There's more, however, to influence in the EU than flexing a bit of high-ranking muscle. We also need to have the odd regular fonctionnaire roaming around the Berlaymont singing 'Rule Britannia!'
We don't get free tea and coffee in the Commission, tax payers will be delighted to know. Thus the queue for the coffee machines, where thoroughly unappetising coffee is only 30 cent, is normally very long. Recently when bracing myself to pretend the shot size café au lait I was purchasing was equal to if... Continue Reading →
In recompense for Cameron's diplomatic incompetence, Farage's smug grin, Blair's diplomatic incompetence and smug grin, the Battle of Waterloo, the Spanish Armada, Henry VIII calling Anne of Cleve's ugly, and pretty much everything else since William the Conqueror, Brits in Brussels are frequently subjected to 'words' such as 'planification', 'conditionalities' and 'comitology'.
"My name is Susannah. I'm from the exotic isles of Britain. I used to have interesting hobbies to tell you about, but I gave them all up to write job applications and go to parties in the Parliament."
Italy's 'score' is announced on a big screen in front of us and a roar of applause and whooping erupts from the Italians in the crowd, followed by a cacophony of chinking glasses. The Italians are bizarrely celebrating their voting turnout at the election party. In the Brussels euro bubble the European elections are barely... Continue Reading →
"French girls are a bit stuck up, the Mediterraneans want to fiesta all the time, the Germans are uptight, the Scandinavians are hot, and nobody understands the British sense of humour": the usual stereotypes are conformed to and defied in equal measure and this provides a convenient source of conversation in the first few awkward... Continue Reading →