The picture, see right, says it all. Mind you many politicians seem unable to act in such a way as not to make fools of themselves; those of you with long memories will recall Michael Hesteltine wearing a flak jacket when in the presence of troops while he was Defence Secretary. More up to date is Harriet Harman in the stab-proof vest during a walk-about with police officers, an act she described as "a matter of courtesy" though, as with Hestletine, words like stupidity and vanity seem more apt. And now Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France and for 6 months the President of the European Union and in his mind for all we know, 'Leader of the free world' - vive le Sarko, always a bit tetchy and so gaffe-prone that Boris Johnson has nothing to worry about, is laying into the Irish like a man possessed, see HERE.
At the start of December Mr Putin's party won the elections in Russia. At once there was the suggestion that not all had gone well, there was suspicion about the outcome. This in turn led to caution in the way the results were greeted by some European Leaders, but not all. The effervescent Mr Sarkozy heaped praise on Mr Putin from the moment the results were known. Then, just a few days later we see that Renault, in partnership with Nissan, have bought a 25% stake in the Russian car maker that we call Lada, but is called Avtovaz in Russia. Could these events be related? To get this stake the French and their partners beat off competition from, amongst others, General Motors and Volkswagen.