November 20, 2006

Royal arouses passions but has a good idea

This is Ségolene, not the Duke of Edinburgh. Open Europe reports two contrasting views -
Martin Kettle, writing in Saturday’s Guardian, criticised the British Labour party for not backing Royal, arguing that the Socialist candidate “represents a general break from the failed past. This is most obvious in her gender and her nice smile”. He argued that Britain’s closeness to the Bush administration has ”perverted” the UK’s European policy, and concluded “Let Blair and Brown root for Sarkozy. The rest of us should embrace the most hopeful development in French politics for a generation.” A leader in Saturday’s Telegraph argued that Royal is a “woman who not only talks in clichés, but thinks in them. The slogans flow like tepid bathwater”, and went so far as to say that rising support for Jean Marie Le Pen shows the French are “not so much endorsing the Front National as spurning the clique of smug, self-serving, Euro-fanatic, corrupt énarques who run the republic.”
Her foreign affairs adviser says she “believes, like all the French, that Europe should be more protective and should defend itself better”. He wants a new EU treaty which would include increased protectionism, an EU Foreign Minister, convergence on tax rates and moves to create a European army. Under Royal’s plan, if Britain rejected the new deal, then France would agree a new treaty with other key powers such as Spain, Italy and Germany.

Bring it on, as long as we can't be forced into it clause by clause through the ECJ.

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