A Green Minister-President has governed Baden-Württemberg in coalition with the CDU for more than a decade, implementing a pro-business agenda.
The German Chancellor was stronger then than she is now. And there’s no guarantee that any compromise she might push would work.
Merkel has appalled her own followers by making sweeping concessions to the Social Democrats.
If both of the main parties remain locked together in an unpopular pact, it creates more space in which new challengers can grow.
Conventional German politics is still paralysed because being German is still almost impossibly difficult, and being European is pretty difficult, too.
Plus: Osborne’s regrets, vintage Heseltine – and, after Germany, to Brighton, for what is claimed to be the biggest conference Labour has ever held.