Palin slams McCain as a spoilt brat

"I'd never seen people with so much Louis Vuitton luggage," says Bristol Palin, in the battle of the

While all eyes are on the race for the Republican nomination for 2012, another battle has emerged: between political daughters.

Sarah Palin and John McCain were running mates in the 2008 election, but there is no love lost between their daughters.

Bristol Palin, 20, never one to shy away from the limelight, has laid into Meghan McCain in her memoir, Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far.

Palin Junior writes that the first time she met John McCain's 26 year old daughter -- just before Sarah Palin was announced as his running mate -- she "ignored us during the entire visit", and that she "had a sneaking suspicion I might need to watch my back". She adds:

Every time we saw Meghan, she seemed to be constantly checking us out, comparing my family to hers and complaining. Oh the complaining.

Of the McCain family lifestyle, she writes:

I'd never seen people with so much Louis Vuitton luggage, so many cell phones, and so many constant helpers to do hair and makeup.

While she is initially kinder about Cindy McCain, who looked "like a queen" and held "herself like royalty", Palin reveals that she overstepped the mark by offering to be a godmother to her baby:

I had just met her and I wondered why she wanted any type of guardianship over my child.

Perhaps this is unsurprising -- when McCain was promoting her own memoir last year, she said that Sarah Palin had brought "drama, stress, complications, panic and loads of uncertainty" to the campaign, and said of Bristol:

When you're sent to an image consultant and it's said that you look like a stripper and you talk bad and you're hurting the campaign, when there's a pregnant teen there, it does a little bit to your self esteem.

Gloves off!

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

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Emmanuel Macron's "moralisation of politics" comes at a heavy price for his allies

"Fake" jobs in French politics, season 3 episode 1.

Something is rotten in the state of France. No political party – at least none that existed before 2016 – seems immune to the spread of investigations into “fake” or shady parliamentary jobs. The accusations sank centre-right candidate François Fillon’s presidential campaign, and led to Marine Le Pen losing her parliamentary immunity in the European parliament (and proxy wars within her party, the National Front). Both deny the allegations. Now the investigations have made their way to the French government, led by Edouard Philippe, Emmanuel Macron’s Prime Minister.

On Wednesday morning, justice minister François Bayrou and secretary of state for European affairs Marielle de Sarnez announced their resignation from Philippe’s cabinet. They followed defence minister Sylvie Goulard’s resignation the previous day. The three politicians belonged not to Macron's party, En Marche!, but the centrist MoDem party. Bayrou, the leader, had thrown his weight behind Macron after dropping his own presidential bid in April.

The disappearance of three ministers leaves Emmanuel Macron’s cross-party government, which includes politicians from centre left and centre right parties, without a centrist helm. (Bayrou, who has run several times for the French presidency and lost, is the original “neither left nor right” politician – just with a less disruptive attitude, and a lot less luck). “I have decided not to be part of the next government,” he told the AFP.

Rumours had been spreading for weeks. Bayrou, who was last part of a French government as education minister from 1993 to 1997, had been under pressure since 9 June, when he was included in a preliminary investigation into “embezzlement”. The case revolves around whether the parliamentary assistants of MoDem's MEPs, paid for by the European Parliament, were actually working full or part-time for the party. The other two MoDem ministers who resigned, along with Bayrou, also have assistants under investigation.

Bayrou has denied the allegations. He has declared that there “never was” any case of “fake” jobs within his party and that it would be “easy to prove”. All the same, by the time he resigned, his position as justice minister has become untenable, not least because he was tasked by Macron with developing key legislation on the “moralisation of politics”, one of the new President’s campaign pledges. On 1 June, Bayrou unveiled the new law, which plans a 10-year ban from public life for any politician convicted of a crime or offence regarding honesty and transparency in their work.

Bayrou described his decision to resign as a sacrifice. “My name was never pronounced, but I was the target to hit to attack the government’s credibility,” he said, declaring he would rather “protect this law” by stepping down. The other two ministers also refuted the allegations, and gave similar reasons for resigning. 

Macron’s movement-turned-unstoppable-machine, En Marche!, remains untainted from accusations of the sort. Their 350 new MPs are younger, more diverse than is usual in France – but they are newcomers in politics. Which is exactly why Macron had sought an alliance with experienced Bayrou in the first place.

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