Facing up to one’s responsibilities

I’m not a fan of the French President, and became even more irritated by his antics down the road on vacation in Cap Negré, where he’s been running a kind of holiday camp for chopper-ferried celebs like U2’s Bono. But at least he knew what to do when ten French paras were killed in Afghanistan. First he interrupted his holiday by flying out to see the troops, and then he was in Les Invalides at 11.30am yesterday for the ceremony to honour the returning dead. Compare that with the fact that Tony Blair never turned up at Brize Norton to greet the coffins of soldiers he had consigned to battle. Or the way that George Bush has always studiously avoided any public encounter with his returning casualties.