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French disconnection

For the first time this century France and Britain will be governed from the left for the same five year stretch. Yet London power brokers are disdainful of Lionel Jospin. This is no time for Francophobia

By Denis MacShane   July 1997

Are France and Britain condemned to enter the next century as fr?res ennemis-rivals on every issue they can find? In the space of four weeks, the people of these two historic nations have chosen to place their faith in a team of political leaders of the centre left. For the first time this century France and Britain will be governed by the left for a simultaneous five year stretch.

Yet far from welcoming this political development the smart talk in London has been full of disdain and dismay at the arrival of Lionel Jospin. The conventional wisdom as expressed in…

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