Empty RoomI’m really struggling on the blogging front at the moment. I have so much work to do – both in the office and in my ‘free’ time – that it’s extremely hard to get my thoughts in order to write anything significant about the EU at present. It also does not help that the Finnish Presidency is not making much headway on REACH or on Turkey. Further, the Polish veto of the EU-Russia Treaty is a negative signal of what might be to expected in the future. With the bland ‘leadership’ of Matti Vanhanen, and relative silence from the European Commission, it’s hard to find much optimism about the EU at present. Ségolène Royal seems the only (possible) glimmer of hope – at least in that she signals some sort of departure from the old style of French-EU politics.

But there’s something more fundamental that I am asking myself about. What actually makes me tick? What makes me get up in the morning and go and do the things I do? That’s somehow related to EU politics, its related to website work, its related to political communication. But I also badly need a spark from the environment that I am working with, and some sort of sense that what I am doing has some use, that it is somehow leading somewhere. I seem to just be living for the next day at the moment; there’s no plan, there’s no reflection, there’s no strategy. I have a mass of tasks to complete, but I’m master of none of them.

These feelings have been exacerbated by an excellent evening yesterday spent with friends of friends – a couple where the man is freelance photographer, and the woman a freelance graphic designer. They both have such a drive, a determination, an intensity about what they do – they care for it, live it. I used to have that sort of professional passion when I was President of JEF, but that all seems to have dissipated over the last couple of years. How I wish I could rediscover it!


  1. I guess I was forced into my position being made redundant so it was the first good opportunity to get earning again.

    So could you pitch for some work on a contract basis so it is not quite a leap in the dark?

  2. On the freelance thing: yes, there are plenty of small things that brighten up what I do each day. But these seem to be most often outside work at the moment.

    It really appeals to be a freelancer again – working with different people on different projects. But could I make enough cash out of it? I suppose I’ll only know if I try.

  3. True. That’s why I am rehashing my Spanish and surfing the Hispanic blogsphere, so I can bring the word to the English-speaking masses!

  4. Hmmm. I know Royal’s EU policies are not so great (although see this on David Rennie’s blog for more), but I do at least have some confidence that she might rejuvinate French politics a bit.

    I agree that Zapatero is good, but he has not managed to impose his views outside Spain as yet.

  5. I guess it will be the debate about an imperfect government versus righteous indignation of the oppostion benches

  6. Are you referring to the same Segolene Royal who said, when asked whether she supported Turkey’s accession, ‘my opinion is that of the French people’?

    I have more hope in Zapatero, to be honest…

  7. Interesting that your friends work for themselves. I was forced into that position when I was made redundant last year.

    I am an independent Health and Safety consultant and I enjoy doing different jobs and learning new skills etc. The money is better and I have a better deal from Gordon Brown too.

    I think being pro european is a long term labour of love too.

    Are there no little victories to spice up the day for you?

    That is how I get over a boring day.

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