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On Friday night, François Fillon, the French prime minister, interrupted an official visit to Brazil to call Mr Clegg to "clarify" his recent comments that Britain's credit rating should be reviewed.Yeah, I know. Being told off by Nick Clegg. It sounds like being savaged by a kitten that's been quite heavily sedated, doesn't it? But you know, I reckon he meant it. He might even have meant it more than Cameron meant to say 'no' to the Merkozy being last week, and I wouldn't rule out Clegg going for the full diplospeak version of je t'encule in the future.
The Deputy PM told Mr Fillon that his recent remarks and those by other senior French figures had been "simply unacceptable and that steps should be taken to calm down the rhetoric".
Because I think Cleggy boy has noticed something. His reluctant BFF next door has suddenly become more popular with the electorate. Undeserved, perhaps, but even if Cameron stood up to the EU for Britain by complete accident he'd have got some political capital out of it, and Cleggy probably fancies a little of it for himself. Hang on, he may be thinking to himself, there's votes in this Euroscepticism thingy. And let's face it, for a man who's only a liberal or a democrat as and when it suits him it's not impossible that he might decide to be a Europhile only when it's worth his while as well.
To paraphrase Marx - Groucho, that is - these are Nick's principles and if you don't like them he has others.