and manager Jo Maso. Why else delay for 48 hours before telling the world?

New Zealand and have a long and rich history on and off the rugby field. On the field it is a relationship marked by equal parts brilliance and skulduggery – both admired qualities in rugby circles. But, off the field, the skulduggery should stop.

Bastareaud has apologised to the New Zealand Rugby Union and Wellington for his lies. The French rugby union and team management should do the same to try to repair the damage done to Wellington’s name by their complicity in the Bastareaud Affair.

The lies told were not that of a sole player. Management approved the lie and attempted cover up and the French Rugby Union should discipline those responsible and apologise. If a NZ team did what the French did, the senior management would be sacked.

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37 Responses to “Arrogant French”

  1. david (2,557 comments) says:

    Finger-pointing is a well established French trait. Can’t work out though how they manage to avoid doing it while looking in the mirror. Anyone got a suggestion?

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  2. goonix (140 comments) says:

    The French could learn a thing or two from the Cronulla Sharks on how to conduct a successful gang bang.

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  3. pushmepullu (686 comments) says:

    The French government isn’t responsible for what the French Rugby Union does any more than our government is responsible for what the All Blacks do.

    Sport and politics should remain separate. If only we had learned that lesson during the Springbok tour.

    [DPF: But the French Government's representative inserted himself into the debate]

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  4. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    ffs it would be nice if NZ could learn to show a bit of dignity now and then, let this go! The player is a 20yr old who made a mistake. There is no proof of any cover up. There have been a couple of apologies, the player is now getting psychiatric help and is apparently suicidal because of all the media attention’ will you be happy if he tops himself? Show some dignity!
    The world has seen what happened and has worked it all out for themselves thank you very much, it doesn’t need more faux outrage from petty kiwis intent on wringing every last ounce out of this minor incident, not happy until French rugby is on it’s knees begging for forgiveness.
    Smells a bit like insecurity to me, maybe it’s a way to get around the fact that the AB’s were made to look inept by the French?
    Get a bit of maturity people, the French have given themselves a self inflicted wound, no need for the salt and lemon juice.

    [DPF: No cover up? Of course there was. At least four of them knew]

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  5. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    OI! FARRAR!

    How about asking the others who poured petrol on the flames, like Prendergast and that blonde bimbo who writes for the DP for shitting in our nest?

    [DPF: And Kerry has been ropable since finding out it was false. There was nothing wrong with assuming the Frenchman was telling the truth. But not correcting your article once the truth has been revealed is arrogant]

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  6. slightlyrighty (2,475 comments) says:

    pushmepullu. The French Ambassdor is responsible for what the website of the french embassy says, and that editorial states that this assault is a matter of fact.

    There is no retraction, and no apology for the slur that the ambassdor has written.

    Infact, the website has been updated with the following

    PS: Following the latest reports in the New Zealand media about the French rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud, we have no comment to make on the matter. The Embassy staff has not been in contact either with the player, or the French Rugby Federation, or the New Zealand Rugby Union, or the Police. We therefore have nothing to add.

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  7. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    Reports are the player has been admitted to a psyc hospital and is on suicide watch.

    I have to say the usual NZ MSM breathless reporting especially by the girl reporters didnt help

    The MSM need to learn to present the news in a clear concise and unemotional and unembelshed manner.

    Not as with the girl reporters looking like they about to wet their panties at any time.

    It was a strange story to begin with but was blown up with everyone including JK having their say and accepting the story rather than keeping their powder dry and saying they will wait until the Police complete their investigation

    If we need proof that that MSM make 6 7 or 8 out of 2 plus 2 then this was the classic example.

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  8. bringbackthebiff (99 comments) says:

    I guess Kaya has missed the point which slightlyrightly has nailed. The French embassy quite rightly went troppo when the story broke. I for one was disgusted that such a thing could happen to a guest in NZ. The whole incident on first glance was sickening, and stank of the kind of sour grapes and poor sportsmanship associated with the round ball code in England.

    When the truth was revealed, no matter the underlying facts, it would have been nice had the french embassy make some comment.

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  9. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    Oh please, get over it – does the NZ govt apologise everytime a NZ tourist acts like a dick-head in Bangkok, Puket or Bali?

    [DPF: The call is for the French Rugby Union to apologise, not the French Government.]

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  10. MT_Tinman (3,187 comments) says:

    “If a NZ team did what the French did, the senior management would be sacked.”

    The NZ team management has been lying to NZ for at least five years and hasn’t been sacked so far.

    It seems Mathieu Bastareaud has been admitted for to a psychiatric facility.

    My guess is the shock of being subjected to Wellington was just too much for him to bear (it’s taken me 30 years to recover from the same).

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  11. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    >PS: Following the latest reports in the New Zealand media about the French rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud, we have no comment to make on the matter. The Embassy staff has not been in contact either with the player, or the French Rugby Federation, or the New Zealand Rugby Union, or the Police. We therefore have nothing to add.

    I’ve written a new PS that the ambassador can use on his web site. There is no charge for this service…

    PS: It turns out that there was no assault. One of our players had too much to drink, fell over, and then lied about it. Other players (and almost certainly the team management) knew that the player was telling porkies but they covered up for him, even tho he was shitting all over the reputation of Wellingtonians who had hosted the team with good grace and manners. I don’t apologise for my original editorial, which was based on the facts reported in the media at the time. But I do apologise for my earlier PS which was just plain rude. I apologise for portraying the French government as an organisation that can’t correct itself after smearing innocent people. I apologise for making French people appear arrogant. I’d previously portrayed Wellingtonians as violent racist bogans. But it turns out that they’re generally honest fun people who enjoy sport and entertaining foreign guests. They’re not at all like French people who, judging by my own conduct and the conduct of our national sports team, are dishonest and unpleasant. But at least we’re not murdering environmentalists in NZ harbours or testing our nuclear weapons nearby, so NZers shouldn’t complain too much.

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  12. Komata (1,191 comments) says:

    M’seur’s, Madame’s – to expect L’representative Du Francaise Diplomatique to apologise to les L’Anglais d’inferior is tres, tres, ridiculous!

    Le Grande’ Francaise is SUPERIOR to ANY person of English extraction or ancestry and will NEVER apologise. There is no need – we know we are better – it is instinctive (Just don’t look too closely at our recent history – especially the year 1940 . . . )

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  13. Richard Hurst (859 comments) says:

    Ah…France.. your beautiful women, your wonderful wine, your fantastic food, and…

    ..your nuclear bombs,
    ..your racism,
    ..your colonial pacific empire,
    ..your acts of terrorism and murder in NZ territory
    ..and your insane nationalistic arrogance.

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  14. Inventory2 (10,342 comments) says:

    Apparently Mathieu Bastareaud tried to commit suicide by throwing himself in a river – he was pronounced legally in Seine ;-)

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  15. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    Bastareaud’s first complaint (getting mugged on the street) was total bullshit, his second story (getting mugged by a bedside table in the hotel) was more total bullshit. Should we accept explanation #3 at face value…yeah right!

    DomPost quotes Le Parisien newspaper reporting that “Bastareaud was calmed down by a fist from one of his teammates”…maybe now we are finally getting closer to the truth.

    But one question remains: did Bastareaud suffer his facial injury before, during or after being fisted by his teammate?

    It appears that Whaleoil’s earlier speculation of a homosexual gang-bang gone wrong may have been spot on the money after all!

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  16. MyNameIsJack (2,415 comments) says:

    It appears that Whaleoil’s earlier speculation of a homosexual gang-bang gone wrong may have been spot on the money after all!

    Well, it IS rugby, so yes.

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  17. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    The French suffer from a rather large inferiority complex. Their once numerous colonial outposts have given them the big A and their sphere of influence is shrinking, this gets up their frog noses. The increasing dominance of the English language is sometimes just to much for them to handle. Is it any wonder they have such arrogant dispositions, there is an old saying that about sums them up, pride comes before a fall.

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  18. insider (1,028 comments) says:

    Oh FFS what damage to “Wellington’s reputation”? Some of us can be so petty and provincial sometimes with this kneejerk “nothing ever negative can be said ever” about our city/country/leading teams/leading citizens. “Woe is us, we are the most hard done by of cities. We need an apology on behalf of the whole French nation.” Pathetic.

    Anyone with half a brain and who had seen a similar shambles over Blumsky should have known l’affaire Bastareaud was a crock from the start.

    Does anyone seriously think if DPF had got mugged in Washington it would have been a stain on that city’s reputation? No, it would have been a piece of bad luck committed by some crook on a visitor. But shit happens.

    I’d say the constant whining does far more harm to our ‘reputation’ than any supposed assault ever would have done.

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  19. TCrwdb (242 comments) says:

    ..your colonial pacific empire

    I would suggest that the average individual in the French Pacific Territories or whatever you wish to call them is far better off and has a much higher chance of succeeding than the average individual in the ‘independent’ Pacific nations, especially those that were formally British colonies.

    And the only reason NZ can lay any claim to having treated her former colonies any better than the British is by still maintaining an open door policy, which of course doesn’t help these nations in the long run but instead makes them reliant on repatriation of monies by private individuals.

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  20. Short Shriveled and Slightly to the Left (786 comments) says:

    “refuses to apologise for damage to Wellington’s reputation ”

    this “damage to Wellington’s reputation” is getting a bit precious!
    Just because this reported beating didn’t actual take place doesn’t mean Wellington is safe.
    Just last week/weekend we had three beatings/muggings that made the newspaper. Was only a few weeks ago that a 17 year old girl was raped in town wasnt it???
    might be best to tell the tourists visiting for the world cup in 2011 the truth rather than acting like “see he was lying Wellington IS safe”

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  21. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    Those who believe we should “move on” miss the point. This was a huge slur against New Zealand rugby fans. I for one was railing against the one-eyed scum who populate our terraces… but it turns out that these people don’t exist. We were lied to. Any goodwill towards the visitors has now evaporated. Frankly, I doubt future French tour players will be safe on New Zealand streets, and I don’t feel sorry for them for it. This incident makes the underarm bowling look trivial.

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  22. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    [DPF: No cover up? Of course there was. At least four of them knew]

    You are probably right, but up to the time of my post that was only speculation and as far as I am aware still is.

    More to the point, it was a fuck up by the French but is still a minor incident that has been blown out of all proportion. You can guarantee that if the French had any remote inkling of the present consequences they wouldn’t have tried it on. You can bet they thought it would have blown over with a media statement and 20 seconds on the 6 o’clock news. You can also bet large quantities of money that there have been many similar incidents involving many sports men and women from many countries including NZ that have been quite successfully covered up in similarly unsavoury ways. The point is that the whingeing by many kiwis is not attractive, silent dignity shows a bit of class. The French scored an own goal, we can enjoy it with a quiet inner smile.Well said insider – “I’d say the constant whining does far more harm to our ‘reputation’ than any supposed assault ever would have done.”

    Bringbackthebiff – it isn’t the French Embassy’s responsibility nor their place to be apologising for the rugby player’s behaviour. Did our embassy apologise when Doug Howlett was dancing on BMWs pissed out of his tree? I don’t think so.

    As for being “disgusted that such a thing could happen to a guest in NZ”. I hate to bring up the obvious, but our track record of raping/robbing/murdering visitors and guests isn’t all that sharp, they just don’t get as much media coverage. Sad but true………

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  23. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    *sigh* and as I finish that last post I read yet another bleat from an outraged rugby fan…..

    BlairM “Frankly, I doubt future French tour players will be safe on New Zealand streets, and I don’t feel sorry for them for it.”

    That pretty much sums it up for me. Tragic.

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  24. paradigm (452 comments) says:

    I noticed the cowards add “at least, this is how the local press reports the event” as a way to avoid responsibility. However if they are keen on publishing “how the local press reports the event”, they should ammend their publication when the local press reports something diametrically opposite. Keeping the original statement up with no correction other than “we have no comment” is blatently dishonest.

    They also whine about field invasions earlier in the article. Pursuant to that, perhaps security should shoot/machette any rooster released onto the field during an All blacks-France match.

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  25. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    WHo said I was an outraged rugby fan? I don’t even like rugby.

    But frankly, it’s like with any guest who shits on your carpet, you’re hardly going to welcome them back, or feel sorry for them if they get knocked about if they do return. If you’re going to “get over it”, that’s just pretending it didn’t happen.

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  26. adc (595 comments) says:

    I wonder what we’d all be saying if the tables were turned, and it was an all-black alleging he got beaten up in France.

    I don’t think the points that the French ambassador makes (regardless of the particular instances used to illustrate them) are invalid or unjustified.

    It would have been nicer perhaps to update the post in a more useful way (i.e. allude to the fact that it now appears to be unfounded claims), but an apology?

    Unless everyone who ever quotes from the press will apologise when the press inevitably and invariably gets it horribly wrong (as they all too often do), what are we to learn from this? Keep our mouths shut eh? That would have been the smart move – jumping into this debate wasn’t the smartest thing the ambassador ever did. But as for an apology? How do we reckon that would look?

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  27. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    BlairM>But frankly, it’s like with any guest who shits on your carpet

    Actually, it is more like a guest who shits on your carpet, THEN goes home and complains to all his friends that your carpet is in a disgusting mess. And whose ambassador wrote about the sad state of Kiwi carpet, and refuses to correct himself even when confronted with photos of the guest squatting in the corner of the room squeezing out a garlicky French turd.

    But then some of the commenters here are saying that people actually HAVE been known to shit on NZ carpets, so we should just shut up and stop complaining about being stuck with the carpet shampooing bill. Or about the ambassador’s web site continuing to depict us as people who can’t be fussed wandering down the hallway to the toilet.

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  28. Kris K (3,570 comments) says:

    Couldn’t agree more DavidP 5:16pm.

    The French still haven’t got the taste out of their mouths over the whole Rainbow Warrior affair – the fact that lil’ ol’ NZ revealed to the world that this was a French operation sanctioned from the top. I think the general arrogance shown at that time, and these latest revelations/comments futher cemments in both Kiwi and others minds that, in general, the French are just being … well … the French.

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  29. Shunda barunda (2,983 comments) says:

    How many frenchmen does it take to defend Paris?

    None, cause they’ve never done it!! :)

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  30. bharmer (687 comments) says:

    I joined in the protest and sent a polite email to the contact on the web page suggesting that, in the light of subsequent events the paragraph concerened was regrettable and that now would be an appropriate time to remove it. I doubt I was the only such message. Anyway, the editorial has been taken down now, and the nearest the writer comes to an apology is

    “PS: The previous editorial, written in the heat of the moment, may have offended some people. I hope they will forgive me!”

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  31. thehawkreturns (162 comments) says:

    A couple of hookers in the room saw to him when he tried to short change them.

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  32. 3-coil (1,220 comments) says:

    thehawk – that’s the most believable explanation I’ve heard…so far.

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  33. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    The french have started surrendering to people who don’t exist…

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  34. reid (16,471 comments) says:

    “The french have started surrendering to people who don’t exist…”

    Well they started doing that (again) in 2001.

    Le B’stard’s

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  35. Anthony (796 comments) says:

    I remember staying in cabins at a camping ground in Paris on my Contiki tour. The Contiki people cocked up and and left the cabins unlocked while we out seeing the sights. When we got back we found all the cabins had been ransacked for valuables (lucky I had nothing valuable in my stuff) and also found when the thieves got the last cabin they had piddled all over someone’s stuff.

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  36. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    You know the World has gone crazy, when the best Rapper in the World is White. The best Golfer is Black.

    The French call the Americans arrogant, and the Germans don’t want to go to War.

    Cheese eating, garlic peddling, surrender monkeys.

    La Manche my bottom!

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  37. Glutaemus Maximus (2,207 comments) says:

    However I did manage to buy a lovely doll for my daughter in Harrods two years ago.

    It was a dancing Doug Howlett doll. It came with realistic pull chord sound effects recorded by Doug at Abbey Road Studios.

    The bonus was that it came with a BMW model car complete with a dented roof, and cracked windshield.

    She loved it.

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