James Forsyth

Exploiting divides

Exploiting divides
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Listening to the Today Programme this morning I had a flashback to the run up to the Iraq war. I wondered if Sarkozy’s radio interview declaring that he was so unhappy with the options on the table that he might walk out was the equivalent of Jacque Chirac’s declaration on French TV that there were no circumstances under which he would vote for a second resolution on Iraq; that this would be the cue for Labour going on offence and blaming the French for everything.

Obviously, Brown doesn’t have a Commons vote to win on the G20 and any attack on Sarkozy now would doom the summit. But if the summit is a damp squib, Brown must be tempted by the idea of indulging in some French-bashing to minimise. He might calculate that polarising things with him and Obama on one side and Sarkozy and Merkel on the other would be the least worst option for him.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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