Leading article: And the winner is...

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Oh no, there was no competition! Perish the thought that the minds of Europe’s foremost statesmen (and women) were not concentrated, to the exclusion of all else, on solving the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. You saw how they had their heads down, their fevered brains wrestling with the implications of all those impossible economic figures at their summit in Berlin yesterday.

So why the air of breathless joy, nay triumph, that suffused the statement from No 10 that the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, would be in Washington a week tomorrow, and would – lest the significance pass us by – thus become the first European leader (roll the drums, sound the trumpets) to meet the new US President, Barack Obama? Was this why Mr Brown nodded so cordially to Chancellor Merkel and practically flung his arms around President Sarkozy? We suspect that first place might not have been quite so significant had either of them prevailed.

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