The Margot Wallström Blog, trailed on this Blog yesterday, is up but not exactly running. For those who want to look at it, the URL is here. (No "hit" counter, of course, so you don't know how popular the site is, but I suspect that we will be told that it has attracted "zillions" of visitors, even if they only came to mock.)
At the moment, there is one, presumably test, post but we are told that "The interactive functions of this weblog are under construction and will be available soon!" Bit like the "project" really – always "under construction".
The worst of it is that, in order to read the text, we have to gaze upon a giant-sized photo of the carefully manicured and artfully posed commissioner (talk about the cult of personality!). And where did she get that pen? She holds a chewed Bic biro, no doubt from the commission stationery stores. You would think that, on her salary, you could afford a decent writing instrument. Has the woman no style?
As to the text, the style is of the Royal "we" genre, which rather cuts across the personal style that we were promised, although it would be naïve to believe that the posts will be anything but highly refined extrusions, checked and double-checked by the Brussels PR machine.
Clearly, this machine has decided on the "touchy-feely" approach, with the Wallström gushing about the terrible events of the Indian Ocean Tsunami and the fact that one of her collaborators was in Sri Lanka. "They ran immediately as they saw the fifteen metres high green wall of water rise above them," she tells us.
So now she dreams of Sri Lanka at night. Funny, I dream at night of how the hell I am going to pay my bills – not least the massively inflated water bill, made that much larger by the imposts of the fragrant Wallström in her previous incarnation as environment commissioner.
She also treats us to the news that the temporary president of the EU, is Jean-Claude Junker, "the chain-smoking, colourful prime minister" of Luxembourg. He had better not go to Ireland then. And, of course, the little plug: "The Barroso Commission is eager to get to work." Pity about the transport council. M. "Wheel" Barrot must be affolé.
We also get a contrived, yukky "personal note" – presumably to show that she is really a hooman being like the rest of us. She writes (or, at least, the PR men write): "Have you put on weight during the Christmas holidays? I have!", she gushes, continuing on:
And I see a big problem for the future because one neglected aspect of the fact that the council works in a open and transparent way is that the really important compromises and discussions are referred to lunches or dinners or the meals that the ministers have together. So we will put on weight! The official meetings don't last that long but the lunches are three or four or even more hours from now on.P-lease…
She concludes:"Personally I am glad to leave 2004 – start a new year. 2004 sucked!". Personally, I am glad to leave the Wallström site. It sucks!