The Daily Mail- Maastricht, 1992.
Picture the outskirts of London, dark grey with an endless stream of rain, and not a single useful shop around. Now add to that foreign ministers of the European continent all gathered in a brown brick building with no catering and delusions of a “Common European Experience” with no regard for our sovereignty, hoping to leech off of our economic success. Whilst we have only heard opening speeches so far, they have set the tone for the coming three days and already a lesson to be learned: the only minister to be trusted is the Danish representative, Uffe Elleman-Jansen, as he (in his own words) will “not converse in any language but the language of sovereignty”.
Unsurprisingly, the French are already attempting to sabotage our reputation, having attempted to leak to the press represented (yes, to this very newspaper) that the honorable Douglas Hurd was seen burning the French flag. Whereas Minister Dumas may have no regard for proper diplomatic decorum, it goes without saying that no representative of the United Kingdom would dare insult another nation’s symbol of sovereignty like that. On the topic of flags, the German delegation has appeared to have forgotten about the deep hurt many of us associate with the colors of black, red, and gold stemming from this very century as they proudly have not one, but two German flags draped around their seat.
It is with cautious curiosity that the Guardian will watch these negotiations unfold.
- Mindy Drummer Foreign Affairs Editor