Can anyone be blogging about anything else today but the inauguration in Washington of the man now clearly known as Barack H Obama? It really has felt like a momentous day, maybe more for what it represents than what actually went on. I went to a very interesting event this morning on this subject, discussing what the Obama Presidency could mean for EU-US relations. It had some very good speakers, including a great speech from Denis McShane, and several of them talked about the importance of Europe engaging actively with the Obama administration, and coming to them with ideas, rather than waiting to see what he wants us to do (and then letting him down…!) He has been very clear about his interest in working with the EU. I’m just watching the BBC coverage. They are at a party in Tottenham, and a television in the background had a woman who really looked like Floella Benjamin talking. I hope it was her – she’s a real personality from my youth!
Talking of interesting people, I met Baroness Perry last night at the Lords. She was Chairman of the Education and Training Sector Group that I worked on when I was at the Department of Trade and Industry all those many years ago. I contacted her before Christmas and it was lovely to see her. What goes around comes around: she’s now on the European Union Committee of the House of Lords, so we had a lot of current affairs to talk about, not just all stuff from the past. Especially with Ken Clarke’s appointment!