Sometimes, silence really is the best policy, if not a perpetual vow, then at least avoiding the subject until the storm blows over.
Unfortunately, it is a lesson Nicolas Sarkosy can’t seem to learn when it comes to the Lisbon treaty.
Bad enough that his foreign minister made some impolite comments days before the vote.
Telling the Irish electorate they would be the first victims if the treaty fell didn’t go down well, and may have been enough to push a decisive number of undecideds into the No camp.
Since the referendum, the Irish government gives an impression of cluelessness, shrugging their shoulders and talking about having a quiet think before deciding where to go next.
In fact, their plan is to say nothing until the dust settles.
Understandable then that so many unnamed sources rushed to explain how furious Biffo was that Sarkosy couldn’t keep his gob shut.
The Irish electorate, looking at hard times after basking for so long in the glow of the Celtic Tiger, is in no mood to be lectured to.
And the government hasn’t figured out how to seduce them yet.
Maybe the French should send Carla Bruni over in place of her husband.