Networking latest

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.)

She suggested that I ask her boss to write me a reference. Of course, a great idea that I should have thought of myself. I had occasional dealings with him in the early 1990s when I was chair of the Northern Ireland branch of the Liberal Democrats, at the same time also running election campaigns for the Alliance Party, and since we both developed interests in the Balkans we’ve developed quite close links. Ashdown is now of course in charge of running the international community’s presence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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.

One thought on “Networking latest

  1. Not a reason, but an excuse! I know very little about NZ as is surely obvious.

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