Tuesday, 20 October 2009


One week on and I am recognised in Brussels as the only self-declared candidate for the Presidency of the European Council. It's true that the recognition may not be extensive but I know of at least one window bill backing my candidature and it's not even in my own window. Who knows? Before long a stakeboard may go up in someone's garden.

My campaign launch was reported in the Dutch and the French press rather better than at home. Journalists emphasised the negative ("anti-Blair") rather than the positive ("widen the selection") but it was ever thus.

My letter of application has received its first response from a head of government. The office of the Irish Taoiseach has promised to bring my application to his attention "as soon as possible". I say: "Thanks Brian, and the sooner the better." When all the other likely names have been rejected he and his fellow leaders may turn to me with gratitude.

But now there's a setback in the European Parliament. I bid to speak in the debate on the European Council's agenda, but now I hear that no speaking time has been allocated to me by my own Group's secretariat. I suspect backroom deals. There are others who want the job. The dirty tricks brigade will stop at nothing.

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