|The thrills, the tension. Photo Greens/NFA|
Those who have spent a fair amount of time in the European Parliament go through several stages, rather similar to the seven stages of grief:
1. Shock or disbelief - wondering why these tedious people are not really saying anything much at all.
2. Denial - those are not MEPs surely, they would ask smarter questions than this.
3. Anger - If this is the standard of parliamentary accountability, no wonder Europe is being flushed down the toilet of history.
4. Bargaining - Perhaps I could have a quiet word and explain how badly they're coming across?
5. Guilt - I really am wasting my life here, must have a re-evaluation of myself and my life.
6. Depression - This is where most people are right now, the one comfort is that not only are you not alone, you're surrounded by fellow sufferers.
7. Acceptance and Hope - What's the plat du jour at The Grapevine?
This is spelled out because of a small incident in the parliament. during yet another dull session, where a group of people nobody knows from equally obscure outfits were addressing the parliament (boring the audience) that a small voice spoke up.
It was from the headsets as one of the Interpreters had accidentally left their microphone on when the speaker was using the same language. Those listening to that channel were treated to a little gossip, some minor intrigue and the candid admission;
"I have no idea who any of these people are or why they are here."
It is understood the audience listening to this particular language channel could be easily identified as there was an outbreak of spontaneous nodding at the comment.
I don't want to bring trouble to the interpreters, for they are Europe's bravest soldiers having to actually listen to a lifetime of hot air, self-righteousness and gobbledygook from the inhabitants of the institutions, they just can't be over paid for that.