Words are important, they are what people live by.  “I keep my word” or “My word is my bond” are hallmarks of someone who can be trusted, usually a person who is honest and has integrity.  They say what they think and mean what they say.  They are becoming a rare breed, but they still exist.  In everyday situations promises are kept.  When promises are broken so are reputations that can never be repaired.   Politicians are not noted examples of the breed.  In Parliament their speech is protected by privilege, but they can be held to account because they are recorded in Hansard.

Intergovernmental and diplomatic promises are recorded in writing, which have defined status.  The recent EU-UK negotiations have reached a milestone {or is it a kilometre stone} and as this is not defined in the agreement it enables politicians to dispute the point – you say mile, I say kilometre.  But then, they are disputing everything about the agreement.  The Irish say it is binding, but the British do not agree.  In Ireland it is called the EU-UK agreement, but in Britain it is called the UK-EU agreement.  With those levels of difference it is no wonder that it cannot be agreed what has been agreed.  Well it is the year of the rooster and they are strutting the farmyard giving forth with their opinions and interpretations.  Next year everything will calm down in the year of the dog.

Its only words.  So we can look to the Bee Gees, who fifty years ago recorded and released Words that was written by Barry Gibb who sang it as a solo.  His brother, Robin, claimed the song reflected a mood and was written after an argument.  The arguments were absolutely about nothing, they were just words.  That is what the song is about.  Words can make you happy or words can make you sad.

The lyrics are eminently suited to being performed by four people as counter refrains.  So here goes:-

Michel Barnier – Smile an everlasting smile, a smile can bring you near to me.  Don’t ever let me find you gone, cause that would bring a tear to me.”

Theresa May – “This world has lost its glory, lets start a brand new story, now my love.  Right now, there’ll be no other time and I can show you how, my love.”

Leo Varadkar – “Talk in everlasting words, and dedicate them all to me.  And I will give you all my life, I’m here if you should call to me.”

David Davis – “You think that I don’t even mean, a single word I say.  Its only words, and words are all I have, to take your heart away.”

It might be a good idea to get songwriters to draft agreements and treaties.

In the next post we will look at Article 46, what was said and what it means.  Simple.


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