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Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ruddy Countenance or Bloody Cheek?

W S Gilbert was famous for his repartee. One much-quoted example was when he was waiting for a cab outside his club, well wrapped against the winter weather, when a young man came out and assuming that Gilbert was a porter he ordered the older man to call him a cab. Gilbert mused aloud whether he admired the man's ruddy countenance or resented his bloody cheek.

Mrs Merkel would have had no doubt today, in receiving her importunate visitor to Berlin. It was downright cheeky of David Cameron to come from an ill-governed and deeply indebted country outside the eurozone to demand that Germany [a well-governed, minimally indebted country inside the eurozone] should open its people's coffers to support ill-managed banks and Spanish national pride. He received a degree of courtesy that he did not merit.

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