There are European elections coming up in May and President Macron of France is leading the fightback against the populists. He has written a piece published across Europe in 27 newspapers. The Guardian is the lucky paper chosen for its dissemination in Britain. I say lucky as someone who as a newspaper comment editor used to try to avoiding answering the phone if Gordon Brown’s advisors were trying to offer one of his long essays about the future of the United Kingdom.

To his credit, the Macron piece is short and punchy, a bit like the French President. It is also quite pompous in tone.

President Macron (for it is he) begins:

“Citizens of Europe…” (that’s you, even the naughty Brexiteers at the back… “if I am taking the liberty of addressing you directly, it is not only in the name of the history and values that unite us, but because time is of the essence. A few weeks from now the European elections will be decisive for the future of our continent.”