The MT Diary: My life on the Anglo-French see-saw; bad blood, new blood at the FT; Moreno's choice

If things go on like this, we'll have to start feeling sorry for the French. Some of us will find that hard, but if it has to be done...

by Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics

Just over 30 years ago, Her Majesty sent me to Paris as a cub diplomat.

I was supposed to run the Ambassador's office, though my main role was to organise gastro-tours for junior ministers and minor royals. I couldn't help noticing that the French were doing rather well, and looked down their elegant noses at we 'angliches' struggling with strikes and slow growth.

Paris seemed far more cosmopolitan and exciting than London, French GDP per head was 15% or so above ours, and I recall one gruesome day when my tax-free entertainment allowance was converted at a mere Ffr7.80 to the pound, the equivalent of EUR1.15 to the pound today. No second Calvados after lunch for me that month.

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