Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Diplomatic Lapse

In a taxi last night with a couple of Austrian diplomats, thoroughly good eggs it seems with a rather raucous sense of humour. Indeed the felt it necessary to attempt to self censor when the jokes got onto, shall we say, 'gender issues'.
Diplo 1: "That's not very pc"
Diplo 2:"No but we are with him (Mr Harvey that is), he would probably get sacked if he was pc, when in a Roman's taxi and so on"
Diplo 1:"Oh alright then".

My faux pas came whilst discussing the successful Freedom Party petition to get a debate on having a referendum on Turkey, the European Constitution and European Union membership. The FPO had managed to collect 258,277 in seven days to trigger the debate. Both of the diplos' accepted that if there were to be a referendum on the Constitution in Austria it would have been heavily rejected. However I pointed out that the people have not been consulted and Austria had ratified through a vote in the Nationalrat.
"You know", I said, "only one vote was cast against the Constitution, which was a more complete 'Yes' vote than that same institution's vote in favour of the Anschluss where I think 4 brave members voted against".
"We don't talk about the Anschluss in Austria".
"No, what is it that you are talking about? I don't understand".


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