UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

The long and the short of it


sarkozyThe Mexicans have an apt rhyme for it: “Para ser presidente, hay que paracer presidente” –  to be a president you have to look like a president.

Maybe Nicolas Sarkozy’s advisors had something of the kind in mind when they hired a suspiciously short crowd to surround their man on a stage this week in order to make him look taller.

Not a bad idea, really — better than the old stalwarts like perching on a box or having those around you standing in trenches.

Sarkozy, at a mere 5 ft 5 ” is reportedly very touchy about his height, especially since he married Carla Bruni who notably wears flat shoes in the presence of her husband to disguise the four-inch gap.

Should the burkha be banned in Britain?


In the wake of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s support for the burkha to be banned in France, several commentators have called for the all-enveloping gown to be outlawed in Britain too.

“In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity,” Sarkozy said. “The burkha is not a religious sign, it’s a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement. It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.”

Vive the entente — until July


anglo1.jpgCommentators are revelling in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s effusive praise of Britain and drooling over the fashion sense of his wife but several see stormier waters ahead — specifically in the second half of the year from July when France takes over the presidency of the European Union.

Leader writers see problems in the two countries’ approach to Europe, particularly over France’s desire for closer European defence co-operation and a permanent EU president.

Vive la difference?


eiffel1.jpgThe entente hasn’t been quite so cordiale for some time, judging by a ragbag of pointers in the newspapers over recent weeks.

Young French people are coming to live and work in London in record numbers, it seems, to the extent there’s now even an area named after them, in the manner of Little Italy or Kangaroo Valley. The fact that it’s rather rudely called Frog Alley should not diminish the importance of this significant milestone.