And how does Ulster compare with Hawaii, Mr. President? Oh dear, if there is any chemistry going on between these two then it's about to explode! Meanwhile, 'Dim Dave' bimbles about, oozing old Etonian charm like an ineffectual maitre d' at some posh restaurant, all of which has zero effect on the various 'house guests' who are as ripe a collection of crooks, killers, liars, cheats and reprobates as you could ever wish to avoid. Yesterday, I had Sky News playing for most of the day with the sound off because I was buried in a book (more on that later*). Glancing occasioanlly at the screen was quite interesting because, of course, without the sound you watch the body language. There was an hysterical press conference between 'Vlad 'n' Dave' in which Dave pursed his little lips, furrowed his brow in order to look really, really serious and appeared to say absolutely nothing. Vlad simply stood there looking as though he would rather have a winter in Siberia than two days in Ulster (he may not be wrong there!) and from the expression on his face as Dave waffled on I began to suspect that he was fantasizing about one day getting Dave down in the cellars at the Lubyanka!
What a colossal waste of time and money this whole farrago has been! Nothing has been solved or even inched forward. It reminded me of Chamberlain rushing off to lick Hitler's boots and then coming back and waving his useless bit of paper and promising "peace in our time". I also thought of my own personal 'hero' in the world of foreign policy, Sir Edward Grey, who in his eleven years as Foreign Secretary never set foot abroad - and quite right, too! And if you doubt the ridiculousness of this whole travelling circus let me tell you that the most hilarious sight was that of the Laurel and Hardy of the European dis-Union, Herman Achille Van Rompuy and José Manuel Durão Barroso. What they added to the proceedings God only knows - a few surreptitious giggles, possibly.
(* The book which has captivated me is the one on which I bestowed a rave review last Sunday despite having only reached page 79, but now I am up to page 449 and it has already gained my Corker of the Year Award. It is ideal holiday reading, a good meaty plot culminating in a tense court trial and written impeccably, the author has the knack of writing dialogue in the style of the speaker concerned. The revelations, as they come one by one, are not so much clues concerning the murder but more about about the psychology of the people involved, not least the 'hero'. Do not miss: Defending Jacob by William Landay)