Macron. It is a name that has dominated the Media for the last week or so. He's a hero. A legend. A demi-god. He makes the ladies go weak at the knees. World leaders can only dream of being like this suave, charismatic statesman (The name that all politicians want to be called). He is going to soften French drug laws, wipe out evil terrorists in West Africa and single-handedly end climate change. He is the man who can make or break the Brexit negotiations. Vladimir Putin rides horses shirtless and wrestles bears. Macron rides a lion and fights hippos. And all of the other wonderful things that you can think of. Move over Trudeau, Macron is here.

Well, that is if you follow the fawning media commentary of a fairly standard speech in Davos. It is quite pathetic to see the usual headlines calling him the new "leader of the free world" and predicting that he will be the man who will lead France and the European Union into a new era of enlightenment and glory. Le Petit Empereur is good at public relations, he sees the value in symbolism that requires little of substance from his country, but the media seem completely unable to see this.

Le Petit Empereur

The truth is that he will be lucky to carry out even a fraction of what is expected of him but that does not matter. He is able to show himself as a dynamic and energetic world leader, in the same way that Tony Blair used to be able to, by participating in small but highly symbolic acts.

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From appearing to beat Trump at that famous firm handshake to offering to send the Bayeux Tapestry to Britain, he knows that people and, especially, the media appreciate such things.

The British media has gone into overdrive at the prospect of financial services fleeing from London to the supposed refuge of Paris, to add to that, he seems to be taking a hard-line in the Brexit negotiations and says all of the right things. What do we have? The self-deprecation is growing tiresome. I'm not keen on the idea of a Channel Bridge, but we know that, had it been Macron making this suggestion, it would be greeted with glee as a sign of his commitment to open borders and European liberties. It is marvellous what a few empty platitudes can do.

Until recently, Justin Trudeau seemed to be able to do the same thing. He, too, was a flashy, young politician who lived up to the modern, multi-cultural ideal. Inequality and poverty would be wiped out, he said all of the things that those, bereft at the future of a Trumpite world, wanted to hear.

Before him, it was Angela Merkel. Now it is Macron. But this time it will be different. Of course, it will be different because it just will. The media has got it right this time, they're so certain. How could they possibly be wrong?

History repeating itself

Emmanuel Macron appears to be in the Napoleonic mould. His France could very well dominate the European continent, and its president could stride across the world reshaping global politics in his image. Future generations might call him Napoleon IV to commemorate the man who returned France to pre-eminence in the world. Ok, I am stretching counter-factual quite a bit to reach that conclusion. The French are not going to supplant the United States at the top spot, the power of China will continue to grow and German dominance of the EU will carry on as normal, but you get the media's invented picture.

The end of the Macron presidency will, I suspect, be a time of great disappointment. What started with such promise, if you like that sort of thing, will conclude after very little has changed. I may be wrong, but the underlying problems in France were never going to be solved overnight. His election occurred in the context of an obscenely high level of voter abstention and, of course, a sizeable section of the French electorate had voted for Marine Le Pen. It is going to be difficult and he is in as good as position as he is likely to ever be to ensure that the necessary reforms are made. Pretending to lead the EU is not, in the long-term, a sufficient response. The Germans will, regardless of how quickly they can form a government, still dominate that organisation thanks to the strength of their economy, location and population size. It is easy to pretend that this is not the case, especially when he is compared to our own Mrs May, who could not be accused of having anything like charisma, but it is.

Going down the foolish route of seeking to take this role from Germany will not lead to his being cast as Napoleon I. Rather, he will be remembered (if at all) as the failed Napoleon III. That foolish gentleman who tried to defy inevitable German supremacy ended his life in exile. Macron's career probably won't take such a dramatic course (although who knows when it comes to France), but he has to carry out huge Thatcher-esque change if he is to survive at the next election. And as Mrs Merkel has taught us, it only takes one misjudgement and the star is brought back down to earth. Then what? Someone else will fill this role for the media, maybe they will be British, and French media might keep saying that they are indescribably jealous. Forget the media nonsense, those same commentators will do soon enough, because the smoke and mirrors are as nothing to the raw power of the real super-powers and France isn't one of them.