I get the message. The fact that my last post attracted all of nil comments suggests to me it is time to go on holiday. I intend to fall silent for the next 10 days or so – before re-surfacing in the US, on January 3rd – the day of the Iowa caucus. If I blog before then, it’s probably a bad sign.
But before I quit, here are a couple of things I would like to draw to your attention. First, a delightfully unreverential account of interviewing Al Gore, by my friend Stephen Sackur of the BBC. I normally hate that back-scratching formula, "my friend x of the x". But Stephen really is a friend, he had the office next door to me in Brussels for several years. However, I have learnt that I have to be cautious about admitting friendship with Stephen Sackur. Although he is naturally a rather mild-mannered person, he is the host of a television show, "Hardtalk", which demands an aggressive and adverserial pose from the interviewer. This often leaves the interviewee distinctly pissed off. When I interviewed Michel Platini of Uefa recently and mentioned conversationally that Sackur is a friend of mine, Platini’s face darkened _"Ard Talk..", he exclaimed contemptuosly and I realised it was a good idea to drop the subject.
I probably shouldn’t mention Sackur to "my good friend, Al Gore" either – to judge from Stephen’s account of their post-interview chat.