Yesterday’s FT went too far in attacking the Tory leader.  ‘What did it do?’ you ask.

Attack his abandonment of grammar schools?  His support for redistribution?  The tomato environmentalism of his Kyoto policy?  Non.  Much worse…

The FT’s John Thornhill compared David Cameron to Jacques Chirac:

(1) "Both profess to be compassionate conservatives, socially liberal pragmatists of no fixed ideological abode. Although they lead rightwing parties, they have both steered to the left, expressing reservations about raw capitalism. Mr Cameron has tried to distance himself from big business, while Mr Chirac rails against the excesses of “Anglo-Saxon ultra-liberalism”. Both men speak more about redistributing wealth than encouraging its creation."

Geldof_chirac_1(2) "Mr Cameron has tried to make himself hip by enlisting Bob Geldof, the rock star anti-poverty campaigner, to his cause. Mr Chirac also has an affinity with trendy radicals and has rolled out the red carpet for Hugo Chávez, Venezuela’s maverick president."

(3) "Mr Chirac and Mr Cameron have been uncommonly vocal in championing the developing world and the environment. Both leaders are also staunch defenders of rural interests, which in Britain means championing the right to kill furry animals and in France means cajoling Germans to subsidise your cheese industry through the Common Agricultural Policy."

It’s a silly article… easy to refute:

Ftthornhill(1) President Chirac is a cheese-eating surrender monkey in the war on terror.  Mr Cameron isn’t.

(2) President Chirac is an enthusiast for the euro and EU constitution.  Mr Cameron opposes both.

(3) President Chirac may talk a lot about helping the developing world but his support for CAP is bad news for the world’s poorest farmers.  Mr Cameron wants fundamental reform of the EU’s agriculture policies.

(4) President Chirac lives in a country that banned British beef.  Mr Cameron lives in a country that doesn’t just abide by EU laws; it goldplates them.

(5) President Chirac lives in a country that didn’t win the Olympics.  Mr Cameron lives in a nation that did.