The Brown/Sarko press conference following the latter’s state visit to the UK is going on as I type. There’s been a lot of “one night stand” rhetoric in response to a question from the BBC’s Nick Robinson (along the lines of Sarkozy being charming and saying all the right things, but will he still mean them tomorrow?) – providing both politicians a chance to try for some of that strange blandness that passes for humour in the world of politics. “We’ve gone beyond the one night and are now sharing breakfast the next morning”, says Sarko. (Oh, my aching sides…)
However, the real love-in was rather more brutal, as Sarkozy (doubtless inadvertently) raised the Lisbon Treaty unprompted, followed by – as related by the BBC’s interpreter:
Thanks to [Gordon Brown] I hope Europe will be able to start moving ahead
Nope, I didn’t manage to jot down the whole sentence, but Sarko seemed to be suggesting that Gordon’s done something pretty major to ensure that the Lisbon Treaty is ratified. Pretty major like following Sarko’s lead and refusing to hold a referendum? Or was there some other agreement made behind the closed doors of the Council? Whatever he meant, this is unlikely to win Gordon much favour from the British public. A British Prime Minister actively engaging with the EU? Shocking!
Apologies for lack of posting lately, by the by – I would offer an excuse, but there isn’t one. I simply wasn’t in the mood.
Oh, and while I’m at it – shame! The retirement of Jens-Peter Bonde as an MEP is a bad thing for the European Parliament and a bad thing for the EU, no matter how much some may wish to paint him as a raving eurosceptic. Long one of the most vocal and intelligent eurosceptics on the continent, his drive for meaningful, democratic reform of the EU should be appleuded by all and sundry. (I also managed to have a quick chat with him while I was in Brussels for openDemocracy, and he seemed like a very nice chap – albeit a rather intense one.)