EU must be joking

November 26, 2004

Kim Howells, the new Higher Education Minister, recently attended his first enlarged European Union ministers' meeting. He reports that the Department for Education and Skills had heeded the Dutch chairwoman's appeal to submit papers to save time on speeches. But to Dr Howells' horror, he found that he was the only one who had politely toed the line, and the other 22 ministers all intended to speak. The chair tried to impose a two-minute limit on speeches to keep it manageable, but the first speaker was so outraged when the bell sounded that she had to abandon that too.

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