Just when David Cameron has put on the EU agenda the need to repeal and amend regulations and Directives that are destroying jobs and making the EU less competitive, France and Germany decide to hijack the EU summit to complain about US intelligence methods.
I am not going to defend Mr Obama who clearly has to apologise to Mrs Merkel and explain what he has been up to. I suspect that Germany too employs people to research US policy and to find out things that are not generally available so Mrs Merkel is well briefed about her US ally. German staff probably receive off the record briefings, have sources inside the White House to pick up the gossip and do many other things to understand the past and likely future actions of the world’s superpower. If they discovered some private remarks of Mr Obama I suspect they would forward them to Berlin.
Anyone in public life knows that people are out to pick up their inner thoughts or their unguarded comments to shine more light on what they are likely to do next, or to exploit any mistake or weakness. As a backbench MP I have experienced eavesdropping of my phone and private conversations. These days any private conversation in a public place is liable to be recorded and used by someone. It must be much worse if you are the Chancellor of Germany. What I do want is the EU summit to address the problem of the poor economic performance of the EU as a whole, dragged down by too many bad laws and poor public policy at EU level. Picking a public row with Mr Obama is not the best use of this expensive meeting.