At the end of Conan Doyle's wonderful story, His Last Bow, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson have trussed up the German spy and are about to take him off to Scotland Yard. World War I is about to break out and Dr Watson is returning to his old unit, the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers (though it is not clear what he will be doing there). Von Bork is protesting that he, a German subject, is being held against his will by two private individuals.
"Well, you realise your position, you and your accomplice here. If I were to shout for help as we pass through the village -"
"My dear sir, if you did anything so foolish you would probably enlarge the too limited titles of our village inns by giving us The Dangling Prussian as a sign-post."In the same spirit though not in the same circumstances I suggest that we start renaming hostelries as The Three Presidents. It seems but fitting in the light of the news that the problem of who will collect that Peace Prize has been solved.
All three Presidents - Barroso of the Commission, Van Rompuy of the Council and Schultz of Parliament - will collect the Prize, presumably trying not to pick each other's pockets when the money is being handed over.
However, it remains unclear who will deliver the speech accepting the award, which normally involves just one speaker. And it is also unclear what will happen to the £740,000 prize money, although it is expected to go to charity.A charity, eh? I wonder which particular charity or, much more likely, NGO that will go to. One that has already been heavily funded to campaign for more EU regulation of something or other?
Wait a minute. Is there not one President missing? Whatever happened to Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank? Why will he not be present at this auspicious occasion? He could count the money.
ADDENDUM: I gratefully acknowledge an excellent suggestion from a reader of this blog that the three Presidents (The Three Caballeros) should share out all the official languages and repeat the speech of thanks in each one. That should keep them all going for a while.