EVER since President François Hollande was elected last May, things have not gone right for him. He promised to kick-start growth and create jobs, yet the economy has stalled, factories keep closing and unemployment is over 10%. His scheme to impose a 75% top income-tax rate on millionaires has been ruled unconstitutional by the highest court. Up to 1m protesters have challenged his plans to legalise gay adoption and marriage. As his credibility has drooped, so have his poll numbers, to record lows. Yet in the past week, Mr Hollande has silenced even his critics by revealing an unexpected streak of audacity.