Saturday, 10 December 2011

Elio Di Rupo: So Flamboyant

"Belgium has a new Prime Minister, the 60-year-old Socialist Francophone leader, Elio di Rupo. Leaving aside the fact that the country has been without a government for 596 days since the previous PM resigned and yet has managed to achieve the fastest economic growth in the EU – which is something of a reproof to all us politicians – I was intrigued to see how his elevation was reported in the UK. One newspaper called him "flamboyant", another as "gay and flamboyant".

"It's a word that the gays get used to, flamboyant, as in BBC Wales veteran Patrick Hannan's first question to me after I was elected as MP for the Rhondda in 2001: "Aren't you a bit too flamboyant for the Rhondda?" I guess he really meant too gay, but he didn't dare say it. So far, the only evidence I can find for Elio di Rupo's "flamboyance" is that he wears red bow ties, something Sir Robin Day was also prone to – without, so far as I know, any allegations of concomitant homosexuality. I rather like that in 1996, when di Rupo was asked whether he was gay, he just said: "Yes, so what?""

Chris Bryant MP in his Independent column today.

But which newspaper was Chris thinking of?

"He is a flamboyant, atheist, socialist Francophone fond of large, red, floppy bow ties..."
The Independent, Elio di Rupo profile, Wednesday December 7th (To my knowledge the only UK paper to use the word).

1 comment:

  1. PS if you Google "gay and flamboyant" + Rupo it just brings you back to Bryant's piece...