Former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder has just jabbed a straight middle finger in the air at EU and US attempts to escalate the situation in Ukraine by inviting President Putin to a glittering 70th birthday bash in St Petersburg. The colleagues are incandescent with rage and are spitting blood at the black-tie pictures of the two men hugging, but are powerless to silence the unmistakeable gesture from the German Statesman.
Schröder is no shrinking violet. His savage trimming of the German welfare system and ground-breaking deployment of German troops in Kosovo and Afghanistan demonstrate his strength, as did his absolute refusal to have anything to do with Blair and Bush's unlawful military adventure in Iraq - thereby saving Germany from the sort of political disgrace that continues to overshadow Britain's Labour Party.
Neither is Schröder uncritical of Putin; he can have few illusions that Putin is other than a despot in the true Russian tradition. However, his powerful gesture was guaranteed to infuriate the unelected EU leadership - and show that there's more than one side to this particular story. And demonstrates just how powerful a small gesture can be from someone of his stature. He really does make Cameron look and sound like a puerile pygmy.