Lucky to have them, I sometimes say, because the theatre of the absurd has always appealed. I also often say that a society gets the leaders it deserves. There can be no better embarcation on the voyage of understanding our politics than an examination of whom we have selected to lead us. The first in an occasional series.
Daniel Cohn Bendit was a soixante-huitard, a leader of the French student unrest in May 1968, while De Gaulle was still in power. He became known as Danny the Red. After Les Evenements of '68 Danny went to Germany and worked in the Karl Marx Bookstore in Frankfurt, forming a group to harness students to a variety of causes he supported. The group, RK (Revolutionary Struggle) was linked to terrorism. Joscha Fischer, former German Vice Chancellor, was also involved.
In 1994 he became an Alliance Green Party MEP (this was a merger with the German Socialists. There should and will be a study one day of how and why the Green movement was formed by the ultra left after Communism died). He is now a senior member of the European Parliament, sitting on a number of committees, including defence!
In 2003 Frankfurt prosecutors asked the European Parliament to lift the immunity from prosecution DCB had for being an MEP (Oh yes, it's criminal when Berlusconi wants it, but normal for an MEP) due to his involvement with known terrorist Hans Joachim Klein, but the parliament declined.
In 2001 he was investigated for paedophilia, having seemingly admitted it in writing from the time he was a teacher in the 1970s.
Lately he has criticised the Swiss constitutional change to ban further building of minarets. In an interview with Le Monde he says (my translation) 'The democratic limit has in my view been crossed. I am in favour of a direct democracy in the context of a constitution which does not let you vote on just anything'. He wants the Swiss to be told to vote again (well, it worked in Denmark and Ireland)
Oh brave new world, that hath such people in it