The Return of Mrs Merkel

Angela Merkel wins again in Germany. I rather like the woman. Clever, sensible and socially conservative. She herself opposed the redefinition of marriage in Germany but as a democrat, allowed her parliament to enact its will.

In 2012, Merkel said, regarding her faith: "I am a member of the evangelical church. I believe in God and religion is also my constant companion, and has been for the whole of my life. We as Christians should above all not be afraid of standing up for our beliefs."

Once she publicly declared that Germany suffers not from "too much Islam" but "too little Christianity"; a perceptive comment indeed.

She has, however, returned seriously weaker. Her calamitous, though well-intentioned, decision to allow in a million undocumented refugees has triggered a sharp rise in support for the far right as many Germans feel their country and culture are being over-run.

Like Mrs Thatcher before her, she started to believe her own publicity. She assumed she could do anything, and get away with it. Perhaps she has, for now, but the Alternative for Germany party may be with us for some time. Our actions always have consequences, ones we are unable to calculate at the time of decision-making.