Tone wants his "red lines" and to look tough on the telly, so he can come back home and proclaim a "victory" for Britain. Jacques also want to look tough on telly, so he can come back home and proclaim a "victory" for France.
Enter several thousand bored journos, kicking their heels in the "European quarter", that soulless concrete jungle in north-eastern Brussels which doesn't even boast a single bacon buttie shop.
With their news desks screaming for a story, and nothing to write about other than of a procession of Mercedes limos delivering portly middle-aged men to the Justus Lipsius building where the conference is to take place, things are getting a bit desperate.
Then, out comes Jaques and complains that Tone is getting away with blue murder, while "sources close to the dinner" let it be known that Jaques and Tone are having a dust up about who’s going to be president of the Commission. The Frogs want some geezer called Herr Hofstid, or something, while Tone wants that Tory feller Patten.
Hey presto, the hacks have got their story and can get the hell out the "quarter", down to the Grande Place where there are some decent bars. The desks are happy – each of them have got an identical front-page scoop - and another lot of fish and chip wrappers are on their way to the grateful readers.
Pure theatre, old boy, but who cares. Keeps the punters happy and exes flowing. News? Who said anything about news? We're in the entertainment business.
Footnote: check out the "must read" piece on Tim Worstall's blog click here.