…blessed rain, cleansing the muggy weather of the last week or so.
I’ve been pretty comatose all day. I was at two liberal parties last night, with Liberal International holding a farewell reception for departing staff – great fun, Count Otto Lambsdorff looking very fierce, but old, and had a good chat with a certain Foreign Minister who I’d first met a year or so ago, and then on to the Brussels branch of the British Lib Dems for their annual summer barbecue. But I wasn’t home until well after midnight, and had to be up at 7 this morning for an early presentation to a bunch of Kosovo government officials. Not such a big deal – I’ve done enough of these presentations by now that I could probably do one in my sleep, and this morning came perilously close to testing me on that. But I could have done with a bit more bed-rest.
I was a bit surprised to see this particular Foreign Minister at a party political event – I reminded him that when I’d last spoken to him, he told me that he was a non-political appointee, put in because he was seen as a good career diplomat and wasn’t a member of the ruling party. He replied that after having to answer the opposition’s parliamentary questions foe a while, he came to the realisation that he actually agreed with the policies of the governing party (I twitched a bit at this, as it’s a bit unusual for a government minister to express himself in quite that way) and so he’d decided to become an activist as well as a minister. He then gleefully told me that his government had recently won re-election, though with a reduced majority. Half the seats are elected proportionally and half in single-member districts. I pointed out that a lot of ex-Soviet countries use that system. The Minister reacted a bit coolly; his is most definitely not an ex-Soviet country.
Am going to a book launch later on today. Just have to fill in the next three hours somehow…