The new global model for political deportment is rolling through Europe this week. He met the Russian leaders before heading for Italy and the G8 summit. Quite separate from his politics or policies, the new global model for political deportment continues to reinforce the idea that effective political leadership does not have to be predicated on the old bag of tricks of gimmickry, populism, sound bites and trickery.

There isn't much dignity left in the higher reaches of political life, a point beautifully made this week in an essay by David Brooks in The New York Times. The "dignity code", as Brooks calls it, has been "completely obliterated" by the pressures of modern life.