I was out for a drink on Monday with Paddy Ashdown’s representative in Brussels, discussing our mutual career prospects. (Her boyfriend’s an American film-maker, lives in Paris, “He’s won a couple of – what are they called, Emmys? Is that right?”) Turns out she is also a lapsed scientist like me, and got the best results in physics in her school leaving exam in her entire country before studying politics at university. (Granted, it’s a relatively small country, but still an impressive achievement.)
So I checked out with one of his advisers in Sarajevo who is an old friend of mine and who in fact used to have effectively the job that I am currently applying for, as a member of Chris Patten’s cabinet, before he went to Bosnia to work for Paddy. He talked to Paddy this morning and they will Put In A Word for me with Commissioner Rehn when they see him next week. So that is another box ticked.
In the meantime, my Monday conversation had left me a little nostalgic for the science I did so long ago. So I’ve fired off a very speculative application to Commissioner Potočnik, who I met in June, and who’s been given the Research portfolio currently held by the rather anonymous Belgian Commissioner, Philippe Busquin. I don’t know much about it, but the idea of tinkering with the European Union’s space program tickles my fannish interests… Very little chance, I suspect.