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Jacques Chirac was far from perfect. That shouldn't be controversial

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Ever since the news of Jacques Chirac’s death broke, my Twitter feed has looked rather strange. People I would never have thought of as consummate Chirac fans have been sharing and liking clips highlighting some of our former president’s past speeches. One of them shows him issuing a stark warning about climate change at the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. It was a great address, by the way, which included the following statements: “Our house is burning down and we’re blind to it. Nature, mutilated and overexploited, can no longer regenerate and we refuse to admit it. Humanity is suffering. … If the whole of humanity were to behave like the Northern countries, it would take two more planets to satisfy our needs.”

Another popular clip making the rounds shows Chirac urging the French never to “make concessions to extremism, racism, antisemitism or the rejection of others”.

Such affectionate outpourings led the Associated Press to note in its coverage of Chirac’s death that French mourners are “looking past his problems to........

© Independent