Hanging out with world’s bad boys no good for France

Politics is a dirty business and Macron is an amateur compared with Trump...

It is a traditional ruse of political leaders whose honeymoon is over, and who are finding their countries not quite so easy to govern as they had imagined when campaigning, to shift the focus from domestic to international policies.

With students and trade unionists ganging up on him, Jean-Luc Mélenchon calling for a new popular front to take him on, and crime so out of control in some cities that he has claimed France has lost the war on drug trafficking, Emmanuel Macron has redoubled his attempt to paint himself as a global player. In recent weeks he has been to the White House and St Petersburg; he busies himself incessantly on European questions; and is now trying to broker a settlement in Libya to give that country something approaching stable governance.

This creates an impression of frenzied activity, and reassures the French that their country still matters.

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