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Merkel has appalled her own followers by making sweeping concessions to the Social Democrats.
If both of the main parties remain locked together in an unpopular pact, it creates more space in which new challengers can grow.
Conventional German politics is still paralysed because being German is still almost impossibly difficult, and being European is pretty difficult, too.
The German consensus which placed no significant party to the right of the CDU, thus bolstering it as a governing force, is breaking down.
Plus: Osborne’s regrets, vintage Heseltine – and, after Germany, to Brighton, for what is claimed to be the biggest conference Labour has ever held.