• France edition
 
Bored MPs play Scrabble during gay marriage vote
Socialist party deputy Thomas Thévenoud (not Guillaume Bachelay), plays Scrabble online in the French National Assembly on February 4th. Photo: Marc Le Fur/Twitter @marclefur

Bored MPs play Scrabble during gay marriage vote

Published: 06 Feb 2013 11:10 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Feb 2013 11:10 GMT+01:00

Do you get bored at work? Have you ever resorted to Farmville, Words with Friends or Angry Birds, to turn the hours into minutes? Well, you may have some kindred spirits at the highest level of French politics.

Despite the first and most important article of the government’s bill being overwhelmingly passed on Saturday, the deputies still have the task of trawling through thousands of proposed amendments to the historic legislation.

Concentration levels appear to be waning. Needing "to find something to occupy his mind" as the debate rumbled on into the wee hours of Monday morning, Socialist deputy Thomas Thévonoud turned to his iPad for a game of Scrabble.

The 39-year-old politician was unapologetic about the game, telling Europe 1: “I had to keep myself busy during the obsessions and obstruction of the Right.”

Thévonoud gave this blow-by-blow account of a game with fellow Socialist deputy Jérôme Guedj:

“My friend Jérôme played ‘branleur’ [‘slacker’] for eight letters, but I came back with ‘layette’ [‘baby clothes’].  I was just about to score 102 points [for a word], when the internet connection crashed. Considering it was almost three o’ clock in the morning, this proves that the old grey matter is still working,” said Thévonoud.

Speaking on LCP (France’s parliamentary TV channel), Guedj joked, “He’s showing off now.”

Later on the morning in question, deputy Marc Le Fur – from the main opposition UMP party – caused a stir by tweeting an anti-gay marriage poster that featured an image of his Socialist counterpart in the middle of his Scrabble game.

Le Fur at first falsely identified the bored deputy as fellow deputy Guillaume Bachelay.  Despite apologizing for his error three hours later, president of the Socialist deputies Bruno LeRoux called the tweet “unacceptable" and “defamatory”.

The poster tweeted by Le Fur contains the message: “Gay marriage, adoption, assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy. This deputy is deciding the fate of France’s children. How about you?” The poster ends with a link to the website of a campaign for a referendum on gay marriage.

Dan MacGuill (dan.macguill@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Gaza crisis
France to release €11m in aid for Palestinians
An injured Palestinian is rushed to hospital in Gaza for treatment. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP

France to release €11m in aid for Palestinians

BREAKING NEWS: France is to hand over €11 million worth of aid for Palestinians in Gaza, President François Hollande announced on Thursday morning after meeting with several NG0s at the Elysée Palace. READ  

Tour de France stage 18: Giants of Pyrenees await

Tour de France stage 18: Giants of Pyrenees await

Stage 18 on Thursday promises to be one of the toughest days in the saddle for Tour de France riders as they have to climb two giants of the Pyrenees. With only four stages left Italian Vincenzo Nibali appears in complete control. READ  

Report - Jobs for robots
'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots
Half of the jobs in France could soon be carried out by robots. Better think about retraining. Shutterstock

'Half of jobs in France' under threat from robots

It might be a good time to think about a career change, because according to a report from a leading Brussels think-tank, half of the jobs currently being done in France could be taken over by robots in the next 20 years. READ  

Tête-à-tête - Part 2
'Foreigners pay taxes so they should get the vote'
"This is not about halal meat in schools, it's about democracy" Should non-EU foreigners get the right to vote in France? Photo: Marc Lagneau/Flickr

'Foreigners pay taxes so they should get the vote'

In the second part of our tête-a-tête on whether foreigners in France should be given the vote, we hear from one of the leaders of the campaign calling for it to happen, who insists "it's about democracy, not bringing in halal meals in schools". READ  

IN IMAGES: Paris protest in support of Palestinians
Members of a Jewish anti-zionist group joined protesters on Wednesday to call for an end to Israel's offensive in Gaza. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard

IN IMAGES: Paris protest in support of Palestinians

Up to 25,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Paris on Wednesday to protest against the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Here's a selection of images from the rally, that took place amid tight security. READ  

UBS bank 'charged with tax fraud' in France
UBS bank has been charged with tax fraud in France, sources say, for helping French nationals hide money in Swiss accounts. Photo: AFP

UBS bank 'charged with tax fraud' in France

Swiss bank UBS was on Wednesday charged with tax fraud in Paris for allegedly helping rich French clients to hide money in Switzerland, a judicial source said. READ  

Paris: Thousands march in pro-Palestinian demo
Thousands of protesters hit the streets of Paris to oppose Israel's Gaza incursion. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Paris: Thousands march in pro-Palestinian demo

Thousands marched through Paris on Wednesday to denounce Israel's ongoing assault on Gaza amid tight security. The demo passed off peacefully with many protesters expressing their anger with the French government for not doing enough to halt the bloodshed in the Middle East. READ  

Lawmakers back redrawn map of France
French lawmakers have approved a redrawn map of France. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Lawmakers back redrawn map of France

Legislation that would redraw the map of France won overwhelming support on Wednesday from the country's lower house, the National Assembly. It's part of a plan reduce France's costly and cumbersome bureaucracy. READ  

Paris: Security beefed up for pro-Palestinian demo
Riot police will be out in force on Wednesday for the pro-Palestinian protest. Photo: Pierre Andrieu/AFP

Paris: Security beefed up for pro-Palestinian demo

Police chiefs in Paris are taking no chances on Wednesday with the latest pro-Palestinian rally taking place in the city. Hundreds of police are on duty to keep the peace. The Local will be tweeting live from the demo. READ  

Tête-à-tête - Part 1
'Giving foreigners vote is giving up sovereignty'
Should foreigners be able to vote in France's local elections? Photo: Boris Horvat/AFP

'Giving foreigners vote is giving up sovereignty'

France's president reignited an age-old row recently when he vowed to fight to give foreigners the vote in France. In the first part of our tête-a-tête we hear from a French mayor; who says France would be abandoning part of its sovereignty if foreigners were able to cast ballots. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
National
Job applicants in France: Be prepared to send in an anonymous CV
Sport
'Bouligans' to booze bans: Ten things you need to know about pétanque
Gallery
Driving in France: How to stay out of trouble on the roads
Travel
Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris
Gallery
Like cycling? Love France? See the top ten best cycling routes in France
International
'They think beer is a vegetable': What the French really think of Germans
National
Sarkozy's dream of a 2017 comeback is not dead yet
Gallery
Ten reasons why France is better than Germany (we're not talking football)
Gallery
Paris in Summer: Ten things to do on a shoestring
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se