World 28 March 2008 Enamoured of Carla Bruni? Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up Sark-astic Britain As Mrs Miggins said of the fleeing French aristos in Blackadder the Third: “ooh la la and an éclair for both of us!” The visit of diminutive French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his glamorous other half has caused a stir in Westminster this week, but bloggers saw cracks in the gloss. Iain Dale has not yet been won over by “France’s Thatcher”. Sensing demagoguery in his eyes, he also fears a lack of focus: “While he appeared to have clear plans for France, he has allowed himself to be distracted from the main task of reforming France's stagnant and centralised economy.” And Eutopia asked whether Sarko has stitched up Gordon Brown domestically, by hinting that he’s acted to get Europe “moving ahead”. He wrote: “Sarko seemed to be suggesting that Gordon’s done something pretty major to ensure that the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. Pretty major like following Sarko’s lead and refusing to hold a referendum? Or was there some other agreement made behind the closed doors of the Council?” The sceptics won’t like that. Meanwhile the fragrant Carla Bruni was getting ratty over the sale of an old pic of herself in the buff – while on a more sensible note, Edis Bevan provided some interesting historical context to these suddenly rosy Anglo-French relations. Musical Youth The week saw the launch of Liberal Youth, the new organisation for young Lib Dems. Your intrepid blogger showed up late at its launch party on Tuesday night and missed the free booze. Andy Mayer, a self-declared decrepit old hack from its predecessor organisation, was highly impressed. He enthused: “I have to say much has changed since the early 1990s. For starters the event was heaving, overflowing the main venue into two side rooms and an outdoor terrace. Possibly around 250-300 people. Further everyone was frankly rather normal. This was not 30 socially awkward policy geeks stuffed into a cold gymnasium in Hull discussing abolishing the monarchy while agonising whether or not the cheesy nibbles were vegan.” Perhaps irked at http://www.order-order.com/2008/03/party-that-dare-not-speak...">not receiving an invite, Guido complained that the group’s new website has a “Top of the Pops circa-1974 feel.” What a grump! What have we learned this week? That the epic abortion row between Nadine Dorries MP and blogger Unity looks set, as they say, to run and run… Across the Pond Like many of the shriller US bloggers Michelle Malkin is unhappy with John McCain’s recent use of leftist rhetorical tactics – such as nuance. Media Lizzy is more impressed though, and thought McCain’s foreign policy speech this week hinted at an ability to win over Democrats. Video of the week The must-watch video of the week is a contribution by ‘Kev Livingstone’ to the London Elects site. An impression of Ken Livingstone doing an impression of Boris Johnson as a stuck CD. Post-modern! Quote of the week “Personally I think this is all pretty timid stuff. I would prefer to see him strung up from a lamp post by his fingertips, next to Jack Straw and Ed Balls. That's not really anything to do with beer taxes, though. It would just be for fun.” Greenie blogger Paul Kingsnorth on the online campaign to bar the Chancellor from every pub in Britain. › The end of history Paul Evans is a freelance journalist, and formerly worked for an MP. He lives in London, but maintains his Somerset roots by drinking cider. Subscribe To stay on top of global affairs and enjoy even more international coverage subscribe for just £1 per month!