!-- consent -->
Just as its energy dependence on Russia cannot be reversed overnight, decades of drift into quasi-pacifism reflect a deeply embedded outlook.
Political popularity appears to be broad and sustained but, when eventually it is exhausted, the falling away of support is dramatic.
It is worth noting the lack of a German, and therefore European, consensus on the foreign policy challenges facing the West, particularly on Russia and China.
And if Germany’s Greens are in government after the federal election, they will be inclined to help him.
A traffic light coalition? A Jamaica coalition? Who knows? What’s certain is that the CDU/CSU is struggling amidst a fragmenting landscape.
A Green Minister-President has governed Baden-Württemberg in coalition with the CDU for more than a decade, implementing a pro-business agenda.
The German Chancellor was stronger then than she is now. And there’s no guarantee that any compromise she might push would work.
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.
Plus: Osborne’s regrets, vintage Heseltine – and, after Germany, to Brighton, for what is claimed to be the biggest conference Labour has ever held.
It despises the very values of patriotism and economic self-improvement that made people like my grandparents vote for them.