It is easy to forget, amid the ongoing melodrama that is Britain’s Conservative government, that other countries have their problems, too. Not just Ukraine, engaged in its life and death struggle with Russia, but Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, in fact the entire European Union, including, of course, France.
Emmanuel Macron is back in harness now that the summer is over, unlike the National Assembly, which doesn’t get down to full-time work until October. Might he usefully fill at least part of the the gap by travelling to London or else hosting Liz Truss for talks at the Élysée? Both sides would stand to benefit from any resulting accord, but the potential for fireworks is alarming.
Macron’s in-tray is full-to-overflowing. On the Ukraine front, as Truss may shortly discover, a big part of the problem is keeping the public onboard. Short wars are exciting; long-drawn-out conflicts are of abiding interest only to those immediately involved. Where they involve sacrifices that bring no obvious short-term benefits, those looking on from afar tend to start counting the cost.