Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Musical Interlude

Dutch Prime Minister, Jan Peter Balkanende, a possible European President, has denied that he is a contender, dismissing the claim as claptrap.

As any musician will tell you, 'clap trap' is a musical term. A common rhetorical device in baroque music (try Arcangelo Corelli, he uses it a lot) the soloist will play an elaborate and difficult passage followed by a concerted wind down from all the players and a marked pausa, at which point the audience bursts into applause offering encouragement for the soloist to do her party piece all over again.

None of us, the peoples of Europe, have been allowed into the concert of Europe after our behaviour in 2005 when the French insisted on singing the Marseillaise and the English were all lined up, large intake of breath taken, for a rousing chorus of God Save the Queen but hustled out of the concert hall before they got the chance.

We are in the pausa now. The English media is clapping wildly and, again as any musician will tell you, anything can happen in the second time around.

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