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Where was Gordon?

Sarko and Merkel have quite the love in at a euro bun fight in Aachen, where Frau Merkel has just picked up the 'Charlemagne Prize for European leadership'. Apparently 'she taught him patience'. Now he'll have to have Solitaire blocked on his PC if he is to get any work done.

First problem is that it really ought to be the Karl der Grosse prize, given KdG spoke something nearer German than French, and the second is that the Carolingian Empire was spread by the sword rather than by accession treaties. Pick the leader of any aggressor state on the continent from the last 2000 or so years for an equally good claim to be the father of European unity... That man who ruled France after the war famously blocked UK accession to the Common Market (as was) on the grounds that we had 'wrecked the last attempt at European unity and would not let us do it again'. I believe he was referring to the Napoleonic, rather than Hitlerian system.

Anyway, here's the guest list:

"among those on the guest list Thursday were Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker and King Juan Carlos of Spain". Well, given that Gordon and Angela are not on each others Christmas card lists, maybe it was a snub. Unlikely, more realistic is that the Worst Prime Minister since Godereich did not want to be seen hob nobbing with the Eurotrash on election day.

Past laureates from Blighty are Churchill (yes, really. In '56), Heath ('63), Jenkins ('72) and that balding bloke ('99) with the odd looking wife who used to run the show in these parts.

In perhaps the oddest award of all time, 'the people of Luxembourg' won it in 1986.

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