The three little words above were title of an album by Jean Jacques Burnel of the Stranglers (good-looking one with dodgy political views) which merits its own wiki entry. I was reminded of the title the other day when in Brussels attending a conference on youth, culture and creativity amongst other things.

Did you know this year is the European year of innnovation and creativity or that 2008 was the year of intercultural dialogue? Thought as much. Anyway I learnt a lot – flicking on the headphones to another language of simultaneous translation to jazz things up when the fancy took me so that the translator’s work was not in vain – all the stuff I saw was 100% in English although not all delivered by native speakers.

Biggest rasberry of the conference was a presenter from blighty who did a “they do it differently in Europe from in the UK… how interesting” type turn. At least the fellow delegates I spoke to didn’t like it and felt patronised. Perhaps we all have a bit of that in us coming from a small island as we do. As Derek Jameson used to say of how Brits were precieved of by those from abroad “do they mean us?” (theme-tune still available at Ebay).

Suede’s take on such matters was a ditty entitled Europe is Our Playground which can be caught on YouTube here.

PS Saw some French tv while over. Biggest news stories were i) France’s return to NATO’s top table, ii) list of richest people in the world announced, highest French entry at 17 and iii) PS ordering of candidates for the Euro list in June. Cannot imagine equal coverage for these from these shores personally, particularly the equivalent of (iii) as someone who once brought up the rear for Labour in the North West in my time.

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