DEADLINES have come and gone with the regularity of empty buses, red lines have been reached with the same frequency. We’ve gone through Sir Humphrey Appleby’s lexicon where words can mean everything, anything and nothing. Phrases can be recanted with a new set of remarkably similar but not with the same meanings.
Ministers have warmed the seats of various studios filling precious air time saying doodly-squat, because that’s all that’s left and there has never been a better Americanism to sum it all up. When there is no where else to go, no more wriggle room, no more extra miles to travel that leaves us with the final stage – the phoney talks.
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No side can be seen to be the bad guy, no-one wants to take the blame by walking out. And so they hang out with their advisors. Shoot the breeze with their opposite numbers on the 13th floor of the European commission’s Berlaymont headquarters and eat pizzas and sandwiches. Basically they are whiling away the time when they can go home for the day after preparing the obligatory press release. You’ve guessed it, “the talks are ongoing”.