2015 Why Elections in Europe Are Important. A version of this article was published by The Globalist 30 December 2014

2015 The Year of all Elections

Denis MacShane

2015 is the year when for the first time in the 65-year-old history of supranational European construction that voters may finally decide if the EU will survive.
First, Greece and then elections in Britain, Spain, Poland, Denmark, Finland, Portugal and Estonia will answer two big questions. First, has the disenchantment with the European Union reached a tipping point? Second, is the 20th century model of big political parties based on a collective mass and centrally run party now over?
The Swiss will also elect a new Parliament and in their choice of national councilors show whether they want to turn the page on the long decades of integration and open borders with the rest of Europe.
The two issues – Europe and the future of political parties overlap. It is too simplistic to present this as a contest between populist (bad) and Regierunsfähig (good) politics. No party wins power without a dose of populism and the problem with the offer of the traditional 20th century centre-right and centre-left parties is that so far this century they have not shown themselves very good at government.
The two issues have come to a head in Greece where the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn have allied with the populist left of Syriza as well as so-called independent leftists to force early elections. The inability of the old 20th century politics represented by the failure of coalition parties of New Democracy and Pasok to understand what entry into the Eurozone 15 years ago required of Greece was matched by the failure of old politics when Angela Merkel allied with Nicolas Sarkozy to reject any measured, long-term solution to the crisis of Greek budget financing after the crash of 2008.
There is one country where an election will not take place. Unlike Greece the Swedish mainstream parties have pulled back from the brink. In Stockholm a Swedish compromise has been found to allow the recently elected Social Democratic party to stay in office until 2018.
In 1945, the Swedes destroyed political communism that was growing in influence in Sweden’s powerful industrial trade unions. Nothing brutal was done to communists but democracy in the sense of majority votes for strikes was put on hold as Swedish social democracy decided that an open market future larded with social justice was better than populist leftism linked to Sovietism. In Greece at the same time the left-right split descended into civil war and the brutal, violent crushing of the communists was followed by years of arrogant clientalist politics by both the main parties of the right and left.
Now populist leftism is back on the Greek political agenda. This is also the case in Spain where Podemos currently leads opinion polls. The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy is a classic 20th century big party politician. He bided his time, waiting his turn to become prime minister but has not known what to do in power.
Now Mr Rajoy has hinted at a grand coalition with the socialists in the style of Germany to stop the populists of Podemos taking over. Spain’s new young King Philip in his Christmas message said his task was to “regenerate politics, tackle corruption, defend the welfare state, and preserve Spanish unity.” Sadly there is no other crowned monarch in Europe able to announce such a programme. When the uncrowned monarchs like Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz or Mario Draghi try to inspire European voters no-one listens or looking at the their record believes them.
The future may be Danish where the ruling social democrats are down in opinion polls. But no single party has won a majority in the Danish parliament since 1909. So even if Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt has to go it will be a messy coalition that takes over.
Switzerland will elect a new parliament but the so-called ‘magic formula’ which allows main political parties to have a seat or seats in the 7-strong federal cabinet will not change. The Swiss devolved, decentralised and direct democracy mediated through referendums seems more stable and delivers more prosperity and ecosocial justice than the winner-takes-all governance of its neighbours. But can EU member-states co-exist with their citizens having the final say, not political elites?
Finally, Britain will answer the twin question of Europe and the future of 20th century parties in 21st century politics. Prime Minister David Cameron has pledged and made central to his-relection the promise of an In-Out EU referendum in two years’ time. If he wins and the referendum is held fewer and fewer observers (and recent polls) give much hope of a Yes vote especially as the EU question is mixed up with immigration, bad Eurozone performance, and rulings from the non-EU but European Court of Human Rights which Labour politicians denounce with as much populist fervour as Conservative or Ukip MPs.
Indeed nine of Mr Cameron’s senior ministers announced last week they wanted to campaign for Brexit – Britain exiting the EU – so continued British integration with the rest of Europe is no longer certain.
The Labour Party leader Ed Miliband, by contrast, has ruled out a referendum to the annoyance of many Labour MPs who not very deep down can be just as populist as their opponents on Europe. If Mr Miliband replaces Mr Cameron in Downing Street he will at least have put off Brexit for a while. But he is likely to do so in a coalition or a minority government with the possibility of second early election.
In short in Britain, the mother of parliamentary democracy, the 2015 election will not produce any clear answer to the twin questions of European integration and what new politics is needed for the 21st century. The new politics of European nations and the EU itself remains to be invented.

Dr Denis MacShane was Labour’s Minister for Europe. His book Brexit : How Britain Will Leave Europe will be published by IB Tauris early in 2015

Sent to Belmarsh

A Year Ago 23 December 2013 a judge sent me to Belmarsh Prison. This article written by Francis Beckett was published in the Journalist, the monthly journal of the National Union of Journalists where I was president in 1979-79. Francis Beckett succeeded me two years later.

Denis MacShane is good at reinventing himself, which is fortunate because he’s had to do it rather a lot. He did it when he was fired from the BBC for calling a Conservative cabinet minister a crook, live on air, after which he became NUJ president in 1978.
Today, at 66, most of his savings gone on an unsuccessful attempt to stay out of prison, he’s reinventing himself again. Next Spring there’s a new book called Brexit: How Britain Will Leave Europe, and right now there’s a book called Prison Diaries.
It’s an extended colour piece about day to day prison life which allows the reader almost to taste what he tasted and smell what he smelled. It reminded me that Denis, before politics took him, was a really good writer.
It says two things. First, we put far too many people in prison, and we treat them inhumanely. And second, he, Denis, should never have been one of them. I don’t know how anyone can read it without being convinced of his first proposition.
When he was an MP, he took no interest in prison reform, and neither did most of his colleagues. There are no votes in it. Journalists take no interest in it because they have never been in prison, and neither have most of their readers.
But Denis has now been an MP, a journalist, and a prisoner, and he has some disturbing questions to ask.
Why on earth are prisoners’ books, notepads and biros taken away from them? Denis had to smuggle stubs of biro and the unused backs of official forms into his cell to write his diaries, which he now thinks may have improved the immediacy of his writing.
Why was he banged up in his tiny cell for up to 23 hours a day over Christmas and not allowed to see his partner or his children?
Why are prisoners strip-searched at random? “A man half my age peers at my genitals as if I had a secret weapon hidden there. It is a foul, humiliating process without the slightest reason or justification given my age and my docile behaviour here.”
Why is their brief exercise period frequently cancelled at no notice, why do prison officers humiliate the men in their charge, why do the authorities tantalise prisoners by arbitrarily putting off the day when they are due to be released with a tag?
And what on earth are we doing locking up elderly, disabled men like Denis’s new friend Benny in Belmarsh, the toughest and highest security prison in Europe, where they are denied the pain relief and medical attention which might make their lives almost bearable? Benny manouvres himself slowly around Belmarsh in his wheelchair, because when his 77-year-old mother, in dreadful pain and with two months at most left to live, said “Please end this, please let me go, please” he put a pillow over her head.
Why was Denis in Belmarsh? He wasn’t an escape risk. Other MPs convicted of expenses scams went to open prisons, but Denis does seem to have been singled out for harsh treatment. The police decided his crime was too small to prosecute. He’d repaid the £12,900 he wrongly claimed and there was no personal gain. Then a cross-party committee of MPs called his crime very serious, so the police reopened their investigation, although there was no new information.
It’s an affront to justice that Denis sat in Belmarsh while David Laws, who did exactly the same but for a larger sum of money, sat round the cabinet table.
Many on the extreme right saw him, correctly, as the most effective pro-European in Parliament. The relatively civilised europhobe Daniel Hannan wrote: “Who will the BBC find to defend Brussels on air? Seriously – who?” That’s why right-wing blogger Guido Fawkes (Paul Staines) wrote with slavering vindictiveness: “Is it too early to open the champagne on a Monday morning?” You have to wonder about the sort of person who opens champagne at the prospect of a fellow human being going into Belmarsh. Staines’s fans posted tweets such as: “Big day for @DenisMacShane. Hope he’s packed his lube. @porridge.”
I don’t excuse Denis, but I think Mr Justice Sweeney, who could easily have imposed a non-custodial sentence, had half an ear to the cries of the lynch mob.
But Staines and his friends have harmed one of their own pet causes. They are at the forefront of the campaign to send more people to prison and make it more unpleasant. And Prison Diaries may be just the weapon their opponents need to show that they are wrong.
Francis Beckett is an author and journalist

Who Can Maureen Lipman Vote for?

Letter Published in Standpoint Magazine December 2014

Maureen Lipman has a terrific splutter in Standpoint (November 2014) over why after decades of voting Labour she cannot do so again – or at least not vote for Ed Miliband – because of the vote in the Commons on recognizing Palestine.

She adds in Ed’s munching on a bacon butty. We all respect dietary considerations when having friends for dinner but should it decide how we vote?

What was never explained in the hype over the Palestine recognition vote is that it is utterly meaningless. The Commons has many different ways of expressing an opinion – 10 minute rule bills, Early Day Motions, Friday private member bills, Westminster Hall debates – and there have been nastier anti-Israeli expressions in all to those outlets over the years.

The Palestine vote will have no impact on government policy. I spent time as an FCO minister urging Arab and Muslim states to recognize Israel as generally having diplomatic reIations makes sense. The US refused to recognize Russia after the Soviet take-over in 1918 and then refused to have an embassy in Beijing until Nixon’s visit. Washington was the loser. Palestine does not yet have the normal attributes of a state – especially control over its territory as Hamas refuses to let go of Gaza and its handy rocket sites to send missiles over to kill Jews in Israel. Nor does the PA have enough control over its citizens as we saw in the summer with the IS type kidnapping and slaughter in cold blood of three Jewish schoolboys.

Two years ago the Commons – following a similar debate – unanimously voted to instruct the Government to ban entry into the UK of 40 named Russian functionaries linked to the death in custody under atrocious conditions of Sergei Magnitsky who had uncovered the theft of $230 million by Putin’s tax police from a British based firm.

In the past the Government had banned people like Martha Stewart, George Raft, or Pablo Neruda from entry into the UK so banning a few middling Russians who had helped kill a harmless father of two didn’t seem a big deal.

However it was too much for William Hague and the Foreign Office flatly refused to implement the Commons resolution.

But the interesting question is who can Maureen vote for next May? Surely not David Cameron who described Gaza as a ‘prison camp’ even though long evacuated by Ariel Sharon? Mr Cameron was appeasing the strongly anti-Israeli Turkish leader, prime minister, now President Erdogan. But it was a remark conforming to the worst kind of anti-Israel propaganda which attributes all problems in Gaza to Jews and none to Hamas Islamists.

Was Cameron wise to enter into an alliance in 2009 with Polish MEPs whose leader said “I will say sorry for what happened to the Jews in Poland when the Jews apologise for what they did to Poles.” Speaking on The World At One Sir Alan Duncan MP, a Tory, supported the Palestinian vote as did other Tory and LibDem MPs. He added that US policy on Israel was controlled by “financial interests.” He didn’t quite say Jews but listeners didn’t need an Alan Turing to decode the message.

Can Maureen vote LibDem? Surely not the party of Jenny Tongue whose language on Israel is beyond the pale (if that is the right metaphor). The LibDems also shelter a frightful MP, David Ward, who said he would fire rockets into Israel. Naturally Nick Clegg did not discipline him. The former leader, Sir Menzies Campbell, told the Daily Politics programme that IS and Al-Qeada are the fault of the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

How about the Greens? But their one and only MP and former leader, Caroline Lucas, blamed the murder of Jews in Mumbai on Israel and she has been consistently hostile to the right of Israel to live free of terror attacks.

Then there is UKIP whose leader. Nigel Farage, has forged an alliance with Poland’s Congress of the New Right, an openly anti-Jewish party whose leader says Hitler didn’t know about the Holocaust.

There is Respect, of course, with Saddam’s old chum, George Galloway, calling for Israeli-free cities. Now who was it who first used term Judenfrei?

The Scots Nat are anti-Israel and Alex Salmond has called for an arms embargo on Israel and has done nothing to stop anti-Jewish campus attacks at Edinburgh University.

So Maureen Lipmann may have difficulties in finding a party she can vote for if she wants unqualified support of Israel at all levels as a condition for casting her vote. I have not checked the line on a Palestine state of the Monster Raving Loony Party but I assume the Flat Earth Party has cut out Israel from its map of the world.

Six years ago I wrote a book, ‘Globalising Hatred. the new Antismeitism.” (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) Since then anti-Jewish hates and prejudices as well as support for Hamas and other Islamist ideologues which call for the elimination of Israel have worsened.

I have heard Ed Miliband talk about Israel in warm and moving terms as the home that gave shelter to relatives fleeing from the anti-Jewish hate of the 1930s when Europe collapsed into closed border nationalisms in which bigotry and prejudice flourished. Can I politely say to Maureen that what should not be done is to retreat from engagement with democratic politics. More people should be in parties to expose and denounce anti-Jewish bigotry, and to find smarter ways of explaining the history and politics of the region so that at least one or two MPs actually know what is in the Hamas Charter.

The one thing the Islamists hate is democracy other than one election that goes their way. Britain and Europe is awash with bigotry, xenophobia and anti-semitism which are gaining ground over reason and tolerance.

I hope by next May Maureen finds someone to vote for as not voting is no answer.

Denis MacShane

Losing Ones Marbles

The Globalist 6 December 2014
Britain’s Christmas Gift to Putin
Cameron commits a shocking diplomatic mistake and loses yet another European ally.
By Denis MacShane, December 6, 2014

David Cameron has given Vladimir Putin a Christmas gift. The Russian strongman will now get a chance to forget about the plunging ruble, falling oil prices, G20 nations furious over his dispatch of troops and arms to destabilize Ukraine, the growing NATO presence in Poland and the Baltic States — as he gazes upon the beautiful present London has sent him.
It is a carving – the front half of a statue – of the Greek god of rivers, Illissos, and represents the highest accomplishment of ancient Greek classical art.
Britain can send this statue to Russia because it forms part of the Parthenon Marbles that were looted by a British imperialist two centuries ago and brought back to London to symbolize the right of London to help itself to anything, anywhere in the world without any check or balance.
The statue was part of a frieze that decorated the Parthenon temple, which stands atop the Acropolis in Athens.
For more than two millennia the Parthenon has symbolized the birth of western civilization. Democracy, philosophy, literature and the greatest sculptures known to humankind were all shaped at the foot of the Parthenon.
Condemning the art thieves
At the beginning of the 19th century, the Greeks, inspired by the revolution in France and the United States escaping from British rule, were starting their path to independence from the decadent Ottoman Empire.
Greece became independent in 1822. The great poet, Lord Byron, joined the Greek independence struggle and died in the country.
Before he died, he condemned a fellow Lord who had robbed Greece of some of its finest art. Lord Elgin was the British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.
As the Napoleonic wars ravaged Europe, it was clear that the Ottomans who held sway over Athens were on the way out.
Elgin climbed up the Acropolis and hacked off the beautiful carved statutory that formed the top of the Parthenon under its triangular topping. He shipped the marble carvings back to London in the best fashion of plunder that has always accompanied great power and no responsibility.
He claimed some Turkish official had given him permission, but the Parthenon was deprived of its masterpieces in a moment of ugly British superiority, which the Americans came to appreciate when, in another vicious pointless act, the British burned the White House in 1812.
For two centuries the marbles – known in Britain as the “Elgin” Marbles, as if the looter should be immortal for having taken what belonged to the Greeks back to England – have been kept in London.
The marbles can be seen in a dull, badly lit room in the British museum far from the sun and blue skies and the glint of the Aegean where they belong.
Now, for the first time one of the marbles has been sent outside of England. Of all people, it has been sent to Vladimir Putin, specifically to his native city of St. Petersburg and its Hermitage Museum.
The Greek government, which has loyally supported the EU sanctions against Putin after his missiles shot down the Malaysian airliner, is reeling in shock.
From one imperialist to another
David Cameron likes to talk tough about Putin, but he has been careful to avoid taking any action against Russian oligarchs in London. Some of them donate to both the Conservative Party and to the British Museum.
This is a rather too obvious appeasement of the Russian leader. Cameron is sending him one of the plundered marbles while at the same time, he refuses to enter into discussion with the Greeks about the return of the marbles.
He even refuses to talk with the Greeks about a sharing agreement between the British Museum and the special state-of-the-art museum built for the marbles at the foot of the Acropolis.
In the past, great works of art have been sent on loan as part of warming up relations. General De Gaulle sent da Vinci’s Mona Lisa to Washington as signal of France wanting to warm up relations with the United States when Kennedy was elected.
For the Greeks, nothing
But the continuing British snub to Greek demands that the marbles — removed by a high-handed British official from an occupying power — should first come home to Greece for a while has now turned into something worse, as Britain provides Putin with such a Christmas present.
Like St. Paul’s Cathedral without its dome or the Statue of Liberty without its torch, the Parthenon without its marbles does not have the full synthesis of harmony that these sublime achievements of Greek art would bring.
That the first time one of the marbles can be seen outside London, it is not Greeks who will see it, but Putin and his St. Petersburg siloviki ex-KGB chums, is an insult to a fellow EU member state without parallel in recent British history.
“Beware of Greeks bearing gifts,” wrote Virgil about the Trojan Horse. Britain’s Christmas gift to Putin will have cost London a friend in a European Union where Britain has fewer and fewer left.
And looking at this major misjudgment in cultural diplomacy by a country once famed for it, many will be asking if David Cameron is finally losing his marbles.

European Book of Year Award

British Lord Wins European Book Prize With Plea to Make EU Stronger

By Denis MacShane

As the question of Britain leaving the EU rises remorselessly to the surface of British and European politics the Brussels corps of correspondents has awarded the 2104 European Book Prize to an exuberant defence of Europe and a plea from the heart of the British establishment for more not less, stronger not weaker Europe.
The European Book of the Year Prize was set up by Jacques Delors in 2007. The second winner in 2008 was Tony Judt, the British historian and expert on French politics for his magisterial, Postwar: Europe Since 1945. That book was classic narrative history written by a man already dying of motor neurone disease who accepted his prize by video link from New York as he was too ill to travel.
The prize has the enthusiastic support of Europe’s most famous book seller, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz. Schultz made a powerful, emotional plea at the ceremony in the EP’s Anna Lindh conference room for the centrality of books and how they must still exist as printed object not digitalized into a cyberworld controlled by Google and Amazon though he avoided mentioned the G and A names.
Now a second Brit, a member of the House of Lords no less, has won the 2014 prize. Anthony Giddens, has written a passionate plaidoyer for Europe. Turbulent and Mighty Continent: What Future for Europe (Polity Press) combines optimism of the intellect as well as of the will. Different subjects from regional policy to the need to advance the classic trade unionist Social Europe to what Giddens describes as a ‘Social Investment Europe’ are discussed.
The European Book of the Year Prize is organised from the office of L’Obs (as France’s Nouvel Observateur is now called) and is supported by European media like Libération, Le Soir, El Pais, Le Monde, Euronews, la Repubblica, RTBF and Euractiv. It does not have a British newspaper involved, nor a British Brussels correspondent on its jury since David Rennie of the Economist decamped to Washington.
So it was generous to award the prize to a British intellectual and sociologist. Tony Giddens has written many books and as the French MEP Jean-Marie Cavada pointed out at the ceremony is best known as the theoretician of the “Third Way” – the socio-economic model of reformist open market social democracy linked with the name of Tony Blair.
Giddens has also been Director of the London School of Economics as well a founder of Polity Press. He has a restless ever-inquiring mind which does not sit well with the British academic establishment which likes its professors and university chiefs to be plodders getting every footnote precisely in place. Giddens is an entrepreneur-intellectual wanting to get his ideas into play as policy and not as commentaries or advice.
His book wants a powerful president of the Europe and urges a single language for use by those conducting EU business. No prizes for guessing which one!
But in the midst of any number of querulous books by the British commentariat on Europe with the usual attacks on the usual suspects – the Euro, the Commission, the European Parliament – Giddens offers the freshness of enthusiasm and engagement which is hard to find anywhere in today’s British political, press, or intellectual scene.
The paradox of the European Book of the Year Prize being awarded on the eve of major developments in British politics which may well lead to Britain quitting the EU if the proponents of a Brexit referendum in 2017 get their way should not be lost.
Giddens may be the last British laureate as the prize is reserved for writers who are EU citizens. The prize for the best novel of 2014 went to the former Libération foreign correspondent, Pascale Hugues. She has lived in Berlin for the past 25 years and her novel La Robe de Hannah. Berlin 1904-2014 (Les Arenes) explores the history of a single street and its inhabitants in the German capital. She at least is likely to still be an EU citizen by the end of the decade. The same cannot be said, with certainty, for Anthony Giddens.

Statement on Judge Ruling Grayling Book Ban Unlawful

Denis MacShane who had a suitcase full of books confiscated when sent to Belmarsh Prison last Christmas welcomed the High Court ruling. “Chris Grayling seems to think that being unpleasant to prisoners is good for society. On the contrary it makes rehabilitation much more difficult. I knew that my judge would impose a prison sentence even without a trial so filled a big suitcase with books to read. They were all taken off me when I entered Belmarsh and when I was asked why I was told the guards were following new orders from Chris Grayling. Friends who tried to send book via Amazon had them returned as undeliverable. I never saw the prison library in Belmarsh and was allowed one 10-minute visit to the Brixton Library. All envelopes and packets are opened and searched when they arrive in prison and the idea that drugs or extremist material arrives in the post is just nonsense. This ruling by a judge is a modest win for common sense though they real breakthrough will happen only when our judges also assert their independence over politicians and stop imposing so many knee-jerk custodial sentences for non-violent first-time crime and especially on women” MacShane said. His Prison Diaries, an account of Belmarsh and Brixton, is published by Biteback

Nye Bevan Book Review

Tribune 28 November 2014

Bevan’s NHS legacy is his saving grace

Nye: The Political Life of Aneurin Bevan by Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds. IB Tauris £25
Written By: Denis MacShane
Published: November 28, 2014
In 1949, Time reported that after two centuries of British politics being based on John Locke’s triptych of life, liberty and prosperity the British people were now told they were entitled to ‘homes, health, education and social services.
The man Time was quoting as he set up the goals all decent politics should strive for was Aneurin Bevan. He was born and grew up in poverty, began to work as a miner while an adolescent, and never went to Oxford – now the sine qua non to be in the shadow cabinet.
Seventy years later, an American presi¬dent, a good man, also born without the correct skin colour to ease advancement, has tried to do what Nye Bevan did and allow the people of America to live without fear of crippling financial burdens if they fall ill. The National Health Service remains an amazing, at times unbelieveable political accomplishment. It is Labour’s creation which is why the reborn Old Etonian millionaires cabinet is so keen to dilute and weaken the NHS.
Nye Bevan can claim to have brought about the single biggest achievement of any 20th century government. But outside this proof that government can do big things if it has big people willing to do them – and the financial straight-jacket post-1945 Britain was in was infinitely worse than the piddling debt and deficit problems of today – how much does Bevan matter?
Francis Beckett wrote a good bio¬graphy of Bevan a decade ago and there is also Michael Foot’s two-volume hagio¬graphy. Oxford don Nicklaus Thomas-Symonds does a warts and all job and is interesting on Bevan’s English-speaking Welshness. Today, however, it is hard to see how a new Bevan could emerge. As an MP, he never did surgeries and lived in comfort in swank London flats or nice country houses close to London.
An ardent Zionist and strongly in favour of nuclear weapons, he spent endless time with Lord Beaverbrook, the Rupert Murdoch of his time, whose disgusting racist imperialism and appeasement of Hitler seems not to have bothered Bevan. He certainly would have been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for undisclosed gifts of money from rich hangers-on. Crates of fine wine arrived and Thomas-Symonds provides no details on how Bevan paid for this luxurious life-style. The Mail on Sunday would have loved the scandal of Bevan crashing into a bus while driving to Oxford with a titled lady and then fleeing the scene. In those days, MPs were protected by the police so Bevan escaped censure.
And outside the years under Clement Attlee’s control as Health Minister, Bevan was a political disaster. His lurch into vicious, personalised leftism after 1951 and his contempt for middle-class consumerism guaranteed three Tory victories much as the anti-European fake socialism of Labour after 1980 kept Margaret Thatcher in power.
Bevan had five glorious, historic years as a minister, though he handed the Tories a gift by not building enough homes. As Health Minister a star, as Housing Minister a failure. But on Bevan as a Labour MP and politician much tougher questions need to be asked by a biographer who wants to do history rather than ancestor-worship. If he does a second edition, the author should re¬move the comparison of Bevan to de Gaulle on foreign policy ¬– it’s just wrong.