In July, I wrote a piece on France’s Health Minister Marisol Touraine (Parti Socialiste), who said that smoking was France’s greatest public health issue.

Not only does she want to see smoking banned nearly everywhere outdoors, she also wants e-cigarettes banned from open-air areas. They set ‘a bad example’ for other French citizens, especially children. Think of the children!

At the time, I wrote:

Meanwhile, France has a chronic shortage of doctors in rural areas and they have little urgent weekend medical coverage elsewhere. But that seems much less urgent. I read in last week’s Marianne that Touraine is planning on closing a small ER in central Paris.

Furthermore, her department has set up state-sponsored shooting galleries for hard drug users. It seems heroin is all right, but tobacco is taboo …

Also, what about encouraging children to have sex before they even understand what it is? What about youth crime which damages youngsters psychologically as well as physically? It is sad to read about young French girls being raped in public places; only last week a 13-year old was raped on a street in Marseille in broad daylight.

See my series of articles under ‘the bogus science behind Tobacco Control’ on smoking bans and the big lie about second hand smoke. Even first hand smoke is up for question. As for fertility? The postwar years had the greatest number of smokers and the greatest number of babies born in the Western world.  Not to mention that our life expectancy is the longest it’s ever been — long before smoking bans.

It seems as if many non-smokers automatically go along with government and health experts (I use the word advisedly) advocating even more restrictions on tobacco.  They see these experts as clean-living angels. They are today’s priests, and secular pietism is the new religion.

You’ll notice that in July I mentioned the trauma — which may also result in illness — that victims of crime experience. Yet, this is never addressed by health ministers anywhere.

So, I was rather intrigued to find an article at the French site L’Internaute and the original source in Le Parisien saying that … Marisol Touraine’s son is serving a three-year prison term for extortion.

On September 10, 2013, Le Parisien reported (emphases mine):

According to our information, Gabriel Reveyrand de Menthon, age 22, son of the current Minister for Social Affairs and Health has been held since the beginning of September at La Santé [irony — ‘santé‘ means ‘health’] Prison in Paris. A sentence, which follows a conviction in March, of three years by the judges of the 10th correctional court of the Paris Tribunal. No appeal has been lodged.

The paper went on to say that the crime took place at 11:30 a.m. in Paris’s 13th arrondissement on May 2, 2011. Mme Touraine’s son needed money to pay off a debt.

He and an accomplice went to the flat of a 59-year old woman who lived in a building near the Minister’s residence. They were wearing balaclavas (knit face masks) and had a replica firearm.

The victim told Le Parisien:

I was very shocked by this, even though he was not physically violent towards me. I’ve known this boy for many years.

She said:

They asked me for my debit card. I gave them my PIN but was mistaken in the emotion of the moment. One of them went to a Post Office cash machine to withdraw the money. During that time, the other held the weapon against my temple. When the other came back, he wasn’t very happy that the transaction hadn’t worked. So, I told them I had some cash in the house, then they left.

The two made off with €990.

The accomplice was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Mme Touraine’s son has also been ordered to not only return the €990 but another €3000 as a moral debt. The victim’s lawyer says that she has not seen either of these sums come her way.

Mme Touraine has written a letter of apology to the victim. Neither she nor her lawyer have any comment to make on the story.

The moral of the story is that often those who try to dictate the lives of others — law-abiding taxpayers — would do well to clean their own houses first.

You can imagine that if this had happened to one of Sarkozy’s ministers, the Socialists would have been baying for his resignation.

Yet, in this case, Socialist reaction has been lenient towards Mme Touraine. ‘She can’t help what her son does.’

No, but if you do not have some moral control over your own family, you are probably unlikely to be able to fulfil your professional duties in an ethical manner.

In closing, as I write, I’ve just heard yet another French public health advert for smoking cessation. I can think of many worse health problems in life … crime, for one.