Monday, December 08, 2003
An Unsurprising Insight

Gisela Stuart, the New Labour member who sat on the European Convention's presidium, has finally admitted her disillusion with the whole process. Stuart provides anecdotal evidence of the strategy D'Estaing employed to achieve his consensus.

"There was little time for informed discussion, and even less scope for changes. Large parts of the text passed through without detailed discussions", she writes.

Small details would be strangely absent:

Some members of the secretariat showed particular irritation with my insistence that documents be produced in English. On one occasion a redraft of articles dealing with defence mysteriously arrived just before midnight. They were written in French and the authorship was unclear. Verbal reassurances were given that this was little more than a "linguistically better draft of the earlier English version". The draft was discarded when some of us spotted that references to Nato had mysteriously disappeared".

Yet, for some reason, there is a faint echo of the British Parliament. Another planted article to allow New Labour both possibilities: success or failure.

(22.22, 8th December 2003)


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