Sunday, November 25, 2007

English Council: the German sublime meets the English ridiculous

Despite a real desire not to get up the next morning, I had no choice, I had to go to English Council. Worse still, I had to get up early, as we were scheduled to meet in Birmingham.

I caught my train, intending to arrive fifteen minutes in advance of the start time, but, due to signal failures, didn't arrive at the venue until comfortably after the 11.00 start time. Fortunately, I was never going to miss the reports from the Treasurer, from the G8 committee or the Federal Policy Committee representative, as I could see them at the other end of the carriage!

Having finally reached Birmingham, I was somewhat surprised to see our venue hidden from view behind an ersatz German Christmas Market, all the way from Frankfurt, but recovered in time to enter what was shaping up to be an astonishingly dull English Council.

And so it turned out, the only excitement in the morning being a debate on the 2008 budget, which sought to reduce the rebate of membership income paid to both Regional and Local Parties. I spoke against but was one of a sadly small group of rebels. Whilst a large proportion of the money will be returned to Regions via the G8 grant round, London will be hurt by the loss of revenue, without the compensation of grants - GLA elections don't qualify for subventions currently.

Eventually, it was time for lunch. Nagging away at the back of my mind was a sense that I was missing something obvious. So I went outside and discovered that I could get real German beer in proper half-litre steins and, even better, decent wurst in bread rolls with great mustard. My purchases complete, I returned to the afternoon session with beer and wurst, much to the surprise of my colleagues, and in Falstaffian style spoke of the joy of wurst. It made the afternoon so much more bearable...

It didn't change my mind about English Council though...

1 comment:

Paul Hulbert said...

So it was a case of "For better or for Wurst", was it?